Collected on parchment leaves, extended as stories in Dubliners, defined in Stephen Hero, and embedded in A Portrait Of The Artist, Joyce's epiphanies have a long bibliographic and a confused critical history. Robert Scholes treats the epiphanies as a finite set of texts and argues that after Portrait Joyce outgrew them, using only one in Ulysses. Irene Hendry, on the other hand, argues in an early essay that Joyce had at least four "epiphany techniques" and that "Joyce's work is a tissue of epiphanies, great and small, from fleeting images to whole books, from briefest revelation in his lyrics to the epiphany that occupies one gigantic, enduring 'moment' in Finnegan’s Wake, running through 628 pages of text and then returning upon itself” (Hendry 461). While Scholes' view is useful in tracing the development of specific passages, it tells us little about the epiphany as a literary motif. The second definition renders the epiphany and any comment on it vacuous, making any passage, from a line to a whole book, an epiphany. Amid such a welter of opinion it is difficult to construct a context in which to discuss the epiphany in an informative way. Shiv Kumar's analysis of the epiphany as a descendant of Bergson's "L'intiution philosophique" is helpful because he attempts to place the epiphany in a larger literary tradition. The epiphany, as it appears in the Portrait, belongs in a more obvious, but still useful literary context, that of the Romantic tradition.



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