My partner Robin, in honor of the bicentennial of the birth of her favorite composer, Richard Wagner, is doing a year-long blog, Wagner Tripping, about him.
Robin asked me to contribute two posts about Wagner’s influence on James Joyce, since I’m a great fan of the Irish writer, and am part of a Finnegans Wake reading group that meets twice-monthly at a local Irish pub to sip Guinness and ponder Joyce’s encyclopedic romp through the history of everything.
Reading the Wake, it becomes clear from the very first page (“Sir Tristram, violer d’amores, fr’over the short sea”) that Joyce draws heavily from Wagner in the work. But what I didn’t realize—until Robin started telling me about it, and then I subsequently did the research for this post—what just how much of an influence Wagner had on so much of Joyce’s writing.
You can read the first of my two posts here.