Names and naming in Joyce: A rhetoric of nomenclature from "Stephen Hero" through "Finnegans Wake"

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Bernard Benstock, Committee Chair


An examination of naming patterns indigenous to Joyce's writings, those certain forms into which his literary onomastics falls, the literary associations, the literary correspondences, and the aesthetic and literary contexts of the names Joyce selects for his characters, Names and Naming in Joyce is a discussion of Joyce's philosophy of naming as it affects the poetics of composition. Joyce's use of onomastics is tied to his complex and eclectic allusive method, to his vision of history, to his notions of women, to his continual desire for and enjoyment of revenge, as well as to his theories of naming and identity. Preying upon the immense power we accord to names and naming, Joyce incorporates in his writings man's onomastic obsession, inscribing from Stephen Hero through Finnegans Wake a nominal tomfoolery that is at once comical and grotesque, serious and discerning. Naming always carries with it considerations of history, politics, gender and literary consequence; and Joyce's canon provides a practical means for investigating the symbiotic ties between the four.


Literature, English

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