James Joyce’s review of Humanism

Semiotics:41-55 (2013)
Joyce's review of _Humanism, Philosophical Essays: A Collection of Essays on Pragmatism_, by Ferdinand Canning Scott Schiller, was written at a critical moment in the development of Joyce's fiction (before "The Sisters", before the essay "A Portrait of the Artist," and during Joyce's writing of his aesthetic theory. The review was published in the _Dublin Express_ on November 12, 1903. The diary entries at the end of _A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man_ hint at the fallibilism and reality of experience at the bedrock of Peircean semiotics and the revolutionary style of Joyce. Unfortunately the mocking style of Joyce's review may be why it has not received attention and perhaps why the review has not been included in a recent collection of Joyce's non-fiction writings. Joyce mocks Schiller’s style and thought, which is "prone to stylistic violations such as: vulgarity ... excessively ornate language ... pomposity ... exaggeration ... and avoiding the issue" as Joseph Porrovecchio states in a dissertation on Schiller's rhetoric. Schiller not only provoked Joyce to mock him, he also provoked Charles Peirce, the founder of pragmatism, to rename his philosophy "pragmaticism" adding an "ic" to it to differentiate it from Schiller’s use of the word. This essay shows Joyce knew about Charles Peirce, whose influence was extensive, continuing through Finnegans Wake, as discussed in Roy Benjamin’s The Triptych Vision: Joyce and Peirce.
Keywords James Joyce  Ferdinand Canning Scott Schiller  Joseph Porrovecchio  pragmatism  pragmaticism  non-fiction writing  aesthetics  Roy Benjamin  A Portrait of the Artist  Michael Maher
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DOI 10.5840/cpsem20135
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