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Knowledge of Things Human and DivineVico's New Science and "Finnegans Wake"$
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Donald Phillip Verene

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300099584

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300099584.001.0001

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The Joycean Vico: A New Key

The Joycean Vico: A New Key

(p.3) 1 The Joycean Vico: A New Key
Knowledge of Things Human and Divine

Donald Phillip Verene

Yale University Press

This chapter describes Vico's and Bruno's appearance in the first sentence of Finnegans Wake as “a commodius vicus of recirculation.” Vicus is Vico's Latin name, signifying a road or lane, also meaning a village or vicinity. In the Dublin suburb of Dalkey there is a “Vico Road,” which appears in Ulysses and in Finnegans Wake. The first word of Finnegans Wake is “riverrun,” recalling the nearly one thousand identifications of rivers in Joyce's work, including the Jordan. Vico is connected to the Jordan River by his first name, Giambattista (Giovanni Battista), which in English is John the Baptist, the saint who preached and baptized along the Jordan. Vico, having been born on June the 23d, was named and baptized on June the 24th, the day of St. John the Baptist.

Keywords:   commodius vicus, Vico, Bruno, Vico Road, Dublin, riverrun

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