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New Left Review 71, September-October 2011


andy merrifield

CROWD POLITICS

Or, ‘Here Comes Everybuddy’

In James Joyce’s dazzlingly inventive Finnegans Wake, the hero is a certain Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker, hce for short, whose dreaming mind becomes the psychological space of the Wake’s drama. If Ulysses’s Leopold Bloom is everyday man, then Earwicker, or hce, is everynight man. Thus the epithet Joyce gives him in Chapter 2: ‘Here Comes Everybody’. The initials hce were the ‘normative letters’, Joyce said, of a universal dreaming figure; a sort of Jungian archetypal image of our collective, desiring unconscious, reliving in a single night’s sleep the whole of human history. ‘An imposing everybody he always indeed looked,’ Joyce joked of Earwicker, ‘constantly the same as and equal to himself and magnificently well worthy of any and all such universalization.’ [1] James Joyce, Finnegans Wake, New York 1976, p. 32. When Joyce lived in Zurich, he and Jung got together a few times; Jung was convinced that Joyce was schizophrenic. Always a sceptic of psychoanalysis, Joyce himself refused to let the Swiss psychologist psychoanalyse him. Later on, desperate about his daughter Lucia’s mental condition, he relented and agreed to allow Jung to analyse her. The sessions, however, proved disastrous and Joyce soon broke off contact with Jung. In several sections of Finnegans Wake, the psychologist is satirized: ‘Jungfraud’; instead of jungfrau (the German for young woman), Joyce puns both Jung and Freud: he saw them equally as ‘frauds’.

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Andy Merrifield, ‘Crowd Politics, Or, ‘Here Comes Everybuddy’’, NLR 71: £3
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