Much, much to learn
much to learn
Figure of speech. Before he begins his tale of "Two
Dublin vestals," Stephen thinks to himself, "Dublin. I have
much, much to learn." Rhetoricians call this type of
repetition epizeuxis: reiterating a word or phrase
with no intervening words for emotional emphasis. Less
frequently, they employ the synonym palilogia.
Epizeuxis (EH-puh-ZOOK-sis, from Greek epi- = upon + zeugnunai = to yoke, bind, fasten) refers to tying words tightly together. Palilogia (PAL-uh-LOW-gee-uh, from palin = over again + logia = speaking) emphasizes simply the repetition. Richard Nordquist (thoughtco.com) quotes a good definition of epizeuxis in Henry Peacham's The Garden of Eloquence (1593): "A figure whereby a word is repeated, for the greater vehemence, and nothing put between: and it is used commonly with a swift pronunciation... This figure may serve aptly to expresse the vehemence of any affection, whether it be of joy, sorrow, love, hatred, admiration or any such like." Nordquist cites numerous effective examples, including a famous one from Casablanca: "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!" Shakespeare's works offer many examples, including memorable strings of three or more words like Hamlet's "Words, words, words" (2.2.192), Macduff's "O horror, horror, horror! (2.3.64), and Lear's "Howl, howl, howl" (5.3.258) and "Never, never, never, never, never" (309).
Stephen's repetition is emotionally effective because it
conveys the mixture of excitement and intimidation that he
must feel as he resolves to begin writing prose fiction.
Dublin is big and he has "much, much to learn" if he
hopes to create a convincing representation of the city. His
expertise is put to the test immediately as he says that his
pious old virgins "have lived fifty and fiftythree years in
Fumbally's lane." The professor asks, "Where is that?" and
Stephen replies, "Off Blackpitts." Writing the densely
detailed and highly allusive Ulysses required Joyce to
know the answers to many thousands of questions like that.
Aeolus contains at least one more instance of
epizeuxis, though it conveys only inane mock-sorrow:
"— Boohoo! Lenehan wept with a little noise. Owing to a
brick received in the latter half of the matinée. Poor,
poor, poor Pyrrhus!" In a collection of
notes published in JJQ 41 (2004): 523-35, Ian
MacArthur argues that this is an instance of geminatio,
a Latin near-synonym that, according to MacArthur, occurs "at
the beginning of a sentence" (526).