Miranda: Revue Pluridisciplinaire du Monde Anglophone (Jun 2011)

“R.C.”: Rosicrucianism and Cartesianism in Joyce and Beckett

  • Steven Bond

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 4


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This paper explores the possible theosophical and philosophical implications of James Joyce’s recurrent use of the initials “R. C.” in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. Historically, the initials have been used both as the seal of the Rosicrucian Brotherhood and as the cachet of René Descartes (René des Cartes). We consider both of these theoretical frameworks as likely reference points for Joyce, making extensive use of the early works of Samuel Beckett in arguing for each case.