Joycean Unions: Post-Millennial Essays from East to West
 9789042036116, 9789401208826

Table of contents :
Title Page
Copyright Page
Table of Contents
Bibliographical Note
Introduction: Joycean Unions
James Joyce and "Eastern Europe": An Introduction
"Reading the Book of Himself": James Joyce on Mihály Munkácsy's Painting "Ecce Homo"
Joyce, il Bel Paese and the Italian Language
Privatising Ulysses: Joyce before, during and after
the "Celtic Tiger"
"Memory of these Migrations": Joyce, Interculturalism, and
the Reception of Ulysses in the Irish Immigration Debate
SoundingS in "Proteus"
Bloom and the Ba: Voyeurism and Elision in "Nausicaa"
Pararealism in "Circe"
"A Diabolic Rictus of Black Luminosity": Exploring
the Lipoti Virag-Dracula Connection
"The Injection Mark": Inoculation in the Joycean Text
Of Warts and Women: The Female Anomaly in "Circe"
The Love-Life of Phonemes
The Mystery of the Fuga per Canonem Solved
Ulysses: Book of Many Errors
Misquoting Joyce
Joyce through the Fowlers: "Eumaeus",
The King's English and Modern English Usage

Citation preview


22 Joycean Unions Post-Millennial Essays from East to West

Edited by

R. Brandon Kershner and Tekla Mecsnóber

Joycean Unions Post-Millennial Essays from East to West


Founded by Christine van Boheemen-Saaf, in association with Fritz Senn General Editor Geert Lernout, Universiteit Antwerpen Editorial Board Valérie Bénéjam, Université de Nantes Teresa Caneda, Universidad de Vigo Anne Fogarty, University College Dublin John McCourt, Università Roma Tre Erika Mihálycsa, Universitatea Babes-Bolyai Cluj Katherine Mullin, University of Leeds Fritz Senn, Zürich James Joyce Foundation Dirk Vanderbeke, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena

Joycean Unions Post-Millennial Essays from East to West

Edited by

R. Brandon Kershner and Tekla Mecsnóber

Amsterdam - New York, NY 2013

The paper on which this book is printed meets the requirements of “ISO 9706:1994, Information and documentation - Paper for documents Requirements for permanence”. ISBN:978-90-420-3611-6 E-Book ISBN: 978-94-012-0882-6 ©Editions Rodopi B.V., Amsterdam – New York, NY 2013 Printed in The Netherlands


Bibliographical Note


Introduction: Joycean Unions R. Brandon Kershner


-DPHV-R\FHDQG³(DVWHUQ(XURSH´$Q,QWURGXFWLRQ Tekla Mecsnóber ³5HDGLQJWKH%RRNRI+LPVHOI´: James Joyce on 0LKiO\0XQNiFV\¶V3DLQWLQJ³(FFH+RPR´ Marianna Gula Joyce, il Bel Paese and the Italian Language John McCourt




Privatising Ulysses: Joyce before, during and after WKH³&HOWLF7LJHU´ Barry McCrea


³0HPRU\RIWKHVH0LJUDWLRQV´-R\FH,nterculturalism, and the Reception of Ulysses in the Irish Immigration Debate Jason King








³$'LDEROLF5LFWXVRI%ODFN/XPLQRVLW\´([SORULQJ the Lipoti Virag±Dracula Connection Benoît Tadié




Of Warts and Women: The Female Anomaly LQ³&LUFH´ André Topia


The Love-Life of Phonemes Stephen Tifft


The Mystery of the Fuga per Canonem Solved Susan Sutliff Brown


Ulysses: Book of Many Errors Patrick A. McCarthy


Misquoting Joyce Tim Conley


-R\FHWKURXJKWKH)RZOHUV³(XPDHXV´ 7KH.LQJ¶V(QJOLVK and Modern English Usage Andrew Gibson





In line with the conventions of this series, the following editions of -R\FH¶V ZRUNV KDYH EHHQ XVHG XQOHVV ZKHUH DGGLWLRQDO RU DOWHUQDWLYH editions have been cited in the essay concerned. The following standard abbreviations for parenthetical textual references have been used.


Joyce, James. Collected Poems. New York: Viking Press, 1957.


Joyce, James. The Critical Writings of James Joyce, ed. Ellsworth Mason and Richard Ellmann. New York: Viking Press, 1959.


Joyce, James. Dubliners, ed. Robert Scholes in consultation with Richard Ellmann. New York: Viking Press, 1967.


Joyce, James. Exiles. New York: Penguin Publishers, 1973.


Joyce, James. Finnegans Wake. New York: Viking Press, 1939; London: Faber and Faber, 1939. These two editions have identical pagination.


Joyce, James. Giacomo Joyce, ed. Richard Ellmann. New York: Viking Press, 1968.


Ellmann, Richard. James Joyce. New York: Oxford University Press, 1959.


Ellmann, Richard. James Joyce. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.


The James Joyce Archive, ed. Michael Groden et al. New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1977-1979.


Letters I II, III

Joyce, James. Letters of James Joyce. Vol. I, ed. Stuart Gilbert. New York: Viking Press, 1957; reissued with corrections 1966. Vols. II and III, ed. Richard Ellmann. New York: Viking Press, 1966.


Joyce, James. Occasional, Critical, and Political Writing, ed. Kevin Barry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.


Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The definitive text corrected from Dublin Holograph by Chester G. Anderson and edited by Richard Ellmann. New York: Viking Press, 1964. Joyce, James. ³$3RUWUDLWRIWKH$UWLVWDVD[email protected]VHHPV´DV-R\FH¶V+DLQHVZRXOG say in Ulysses ³KLVWRU\ LV WR EODPH´ U 1.649) ± or, more precisely, the long-standing isolation that followed from this region being assigned to the Eastern, Soviet-dominated side of the Iron Curtain after World :DU,,7KHPXFKFRQWHVWHGFRQFHSWRI³(DVWHUQ(XURSH´ ZKRVH GHILQLWLRQ KDVEHHQ DW OHDVW DV ³YDULRXVO\ LQIOHFWHG GLIIHUHQWO\ SURQRXQFHG RWKHUZLVH VSHOOHG FKDQJHDEO\ PHDQLQJ´ FW 118.22-3) as the many languages within its bounds, did not, of course, exist in -R\FH¶VWLPHDULVLQJXOWLPDWHO\DVDUHVXOWRIWKH&ROG:DU,QVSLWHRI this apparent anachronism, this term will here be used to indicate countries that belong geographically to Central, Southern or Eastern Europe, but were fated to fall under Soviet influence after World War II and were known for roughly four subsequent decades as the ³(DVWHUQ %ORF´ +DYLQJ OLYHG EHWZHHQ  DQG  LQ ZKDW ZDV then the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Joyce had of course ample firsthand experience of a state which included territories belonging to and population deriving from several countries later subsumed under the FDWHJRU\ RI ³(DVWHUQ (XURSH´ ± Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Bohemia, Slovakia, as well as Serbia, Albania, Romania, Poland and Ukraine.1 I am grateful to R. Brandon Kershner and Geert Lernout for their comments on earlier versions of this paper, to Fritz Senn for his continued readiness to send data, SKRWRFRSLHV DQG ZRUGV RI ZLVGRP DQG WR $UOHHQ ,RQHVFX 7DWMDQD -XNLü DQG ,YDQD 0LOLYRMHYLüIRUWKHLUKHOSZLth Romanian, Croatian and Serbian data. 1 $OWKRXJK WKH WHUP ³(DVWHUQ (XURSH´ LV UDWKHU RIIHQVLYH IRU PDQ\ LQKDELWDQWV RI these countries, I shall use it here in a neutral sense, and thus usually omit the otherwise richly deserved quotation marks henceforth. Given the complex and rather mutable political and ethnic make-up of the region in the past centuries, my list above is meant to indicate only the largest territories and populations.


Tekla Mecsnóber

Although -R\FH¶VUHODWLRQVKLSZLWK(DVWHUQ(XURSHDQFXOWXUHVZDV rich and complex, scholarly explorations of these facets have been relatively meagre. The organizers and sponsors of the 2006 International James Joyce Symposium of Budapest and Szombathely, held for the first time ever behind what used to be called the Iron Curtain, very consciously tried to take a step towards remedying this RPLVVLRQ %HDULQJ WKH WKHPH RI ³-R\FHDQ 8QLRQV´ WKH V\PSRVLXP took place in a country that, with several other ex-Eastern Bloc countries, had acceded to membership of the European Union two years earlier. With the help of special grants, this conference attracted an unprecedented number of Eastern European scholars. This essay is inspired by and greatly indebted to their contributions. I was VWLPXODWHG LQ SDUWLFXODU E\ 0DULDQQD *XOD¶V DQDO\VLV RI WKH \RXWKIXO -R\FH¶VUHVSRQVHWR³(FFH+RPR´  D PRQXPHQWDOSDLQWLQJE\ the Hungarian painter Mihály Munkácsy (1844-1900), Arleen ,RQHVFX¶VGLVFXVVLRQRI-R\FHDQLQIOXHQFHLQWKHIiction and criticism of the Romanian writer Ion Biberi (1904-  7DWMDQD -XNLü¶V H[SORUDWLRQ RI WKH IDWH RI -R\FHDQ ³VSHFWUHV´ DW WKH KDQG RI WKH Ulysses, the Restless 2QH´@ Átváltozások, No. 10 (1997): 44-53. I take the publication dates of Joyce¶s works from Goldmann, Joyce kritikai fogadtatása. 20 This argument was also used, for instance, by György Lukács (in 1956) and László Forgács (in 1957) to justify the starting of a new periodical devoted to foreign literature called Nagyvilág ³%LJ >[email protected] :RUOG´  7KH SKUDVHV DUH IURP )RUJiFV DV quoted in Goldmann, Joyce kritikai fogadtatása, p.109.


Tekla Mecsnóber

revolutionary peUPLVVLYHQHVVEHIRUHWKHUDQJHRI³WROHUDWHG´OLWHUDWXUH narrowed again. Within two years they managed to bring out fragments from the Portrait (1957), full translations of the Portrait (1958) and Dubliners (1959), as well as a few studies measuring -R\FH¶V texts against the criteria of socialist realism (finding the short stories generally valuable and the novel often deficient).21 A new Hungarian publication of Ulysses was under consideration as early as 1963, but it was delayed by several factors. One was the negative advice that was circulated in that year within the central VXSHUYLVRU\ RUJDQ RI +XQJDULDQ SXEOLVKHUV FRQFHUQLQJ ³WKH publication of problematic 20th FHQWXU\ ERXUJHRLV OLWHUDWXUH´ 7KLV document argued explicitly that the re-publishing of Joyce¶VERRNZDV rendered unnecessary by the availability of the earlier translation in OLEUDULHV LWV ³RXWGDWHG IRUPDO H[SHULPHQWDWLRQ´ LWV ³DOLHQDWLQJ´ DQG ³LQKXPDQ´ LGHRORJ\ DQG WKH SUREDEOH ODFN RI LQWHUHVW RQ WKH SDUW RI readers.22 Another factor was the taboo status that slang and sexuality had in the judgment of Hungarian decision-makers (and many readers) until at least the end of the 1960s. In general, although Ulysses could QRW EH VDLG WR FRQWDLQ LGHRORJLFDO WDERRV OLNH GLUHFW ³VODQGHU´ RQ WKH Soviet 8QLRQRURQVWDWHVRFLDOLVPDVVXFKWKHQRYHO¶VEODWDQWODFNRI conformity with the paradoxically conservative stylistic standards of WKHWKHRUHWLFDOO\SURJUHVVLYHLGHDORI³VRFLDOLVWUHDOLVP´GLGQRWDUJXH in its favour.23 It seems, then, to be a sign of a new period of relatively relaxed attitudes and of a further extension of the category of ³WROHUDWHG´OLWHUDWXUHWKDWFDXWLRXVSUHSDUDWLRQVIRUWKHUH-translation of Ulysses were begun in 1965, resulting in a new Hungarian text by 1974.24 Although complete with the obligatory afterword to guide the UHDGHUV¶ YDJUDQW UHVSRQVHV WKLV QHZ WH[W XQOLNH WKH  5RPDQLDQ version, was in no ZD\ ³VRIWHQHG´ RU FRPSURPLVHG LQ LWV FRQWHQW or 21

For the +XQJDULDQ SROLF\ RI ³SURKLELW SHUPLW WROHUDWH  DQG SURPRWH´ DOVR NQRZQDV³WKHWKUHH7¶V´ RIWLOWWĦUand támogat), see István Bart, Világirodalom és könyvkiadás a Kádár-korszakban [World Literature and Book Publishing in the Kádár Era] (Budapest: Scholastica, 2000), p. 33. For the publication of Dubliners and the Portrait, see Bart, Világirodalom, p. 98. For critical works on the Portrait and Dubliners in the late 1950s, see Goldmann, Joyce kritikai fogadtatása, pp. 110-128. 22 Bart, Világirodalom, p. 104. 23 For the taboos of sex, slang, and the critique of the Soviet Union, see Bart, Világirodalom, pp. 38-9. 24 For the extension of publishable literature after 1965 in Hungary see Bart, Világirodalom, 87ff.



style.25 Unlike its 1976 Czech counterpart, it also enjoyed wide availability, and became an unexpected success with readers and critics.26 Finnegans Wake, which could not be easily defended on the basis of any conventional kind of realism, remained an apparently undesirable text in Hungary until almost a decade later. In the 1960s and early 1970s, when both Joyce and avant-garde literature were still quite out of favour in Hungary itself, fragments of the Wake in a Hungarian version were (had to be) published abroad.27 However, by 1983 it was possible for the authors of a standard grammar school WH[WERRN WR VHOHFW WKH WDOH RI ³7KH 2QGW DQG WKH *UDFHKRSHU´ DV WKH -R\FH VDPSOH WH[W DQG SURYLGH D VXEVWDQWLDO GLVFXVVLRQ RI -R\FH¶V work.28 Still, a collection of all available Hungarian fragments from the Wake appeared only in 1992 in Hungary. As the focal point of critical attention, Ulysses functioned as something of a litmus test of the cultural political orthodoxy of Eastern European countries. The case of the Russian Ulysses is quite symbolic: two early translation projects were interrupted in 1936 amidst the increasing pressures of the Stalinist purges, and a complete QHZ  YHUVLRQ ZDV QRW SXEOLVKHG XQWLO (DVWHUQ (XURSH¶V HPEOHPDWLF year of freedom, 1989.29 In sharp contrast, in the former Yugoslavia, where the post-6WDOLQLVW³WKDZ´EHJDQas early as 1952, Ulysses could

25 For an account of how sexual content was toned down in the 1984 Romanian UlyssesVHH$UOHHQ,RQHVFX³8Q-Sexing Ulysses: The Romanian Translation µunder¶ &RPPXQLVP´ Scientia Traductionis, no. 8. (2010), 237-252, online:, accessed 20 March 2012. 26 The 1965 reader¶s report recommending the preparation of a new Hungarian translation of Ulysses was still trying to assure the director of publishing house Európa of the safety of the project on the basis that nobody would read the book anyway (Bart, Világirodalom, 105 n.196). According to Bohuslav Mánek, the 1976 Czech Ulysses ZDV RQO\ DYDLODEOH WR FRPPXQLVW SDUW\ ³VWDOZDUWV´ DQG FULWLFV DQG VFKRODUVZKRFRXOGFHUWLI\WKDWWKH\QHHGHGWKHERRNIRUSURIHVVLRQDOSXUSRVHV ³7KH Czech and 6ORYDN 5HFHSWLRQ´ S   7KH UHTXLUHPHQW ± or ruse ± of professional purposes also recalls, of course, the British situation in the 1920s and early 1930s. 27 Endre Bíró¶s translations of fragments of Finnegans Wake were first published in 1964 in Yugoslavia and in 1973 in Paris; see Goldmann, Joyce kritikai fogadtatása, pp. 182, 184. 28 For the controversial inclusion of the Wake in the 1983 Hungarian grammar school textbook and anthology, see Goldmann, Joyce kritikai fogadtatása, p. 171-3. 29 7DOO³7KH5HFHSWLRQRI-DPHV-R\FHLQ5XVVLD´SS-51, 255-6.


Tekla Mecsnóber

be translated and published in (Serbo-)Croatian in 1957.30 The case of ³(DVW´ *HUPDQ\ RIILFLDOO\ NQRZQ DV WKH *HUPDQ 'HPRFUDWLF Republic) provides probably the purest illustration of the influence of ideological factors on pXEOLVKLQJ -R\FH¶V ZRUN LQ WKH (DVWHUQ %ORF This is because German versions of the major texts had been available since the 1920s, and thus there was no necessity to wait for a translation to be completed. Still, it was not until the late 1970s that the apparent ban on the printing of Joyce was lifted. Cautiously beginning with Dubliners (1977), and moving on to the Portrait (1979) and Ulysses (1980), East German publishers printed most of -R\FH¶V RHXYUH ± DOWKRXJK ZLWK FRPSXOVRU\ ³JXLGHV´ DWWDFKHG DV afterwords or separate essays.31 The German case also highlights the fact that the publishing of ³WROHUDWHG´OLWHUDWXUHZKLFKH[SUHVVHGYDOXHVRUYLHZVQRWLQIODJUDQW conflict with, but different from those of the communist ideology, typically involved special techniques of control. With shorter works, this could mean the text having to be published in a few selected periodicals of limited circulation and in the company of evaluative studies.32 In the case of a book, a limitation could be put on the paper supply and thus the number of copies, access could be restricted in libraries and bookshops, and, as above, a corrective foreword or afterword could be appended.33 Although the fate of Joyce criticism in Eastern Europe is comparable to that of the translations, it is perhaps even more clearly 30

6HH 6RQMD %DãLü ³7KH 5HFHSWLRQ RI -DPHV -R\FH LQ &URDWLD´ LQ Reception, pp. 180-81. 31 :LFKW³'LVLQWHJUDWLRQ´SS-88. 32 In Hungary, Nagyvilág was for several years virtually the only periodical allowed WRSXEOLVKOLWHUDWXUHRIWKH³WROHUDWHG´RU³SHUPLVVLEOH´FDWHJRU\VHH*ROGPDQQ Joyce kritikai fogadtatása, S ,Q &HDXúHVFX¶s Romania, a similar role was played by Secolul 20 VHH $GULDQ 2ĠRLX ³µLe sens du pousser¶: On the Spiral of Joyce¶s 5HFHSWLRQLQ5RPDQLD´LQ/HUQRXWDQG9DQ0LHUOR, Reception, p. 200. 33 The 1959 Hungarian translation of Dubliners was allowed to be published in a very low number of copies; see Bart, Világirodalom, p. 98. As mentioned above, access to the Czech Ulysses ZDV WKH SULYLOHJH RI D IHZ VHH 0iQHN ³&]HFK DQG 6ORYDN5HFHSWLRQ´S7KHUHTXLUHPHQWWREULQJRXWWUDQVODWLRQVRI³GLVSXWDEOH´ works with ideologically orienting forewords or (it appears, increasingly) afterwords seems to have been particularly widespread. For a 1957 Hungarian party injunction, see Bart, Világirodalom, p. 38; for the situation in East German publishing, see Wicht, ³'LVLQWHJUDWLRQ´SS-IRUWKHFRUUHVSRQGLQJ&]HFKSUDFWLFHVHH0iQHN³&]HFK DQG6ORYDN5HFHSWLRQ´S



UHPLQLVFHQW RI -R\FH¶V RZQ VWUXJJOHV WR JHW SXEOLVKHG $IWHU somewhat sporadic critical reactions in the 1920s, 1930s and early V (DVWHUQ %ORF FULWLFLVP RQ ³ERXUJHRLV´ DXWKRUV OLNH -R\FH suffered from varying degrees of ideological pressure between the late 1940s and late 1980s. At its worst, this pressure could force dissenting FULWLFVWRFKRRVHIURPDKDQGIXORISRVVLELOLWLHVDOORZLQJRQH¶VYLHZV to (appear to) be modified until they became publishable, ceasing publishing, publishing illegally, publishing abroad, or moving abroad entirely. Among those who, for whatever reasons, made the first choice, we find the Hungarian Tibor Lutter. His case is especially revealing as his work on Joyce spans from the pre-Stalinist period XQWLOWKHUHLQIRUFHPHQWRIWKH³VRFLDOLVW´FXOWXUDOSROLWLFVDWWKHHQGRI the 1950s. As Márta Goldmann reports, Lutter made striking adjustments on his 1935 dissertation when he re-published it in 1959 in an apparent effort to conform to the precepts of socialist realism: he reversed a number of his previous judgements and dismissed the same phenomenon in the late 1950s that he had praised in the 1930s.34 $UOHHQ,RQHVFX¶VDQDO\VHVRIWKHZRUNRI5RPDQLDQFULWLFDQGZULter Ion Biberi afford insight into the case of another Eastern European Joycean whose criticism encompasses roughly the same period, but who does not seem to have substantially adjusted his published views to the ruling ideologies. This could be best done by not publishing on -R\FH DW DOO DUJXDEO\ LW ZDV SUHFLVHO\ %LEHUL¶V VLOHQFH LQ WKH V and early 1960s that allowed him to ignore orthodox views of Joyce ± or conversely, that it was his persistence in ignoring such tenets that kept him silent in that ideologically severe period.35 As Joyce would have been interested to know, however, works of banned authors ± OLNH WKH &]HFK FULWLF DQG WUDQVODWRU =GHQČN 8UEiQHN ± could sometimes be published in illegal samizdat publications.36 Occasionally, publishing in a more lenient Eastern Bloc country or HYHQ LQ WKH ³:HVW´ FRXOG DOVR EH DQ RSWLRQ: in the 1960s and early 1970s a few studies on Ulysses and the Wake were brought out in Hungarian literary journals published in Romania, Yugoslavia and


For a detailed discussion, see Goldmann, Joyce kritikai fogadtatása, pp. 115-125. +HU³%HODWHG5HFHSWLRQ´FRQWDLQVDEULHI(QJOLVKVXPPDU\RI7LERU/XWWHU¶s works. 35 For Biberi¶s work, see Arleen Ionescu¶V ³,QWHU-War Romania: Misinterpreting Joyce and %H\RQG´LQ/HUQRXWDQG9DQ0LHUOR, Reception, pp. 214-8. 36 0iQHN³7KH&]HFKDQG6ORYDN5HFHSWLRQ´S


Tekla Mecsnóber

Paris.37 Owing at least partly to the lack of free expression in their native countries, many intellectuals did of course go the whole length and moved to Western Europe or North America. All in all, it is a fitting although by no means favourable circumstance that Eastern European scholars of Joyce were subjected to very similar conditions RI³VLOHQFHH[LOHDQGFXQQLQJ´DVWKH,ULVKZULWHUKLPVHOI-R\FHKDG also experienced what it was like when publishers and editors demanded and supplied textual adjustments, when a book was banned and had to be published in another country, when a work was illegally printed (although in his case, this was not much to his liking), and what it was like to spend most of his adult life away from his native environment in pursuit of more intellectual freedom. $IWHU RFFDVLRQDO SHULRGV RI ³WKDZ´ WKH FROODSVH RI (DVWHUQ European regimes around 1989 finally removed the necessity to consider communist ideological guidelines, helping local Joyceans to intensify their activities. Translators and publishers have published new editions of Joyce and artists have explored the inspiration of -R\FH¶V ZRUN $V ZLWQHVVHG E\ -R\FH V\PSRVLD DQG YDULRXV RWKHU forums and publications, Eastern European scholars have been increasingly contributing to the ongoing international scholarly discourse on the Irish writer.38 (DVWHUQ(XURSHLQ-R\FH¶V:RUN Although potentially elusive, the presence of Eastern Europe in -R\FH¶V ZRUN LV SHUVLVWHQW -R\FH UHOLHV RQ WKH UHJLRQ DV D VRXUFH RI reference points and subtexts from Dubliners to Finnegans Wake, more or less in keeping with his own personal exposure to matters Eastern European. The early fiction illustrates this elusiveness. Ferenc Takács has demonstrated how in the Dubliners VWRU\ HQWLWOHG ³$IWHU WKH 5DFH´ written in the Austro-Hungarian city of Pola, the oddly named Hungarian Villona appears to be a sensuous and artistic foil to the repressed Irish Jimmy Doyle.39 The fragmentary Stephen Hero, 37

For examples, see Goldmann, Joyce kritikai fogadtatása, pp. 182, 184. Such successful forums of scholarship have been, for instance, the (Praguebased) Hypermedia Joyce Studies and Litteraria Pragensia Books, the Trieste Joyce School, or, on a smaller scale, the Szombathely Joyce conferences. 39 )HUHQF 7DNiFV ³-R\FH DQG +XQJDU\´ LQ Literary Interrelations: Ireland, England and the World, ed. W. Zach and H. Kosok (Tübingen: Günter Narr Verlag, 1987), vol. 3, p. 164. 38



ZULWWHQGXULQJWKHILUVW\HDUVRI-R\FH¶V$XVWUR-Hungarian experience in Pola DQG 7ULHVWH XVHV 6WHSKHQ¶V UHMHFWLRQ RI WKH ,ULVK-Hungarian SDUDOOHO VNHWFKHG E\ $UWKXU *ULIILWK¶V The Resurrection of Hungary for illustrating how Stephen transcends the blind nationalism of his ³SDWULRWLF´IHOORZVWXGHQWV:KLOHWKHODWWHUHUURQHRXVO\Whought that a ³JORZLQJH[DPSOHZDVWREHIRXQGIRU,UHODQGLQWKHFDVHRI+XQJDU\ DQ H[DPSOH >«@ RI D ORQJ-VXIIHULQJ PLQRULW\ >«@ ILQDOO\ HPDQFLSDWLQJ LWVHOI´ WKH ³\RXQJ VNHSWLF´ 6WHSKHQ LV WULXPSKDQWO\ DZDUHRI³WKHFDSDEOHDJJUHVVLRQVRIWKH0DJ\DUV>+ungarians] upon the Latin [Romanian] and Slav [Slovak, Croat, Serb, Ukrainian] and Teutonic [Swabian and Saxon German] populations, greater than WKHPVHOYHV LQ QXPEHU ZKLFK DUH SROLWLFDOO\ DOOLHG WR WKHP´ SH 62). While Joyce eliminated this piece of rather direct political propaganda from the re-written A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and VKRUWHQHGDQGVPRRWKHG6WHSKHQ¶VFULWLTXHRIWKHSDFLILVWSODQVRIWKH 5XVVLDQWVDULQWRWKHVHHPLQJO\DSROLWLFDOFODLPWKDW³+HKDVWKHIDFH of a besotted ChrisW´ P 194), he did return to a more specific exploration of Hungarian and Eastern European matters in Ulysses. This conscious return can be seen encoded in his decision to transform WKH0U+XQWHURIWKHVKRUWVWRU\KHSODQQHGWRFDOO³8O\VVHV´LQ (JJII 230, 161-2, 375) into the Mr Bloom of the novel Ulysses, with his emphatically Hungarian ancestry by the names of Virag and Karoly. 2QH SHUVSHFWLYH ZKHUH %ORRP¶V (DVWHUQ (XURSHDQ URRWV EHFRPH significant in Ulysses is again the Griffithian political parallel. This is treated here with rather more sympathy than in Stephen Hero, although strongly informed by the inevitable irony arising from the practice of importing an exclusionary ideology like nationalism from another nation. This of course manifests itself as the rumour that it is Bloom, with his Jewish Hungarian background, who provided the PDLQLGHDIRU*ULIILWK¶VTXLQWHVVHQWLDOO\,ULVKQDWLRQDOLVWLFPRYHPHQW ,QWKH³&\FORSV´HSLVRGH-RKQ:\VH1RODQVXJJHVWV³LWZDV%ORRP gave the ideas for Sinn )HLQ WR *ULIILWK WR SXW LQ KLV SDSHU´ (U 12.1574- DQG0DUWLQ&XQQLQJKDPNQRZLQJO\FRQILUPV³± He's DSHUYHUWHGMHZ>«@IURPDSODFHLQ+XQJDU\DQGLWZDVKHGUHZXS all the plans according to the Hungarian system. We know that in the FDVWOH´ U 12.1635- 7KXV%ORRP¶V(DVWHUQ(XURSHDQURRWVEHFRPH a means of relativizing the idea of home-grown nationalism, while at


Tekla Mecsnóber

WKH VDPH WLPH VWUHVVLQJ WKH -HZLVK KHUR¶V SRVLWLRQ DV DQ RXWVLGHU WKURXJKWKHHYRFDWLRQRI%ORRP¶VH[RWLFSURYHQDQFH The material and VSLULWXDO PDQLIHVWDWLRQV RI %ORRP¶V +XQJDULDQ (and, more broadly, Eastern European) background look rather haphazard, but are quite numerous.40 This heritage includes objects OLNH ³VRPH DVVRUWHG $XVWULDQ-+XQJDULDQ FRLQV´ ³ FRXSRQV RI WKH Royal and PrivileJHG +XQJDULDQ /RWWHU\´ U 17.1807-8), an ³LQGLVWLQFW GDJXHUUHRW\SH RI 5XGROI 9LUDJ DQG KLV IDWKHU /HRSROG Virag executed in the year 1852 in the portrait atelier of their (respectively) 1st and 2nd cousin, Stefan Virag of Szesfehervar, +XQJDU\´ U 17.1875- ³DORFDOSUHVVFXWWLQJFRQFHUQLQJFKDQJHRI QDPH E\ GHHGSROO´ WHVWLI\LQJ WR WKH +XQJDULDQ RULJLQ DQG IRUPHU +XQJDULDQ VXUQDPH RI %ORRP¶V IDWKHU U 17.1866-67), as well as, intriguingly, Austro-Hungarian and potentially also Jewish41 genetic material froP ³EORQG DQFHVWU\ UHPRWH D YLRODWLRQ +HUU +DXSWPDQQ +DLQDX $XVWULDQ DUP\´ U 17.868-  )XUWKHUPRUH %ORRP¶V bookshelves house another vestige of Central or Eastern European existence, Soll und Haben by Gustav Freytag (U 17.1383-4). The *HUPDQDXWKRU¶V hugely popular 1855 book is (in)famous for its antiSlav and anti-Jewish bias, but the very fact that Bloom has this book in the original (although an English version had been available from WKH ODWH V  SULQWHG LQ WKH WUDGLWLRQDO *HUPDQ ³*RWKLF´ (blackletter) typeface, suggests that the volume is either an inheritance IURP %ORRP¶V IDWKHU ZKR PD\ KDYH HDVLO\ ERXJKW LW LQ +XQJDU\ RU Austria, or, less likely, a nostalgic acquisition by Bloom himself. In either case it is a remainder and reminder of the familiarity with the 40

One of the earliest critics seriously to analyze Bloom¶V+XQJDULDQ³KHULWDJH´ZDV Robert Tracy, who concluded that Bloom¶s Hungarian background is chiefly important for the politicaODQDORJ\EHWZHHQ,UHODQGDQG+XQJDU\VHH³/HRSROG%ORRP Fourfold: A Hungarian-Hebraic-Hellenic-+LEHUQLDQ +HUR´ The Massachussetts Review 6 [Spring-Summer 1965], p. 526. For others, like Robert Martin Adams and, following him, Erwin R. Steinberg, Bloom¶s Hungarian origin is as irrelevant as his Jewish ancestry; see Adams, Surface and Symbol: The Consistency of James Joyce¶s 8O\VVHV 1HZ [email protected] WKH XQLIRUP RI WKH $XVWULDQ GHVSRW LQ D GDQN SULVRQ´ U 15.1662-3.), and of his IDWKHU¶V PLJUDWLRQVIURP 6]RPEDWKHO\ WKURXJK 9LHQQD %XGDSHVW RU Budapest, Vienna) Milan, Florence and London to Dublin (U 17.535   +H UHPHPEHUV KDYLQJ ³KDG´ Tales of the Ghetto by the Austro-Hungarian Galician Leopold von Sacher Masoch (U 10.5912), appears sympathetic to the Eastern European-born internationalist project of Esperanto (U 15.1691-2), and has a distinct association in KLVPLQGRI)UDQ] RU)HUHQF /LV]W¶V+XQJDULDQUKDSVRGLHVZLWKJLSV\ eyes (U 11.983). One of these rhapsodies, number 15, a reworking of the Rákóczy March, Bloom is reported to hear at his departure from WKH SXE DW WKH HQG RI ³&\FORSV´ U 12.1828). His more ambitious IDQWDVLHV LQ ³&LUFH´ LQFOXGH ZHDULQJ ³saint Stephen's iron crown´ (U 15.1439) (which is the historic Hungarian crown and is HPSKDWLFDOO\³LURQ´LQ*ULIILWK¶V Resurrection of Hungary, but not in reality), and contracting his features to resemble the Hungarian revolutionary Louis (Lajos) Kossuth (U 15.1847). Somewhat more realistically, he also has visions of interaction with his Hungarian-born Jewish father and grandfather (the latter of whom he clearly never met). These conversations involve Yiddish, German, and English WLQWHG ZLWK «@1XYROHWWDOLVWHQHGDVVKHUHIOHFWHGKHUVHOI, though the heavenly one with his constellatria and his emanations stood EHWZHHQ >«@ 1RW HYHQ KHU IHLJQW UHIOHFWLRQ 1XYROXFFLD FRXOG WKH\ WRNH WKHLU JQRVHV RII IRU WKHLU PLQG >«@ 7KHQ 1XROHWWD UHIOHFWHG IRU the last time in her little long life and she made up all her myriads of drifting minds in one. She cancelled all her engauzements. She climbed over the bannistars; she gave a childy cloudy cry: Nuée! Nuée! (FW 157.8-25; 159.6-9)

Echoes of Triestine dialect are also to be heard in Finnegans Wake often anglicizeG LQ ZRUGV VXFK DV ³FDJDFLW\´ FW 108.18), from the WULHVWLQR³FDJDU´ ,WDOLDQGHIHFDUH(QJOLVKGHIHFDWH DQGWKH(QJOLVK ³VDJDFLW\´17 Sometimes the spellings are completely original but perfectly recreate the pronunciation ± the inability of Triestines to say WKHLU ³H´ ZKLFK EHFRPHV D KDUG ³D´ DV LQ ³HVFDSD VDQVD SDJDU´ (FW   ZKLFK ZRXOG UHDG LQ 7ULHVWLQH ³H VFDSD VHQ]D SDJDU´ (and runs away without paying). Triestine words are inserted in phrases essentially written in standard English. We find the word 16

Nicolò Tommaseo, Dizionario dei Sinonimi (Milano: Francesco Vallardi, 1908), p.558. 17 Some of these DUHOLVWHGLQ6HUHQHOOD=DQRWWL³7KH,PDJHRIWKH,WDOLDQ/DQJXDJH in Finnegans Wake´LQProspero, Rivista di culture anglo-germaniche 7 (2000): 145158.

Joyce, il Bel Paese and the Italian Language


³0RQD´ UHIHUULQJWRWKHIHPDOHVH[XDORUJDQDQGDFRPPRQWHUPRI abuse) used to transform an apparently innocuous and even romantic English phrase into a heavily sexualizeG V\QWDJP ³:DV 0RQD P\ own love, no bigger than she should be, making up to you in her bestbehaved manor when you made your breastlaw and made her, tell PH"´ FW 464.32-34) This example is fairly typical of how Joyce used Italian curses, oaths and vulgar expressions. Very often, in Finnegans Wake WKH RQO\ ³RIIHQGLQJ DUWLFOH´ LV WKH ,WDOLDQ RQH 6LPLODUO\ ZH ILQG WKH IROORZLQJ H[DPSOH LQ 1RWHERRN 9,% ³. ZRQGHUV ZK\ FD]]R JLYHQ´ 9%  7KH ³FD]]R´ LV D vulgar expression for the male sexual organ. From these rather low depths Joyce reached effortlessly upwards into Italian literature and Dante. His works are packed with references WR 'DQWH $OLJKLHUL RU ³'HQWL $OOLJDWRU´ DV KH LV FDOOHG LQ Finnegans Wake. Joyce read La Divina Commedia for the first time in his final school years at Belvedere College, and again with Padre Carlo Ghezzi, DW8QLYHUVLW\&ROOHJH'XEOLQ0RUHWKDQRQFHKHFODLPHGWKDW³,WDOLDQ OLWHUDWXUHEHJLQVDQGHQGVZLWK'DQWH´³,ORYH'DQWe almost as much DVWKH%LEOH+HLVP\VSLULWXDOIRRGWKHUHVWLVEDOODVW´ JJII 218). Nothing new here. But what is new is that among the new materials at the National Library of Ireland we now find 28 pages of DQQRWDWLRQV WR 'DQWH 7KHVH ³QRWD]LRQL´ Wo use the word Joyce himself employs on the opening page of his notebook, are fascinating. Each page corresponds to a canto number and contains citations, comments, sometimes translations of difficult sentences. 25 of the 34 Cantos of the inferno are covered.18 This notebook is a Dublin one. Once he got to Trieste, Joyce returned to Dante having bought a copy of Vita Nuova and his fascination with the Italian author never waned. Dante offered Joyce an unprecedented model of linguistic polysemy and plurality, one to emulate, learn and borrow from as well as to parody and challenge.19 /RXLV*LOOHW¶VZRUGVVXJJHVWSDUDOOHOVLQWHUPV of multiple readings which are possible in both the Divina Commedia and Finnegans Wake³7KHWH[W>Work in Progress] has to be read like 'DQWH¶V DFFRUGLQJ WR VHYHUDO VXSHULPSRVHG PHDQLQJV 7KHUH LV D 18

For further information see Dirk Van Hulle, Joyce and Beckett, Discovering Dante (Dublin: National Library of Ireland, 2004). 19 See Lucia Boldrini, Joyce, Dante, and Poetics of Literary Relations: Language and Meaning in Finnegans Wake (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), p.6.


John McCourt

literal meaning, an allegorical meaning, and perhaps several others ± DOPRVWDVPDQ\DVWKHVNLQVRIDQRQLRQ´20 )XUWKHUPRUH'DQWH¶VXVH of language is a model for Joyce as is his insistent use of the YHUQDFXODU -R\FH DSSUHFLDWHG %HFNHWW¶V GHVFULSWLRQ RI 'DQWH¶V ³V\QWKHWLF ODQJXDJH WKDW ZRXOG DW OHDVW SRVVHVV PRUH WKDQ D FLUFXPVFULEHGORFDOLQWHUHVW´21 and presumably saw a parallel with his own literary language. The language of Finnegans Wake is also synthetic. The word, in -R\FH¶VKDQGVWDNHVRQDOLIHRILWVRZQUHVLVWVFODVVLILFDWLRQVDQGLWV ethnology incarnates the idea of hybridization, contamination, migration, stratification, assimilation. This is part of the greatness of later Joyce, a man writing between the shadows of two world wars, under the threat of exasperated nationalisms, and the rampant Fascism and Nazism that were about to tear Europe apart. The Italian language became for him an important element in his mission to explode the notion that English or any other language for that matter could be used as means to classify a race. Joyce came to refuse the very word race, the idea of purity summed up the blend of Irish-German nationalism in Finnegans Wake DV WKH ³HLUHVW Uace, the ourest nation, the airest SODFHWKDWHUHVWDWLRQHG´ FW 514.36-515.1). Writing against notions of SXUH$U\DQDQGSXUH,ULVKKHUH-R\FHJDYHYRLFHWRWKH³FRQIXVLRQLQJ RIKXPDQUDFHV´ FW 35.5) and in doing so gave voice to a union of languages and to the Europe he saw from afar, longed for from Dublin and discovered at first hand in the multicultural city of Trieste, and in Zurich, city of refugees and later in Paris. In this way, the earlier cited example of the steps from San Nicolò to Santa Claus can be read as an early Joycean prototype for this vastly ambitious project. The addition of a letter or two can change race and meaning, can cause something to become something else. The knowledge of this lies at the heart of -R\FH¶VGHPROLWLRQRIWKHHxasperated nationalism of the countries at war and his attempt to give voice to Europe itself which caused him, IRURQFHWRHDWWKRVHZRUGVRIKLVZULWWHQIURP3RODLQ³,KDWH this Catholic country with its hundred races and its thousand ODQJXDJHV´ Letters I 57). 7KLVHIIHFWRI-R\FH¶V³FRQIXVLRQLQJ´LVWRXQLWHDOO-R\FHUHDGHUV as foreigners (or Italians) before the provisionally English text of 20

Louis Gillet, Claybook for James Joyce (London and New York: AbelardSchuman, 1958), p. 58. 21 Quoted in Van Hulle, Joyce & Beckett, p. 58.

Joyce, il Bel Paese and the Italian Language


Finnegans Wake and yet also to empower each and everyone to bring his own language and experience to bear on the limitless linguistical union that is his last book.



'XULQJ WKHLU FRQYHUVDWLRQ LQ WKH FDEPDQ¶V VKHOWHU LQ ³(XPDHXV´ Stephen and Bloom hit on the following misunderstanding: ± You suspect, Stephen retorted with a sort of half laugh, that I may be important because I belong to the faubourg Saint Patrice called Ireland for short. ± I would go a step farther, Mr Bloom insinuated. ± But I suspect, Stephen interrupted, that Ireland must be important because it belongs to me. (U 16.1160-65)

The terms Stephen uses to describe their two different approaches to his relationship to Ireland are also those we require in order to discuss whether the state of contemporary Ireland has anything to bring to Joyce scholarship. Indeed, they are the terms with which we might WKLQN PRUH JHQHUDOO\ DERXW ZKDW SODFH LI DQ\ ³,ULVK 6WXGLHV´KDV LQ the ongoing project of interpreting Ulysses, now that the specific local references have mostly been annotated and identified. Is Ulysses important because it belongs to Ireland or is Ireland important because it belongs to Joyce? For practitioners of Irish Studies, for those whose principal object of study is Ireland, Ulysses is important as a vast encyclopaedia not only of Irishness, but of Irishness-as-worldliness, the universe as construed through the lens of Dublin. For true-blue Joyceans, on the other hand, the study of Ireland is important because insider knowledge of local arcana can illuminate otherwise obscure parts of the books. Ulysses, published abroad, championed by foreigners, banned at home, belonged to the world long before it ever ZDVDQDFFHSWHGSDUWRIDQDWLRQDOWUDGLWLRQDW³KRPH´7KH'XEOLQLQ which the novel was set ± colonial, Edwardian, small, and, in crucial ways, British ± was disappearing even in 1922. During the years of the boom, Dublin, long an independent capital rather than colonial outpost, grew ever more distant from the realities of Ulysses. During those years, it seemed to be at the centre, not the periphery of Europe,


Barry McCrea

wealthy, busy and sleek rather than poor, idle and ramshackle, a destination for fortune-seekers from all over the globe rather than a source of emigrant labor for the rest of the world. Yet during this time, the tendency to read Ulysses through the lens of Irish studies has increased rather than decreased. Much scholarship indeed now reads Ulysses as though Irishness were not the condition of its setting, the frame for its expression, but instead the essence residing at its interpretative core, an irreducible, indispensable, secret code for understanding the book. As though, in short, Ulysses were important because it belongs to Ireland, and not the other way round. Did or do Ireland and contemporary Dublin have any legitimate place at all in the discussion of Ulysses? Does a modern reader have any genuine Joycean business visiting the actual, physical city in postboom 2012? The streetscape and physical appearance of the city have been unrecognizable since the 1960s: cars and buses have replaced the horses and cabbies (though the Celtic Tiger did bring about the return of the tram), the population is triple what it was in 1904, the small, semi-rural villages on the outskirts, like Stillorgan, Dalkey and Dundrum are now integrated hives of suburban bustle ± and so on. But before the boom, right up to the mid-1990s, something had remained in the Dublin air which was not just ineffably reminiscent of Ulysses but which was capable of adding to an understanding of the text and its evolution. It was a kind of shabby gentility, a combination of lofty educational aspirations with a dismal economic climate, and, most of all a sense of being at the edge of the world, on the outside looking in. This atmosphere peculiar to Dublin, of being sort of in the first world and sort of outside it, sort of functioning and sort of a shambles, evoked the particular conditions that produced Ulysses: the shadow, in other words, of semi-postcolonialism which persisted in a slowly dwindling form, through the sixties, seventies and eighties, ULJKW XQWLO WKH 7LJHU ZDV ZHOO XQGHUZD\  -LPP\ 5DELWWH¶V SKUDVH LQ 5RGG\ 'R\OH¶V The Commitments ³WKH ,ULVK DUH WKH QLJJHUV RI (XURSH´ VRIWHQHGLQWKHILOPWR³WKHEODFNVRI(XURSH´ ZDVXVHGE\ a character explaining why soul music was the natural medium of H[SUHVVLRQ IRU 'XEOLQHUV  7KH XQGHUVWDQGLQJ ZDV WKDW WKH QDWLRQ¶V artistic activity and its status as an economic backwater were interconnected; the semi-colonial state produced a semi-colonial style, a combination of high and low culture, of local colour and universal concerns, of small-town interactions and mythic archetypes, literary



language and popular speech. The Commitments, the masterpiece of the last phase of pre-boom Ireland, was published in 1987, a period of massive unemployment which recorded the highest level of emigration from the State, with exception of the 1950s (emigration peaked, in fact, in 1989, only a few years before the boom was in full swing).1 The outward manifestations of semi-coloniality might have changed radically, unrecognizably, since the turn of the century, but structurally, this relationship to the rest of the world remained in place right until the first years of the 1990s. For me, The Commitments is the last artistic expression of semi-FRORQLDO,UHODQG'R\OH¶VODWH-1980s Dublin in The Commitments has something in common with Thomas 3OXQNHWW¶V SRUWUD\DO RI WKH FLW\ GXULQJ WKH  ORFNRXW LQ Strumpet City (1969). If The Commitments is the last work of that Dublin, Riverdance, the jazzed-up Irish dancing performed during the interval of the Irish-hosted Eurovision song contest in 1994, is the moment, FXOWXUDOO\ DW ZKLFK WKDW ,UHODQG HQGHG DQG WKH ³&HOWLF 7LJHU´ EHJDQ The statue of Joyce on North Earl Street was unveiled in 1990; it is VWULNLQJ WR QRWH WKDW WKH EHJLQQLQJ RI WKH HQG RI -R\FH¶V 'XEOLQ FRLQFLGHVDOPRVWH[DFWO\ZLWKWKHEHJLQQLQJRI'XEOLQ¶VGLVFRYHU\RI Joyce. Before the Celtic Tiger, when an internationally-renowned epic constructed out of a poor, ramshackle, neglected outpost of a city would have been of some spiritual use to the nation, Ulysses had a marginal role in national cultural life. Its unbanning did not bring it closer to the national soul. School curriculums until very recently did not include any Joyce (and do so now only as a marginal option). This fact often shocks literary people from outside Ireland, but it is not surprising within the Irish context itself. And while it may have something to do with the fact that education in Ireland is still institutionally connected to the Church, its peripheral presence in school and college curriculums does not feel shocking in Ireland for the simple reason that Joyce (unlike, say, Yeats or Heaney) had never 1

³Population of each Province at each census since 1926, distinguishing the components of population change in each intercensal period since 1911, 2002´, Central Statistics Office Ireland, accessed 1 December 2011, census/2002censusreports/census2002volume4-usualresidencemigrationbirthplaces andnationalities/ or Id=1422.


Barry McCrea

been aV FHQWUDO WR ,UHODQG¶V LPDJH RI LWVHOI DV LW KDV EHHQ WR RWKHU SODFHV¶ LPDJH RI ,UHODQG   8QWLO WKH HFRQRPLF ERRP WRRN RII DV D cultural artifact or symbol, Ulysses was hardly part of the national self-imagination at all, from Ireland but not of it. It remained the preserve, not of the ordinary élite, the cultivated upper-middle classes (as Proust in France or Goethe in Germany) but of a small, marginal, bohemian segment of the population. Until the 1990s, I think it is safe to say, Ulysses, even as an unread cultural trophy, had almost no popular function whatsoever in the general Irish self-image. One of the reasons for this is that Dublin culture was never identified with national soul at all: quite the opposite, in fact. Post-independence Ireland has always had an anti-urban bias; cities are English, Protestant, imposed, un-Irish, and it is as much this as its revolutionary obscenities that kept Ulysses to the margins of the QDWLRQ¶VVWRU\RILWVHOI2 The modern incarnation of Ulysses as a national symbol and civic treasure is to some degree a product, like ghost estates and the glass city of the docklands, of the economic boom. During the years of the Celtic Tiger, the literary success represented Ulysses, the great modernist epic set in an impoverished city, seemed in retrospect, LURQLFDOO\WRKDYHEHHQDSURSKHV\RI,UHODQG¶VHFRQRPLFWULXPSK,W was this ± WKHVWRU\RI,UHODQG¶VHPHUJLQJJUHDWQHVV ± that linked the Dublin of Ulysses and the Dublin of Anglo-Irish Bank. The sense of proprietorship or continuity that some of us Irish readers assume for RXUVHOYHVZLWK-R\FH¶V'XEOLQPD\KDYHWRGRZLWKDJXLOW\GHVLUHWR remain on the inside of a mysterious charmed circle, inscrutable, winking native informants. Worse than this, our insistence on our own insiderness even with regard to Ulysses comes out of a very particular form of self-conscious Irishness which flourished during the boom: the sneaking feeling that a distinct Irish culture or identity do not really exist anymore, but that they are instead spectacles that must be mounted for foreigners, for, so the secret, repressed thinking goes, 2

Consider, for example, the odd fact that although the country has become overwhelmingly urban and relatively well off, and has more than 100% penetration of mobile phones (i.e. there are more active mobile phones than people in the state, see, high-profile contemporary Irish theatre is nonetheless still dominated by plays of rural poverty in which technology and the realities of contemporary social networks are entirely absent 0DUWLQ0F'RQDJK¶V/HHQDQHWrilogy, for example).



as long as foreigners believe there is a vibrant, living Irish culture, then it exists. The insistence on the particularity of Irish readings of Ulysses may be founded on a secret fear that Joyce does not, in the end, belong to Ireland at all. The discovery of Joyce by Irish Studies may have more in common with the discovery of him during the boom years by the Irish Tourist Board, hotel chains, Allied Irish Banks and Temple Bar pubs than we might like to think. It is ironic that Joyce and Ulysses had a boom of their own along with the economic boom of Ireland and its capital, their value fully discovered and realized as the Dublin they depicted finally seemed to be fading away for good. But there are ways in which it made a certain sense: the discovery of economic potential and its exploitation was matched with that of Ulysses DVDQDWLYH³DVVHW´ZKLFKPLJKWDOVREHWXUQHGWRSURILW So it is was one of the odder effects of the economic boom that Ulysses not only came in from the shadows but suddenly became DOPRVW ,UHODQG¶V HPEOHPDWLF QDWLRQDO WH[W D FKLHI FXOWXUDO LFRQ RI Dublin, a symbol, like the Book of Kells, of Irishness itself. Little sums up the atmosphere of Celtic Tiger Dublin more than my hometown of Sandycove, on the 16th of June: where once there were hordes of scrawny, gap-toothed boys jumping off the rocks in their underpants into a scrotum-tightening sea awash with empty cidercans, condoms and used syringes, oblivious to the handful of eccentrics with boaters and canes conducting readings, throughout the Tiger years, lines of BMWs, Saabs and Mercedes clogged the narrow path up to the Martello Tower to watch local worthies in Edwardian drHVVVLQJ³/RYH¶V2OG6ZHHW6RQJ´&RQVSLFXRXVFRQVXPSWLRQDQG conspicuous Joyceanism emerged in strict parallel. Throughout those boom years, both state and private groups ± hotels, banks, government ministers, and, of course, pubs ± fell over one another to Joyceify. The heavy-duty corporate and Government sponsorship of the centenary symposium in 2004 made this clear. The naming of the &DODWUDYD EULGJH DFURVV WKH /LIIH\ DV WKH ³-DPHV -R\FH %ULGJH´ DQG WKH ,ULVK 1DWLRQDO /LEUDU\¶V ILUVW VLJQLILFDQW SXUchase of Ulyssesrelated manuscripts, were both signs of the new place Joyce has in the imaginative life of the State. As Ferenc Takács explained in an excellent analysis of the growing of the Joyce cult since the 1980s, the circumstances surrounding the acquisition of these papers highlights strange place Joyce has come to occupy in rich, corporate Ireland:


Barry McCrea [T]he heritage fund of the Irish government and Allied Irish Banks MRLQWO\IRRWHGWKHELOOZKLFKLIQRWD³ELOOLRQ-GROODU´RQHLVUHSRUWHG to have UXQWR WKHKHIW\ VXP RI¼PLOOLRQ *RYHUQPHQWDQGKLJK finance banded together to acquire for Ireland what was obviously regarded as a sacred object and national relic: obviously, its significance for Joycean scholarship alone would not have justified paying such an astronomical price for the manuscript. That this was the case was highlighted by the ceremonial trappings of the event of the arrival of the manuscript in Ireland. According to newspaper accounts, on May 29, 2002, Síle de Valera, Minister for Arts, Hertitage, Gaeltacht landed in Dublin Airport, descended the stairs of the plane with a box in her hand containing the manuscript, and ceremoniously handed it over to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern; the precious acquisition was, then, taken to the National Library by a stately motorcade procession and solemnly deposited there as sacred relic, 3 national asset and public property.

The Joycean visiting Dublin from overseas could not but have been struck at the way in which up-market restaurants, banks and even nightclubs deck themselves out with literary paraphernalia, bits of Beckett, Oscar Wilde, but most of all with pieces of Joyce, and most of all with Ulysses. It is not too much to say that the idea of Ulysses and the cult of Joyce became one of the flagship products of the Celtic Tiger, one of its signs and symbols, one of its defining brands. It seems illogical that something like Ulysses ± inaccessible, difficult, unpackagable, unownable, public ± would become one of the iconic brands of a society proud of its sudden ability to buy, sell and earn, one which is self-evidently obsessed with consumption, profit and property. This paradox expressed itself unconsciously in a conversation with a middle-aged man I had on the train from Galway to Dublin in 2006. He told me he was going to England to see his daughter, but was afraid of flying. So instead of the plane, he was going on the useless  , WKRXJKW LW ZDV DQ H[SUHVVLRQ , GLGQ¶W NQRZ DQGDVNHGKLPZKDWKHPHDQW³-R\FHDQG[email protected]SODFHLQDUHQDV VXFK DV WKH -R\FH 0XVHXP DQG WKH QRZ XSVFDOH 'DY\ %\UQH¶V 3XE DQG 5HVWDXUDQW >[email protected] WKDW -R\FH QRZ KHOSV OHJLWLPDWH 'XEOLQ¶V HOLWLVW ± µ1HZ $VFHQGDQF\¶ ± upper middle claVV´ ³)RUJLQJ WKH 1DWLRQ -DPHV -R\FH DQG WKH &HOWLF 7LJHU´ LQ ³,UHODQG ´ HG 0DULD 3UDPDJJLRUH VSHFLDO LVVXH Jouvert: A Journal of Postcolonial Studies 4, no. 1 (Fall 1999), accessed 1 December 2011,



understand in terms of Joyce, since what hotel, after all, wants to advertise tenement chic? The Ulysses-themed luxury lounges on board the high-speed ferry, and many other depOR\PHQWV RI -R\FH GXULQJ 'XEOLQ¶V VSHOO DV D glamorous, high-end capital, come very close to the parodies in Hugh /HRQDUG¶VThe Patrick Pearse Motel  ,Q/HRQDUG¶VSOD\WZR HQWUHSUHQHXUV RZQ D KRWHO SDUW RI WKHLU FKDLQ ³0RWKHU ,UHODQG 0RWHOV´LQ which each room is named after an Irish patriot, and the UHVWDXUDQWLVFDOOHG³7KH)DPLQH5RRP´The Patrick Pearse motel is a work that seems astonishingly prescient, indeed the only work of Irish literature that seems to predict the peculiar cultural aesthetic of the boom, in which corporate opulence was oddly married to a fond idea of Ireland as a colonial, impoverished underdog. This is the other interesting twist to the commodification of Joyce as a Dublin brand, one that is connected with other cultural trends during the boom, which is that poverty and emigration themselves, once they were no longer pressing social realities, became commodified as valuable parts of the national self image. Aware that the unusual pre-Tiger characteristics of the country, a first-world nation characterized by unemployment, deprivation and outward migration, gave birth not only to the particular artistic universe of Ulysses, but to the affection the country and its people received from DEURDG³%UDQG,UHODQG´ DVLWZDV actually termed) found itself in the throes of a dilemma during the boom. American and French tourists who are in search of something original in Ireland are not looking for ZHDOWK DQG HQWHUSULVH EXW IRU VRPHWKLQJ ³VSLULWXDO´ WKDW RQO\ D ZLOG undeveloped, culturally rich but economically poor place can offer. This awkward equation, whereby material poverty was the price of spiritual riches, was confronted with an obvious problem while Ireland enjoyed economic success. The response was a kind of sleight of hand whereby the poverty and peripherality were absorbed and remodeled as a sort of chic, original twist on success. Malouf quotes the Industrial Development $XWKRULW\ DV VD\LQJ RQ RQH YHUVLRQ RI LWV ZHEVLWH ³0LVVLQJ WKH Industrial Revolution was the best thing that ever happened to the ,ULVK´7 Joyce, an emigrant from an impoverished city, when manipulated as a brand image to represent expensive luxury goods and 7



Barry McCrea

³OLIHVW\OH´ EHFDPH DQ LQYDOXDEOH DVVHW LQ VXWXULQJ WKLV FRQWUDGLFWLRQ And, however much Joyceans might recoil at the idea, the seeds and possibilities of this manipulation are already present in Ulysses, a novel which yokes together the cultural preserves of an international élite together with the fabric of a population of modest means in an underdeveloped city. This deliberate doublethink ± ³FRPH YLVLW WKH FLW\RIWHQHPHQWVLQOX[XU\´± reflected a crisis of national identity in the Celtic Tiger Irish, who were not only long used to thinking of their QDWLRQ DV ³WKH QLJJHUV RI (XURSH´ but for whom this idea was a fundamental, structural component of their sense of themselves. If the Irish are not the victims of economic hardship, if they are not tragic, poetic emigrants and if they do not enjoy a more relaxed pace of life and a popular, folk working-class or rural culture, then who exactly are they? But now that the boom is not only over, but the country in economic receivership and plagued once more by emigration and XQHPSOR\PHQW FDQ -R\FH¶V ILFWLRQDO 'XEOLQ RI  KHOS XV WR renavigate the city we find ourselves left with in real life in 2011? It is a question that raises impossible but interesting questions about the relationship between cultural context and cultural production. Is Ulysses a snapshot of a particular historical moment, now irreducibly ³RWKHU´ WR RXU RZQ ZRUOG ZLSHG RXW IRUHYHU E\ WKH ERRP"  2U LV LW DOVRDWHPSODWHRIVRUWVIRUVRPHWKLQJFDOOHG³,ULVKQHVV´WKDWHQGXUHV SHUKDSV GRUPDQW WKURXJKRXW WKH \HDUV"  $V WKH XQGLVSXWHG ³JUHDW ,ULVKQRYHO´GRHVUlysses offer any sort of blueprint for understanding the dizzying changes Ireland and Dublin have gone through since 1989? The rise of Ulysses as a presence in the popular imagination during the Celtic Tiger was not all a bad thing. Among the possible social goods that Ulysses can offer, there are some that come from Ulysses the brand rather than Ulysses the text. One example of this is the sudden explosion in the scope and popularity of the annual Bloomsday festivities. Many real Irish Joyceans may object to the triviality of these festivities, with their atmosphere of an uncultured upper-middleclass picnic. But Bloomsday, having taken off massively over the Celtic Tiger years, has become a genuine street-festival, in which large sections of the citizenry participate. No more than the privatized Ulysses, this phenomenon may not always be directly linked to reading the novel. But for all that, the Bloomsday festival phenomenon is essentially about civic pride, an interest in the



particular life of a particular city; it makes people aware of being Dubliners, which is an antidote to the corporate nationalism which was partly responsible for the banking collapse. And civic pride is an extraordinarily rare thing in Ireland: the life of the city has, as I mentioned earlier, always been considered inauthentically Irish. This aspect of the official national script ± that real Ireland was located only in the countryside, even when nearly 40% of the population lives in the Greater Dublin Area alone ± is another component to the KDOOXFLQDWRU\TXDOLW\RIWKHFRXQWU\¶VYLHZRILWVHOIDQDGGLWLRQWRWKH general Irish problem of things being imaginary more than lived. The DGRSWLRQRIEUDQG-R\FHE\SROLWLFLDQVWRVLJQLI\'XEOLQDVD³FXOWXUDO FDSLWDO´ without promoting or engaging with contemporary cultural expression offered a good example of how this imaginary dimension to things can work in an unwelcome way. The Bloomsday festivities, however, reground Dublinness in the physical place, they relocate the capital from the imaginary of branded images and back onto the streets. In this sense, it is to be hoped that WKHSRSXODU³LPDJH´RIUlysses will not be wholly swept away like so much else of the Tiger years, that the new focus on Joyce was not just one more of the luxury brands which came and went. Because Ulysses is also a reminder that Ireland and Dublin can be sites in which the larger flows and turns of global modernity can be examined closely, in particularized manifestations: not only in the economic fate of cities and communities, but also in the lives of individuals, in their inner lives, relationships, aQGVHQVHRIZKDWLWLVWREHDOLYHLQWKHZRUOG,UHODQG¶V touchy anxiety about its cultural specificity, which I began by pointing to as one of the reasons for the scholarly desire to reframe Ulysses as a text about rather than framed within Irishness, is in fact precisely what makes it useful in this sense. Ireland is a combination of real particularity, on the one hand a small but distinct culture, with a historical awareness of itself and its uniqueness, but on the other, a part of the wider anglophone world, not immediately different from England or America in most obvious cultural ways. It is this combination of particularity and indistinctness, of periphery and center, that allows wider global phenomena to be visible in an unusual kind of way in Ireland. It is exactly this combination of specificity and its lack that Joyce employed in writing Ulysses: his novel became the ultimate expression of twentieth-century metropolitan modernity,


Barry McCrea

the epitome of the cultural crisis that caused such a blossoming in London, Paris, and New York, the novel of the great cosmopolitan city crowd, even though it was about the minutiae of life in a small city on the provincial margins where everyone knows everyone else and the overriding feeling is one of paralysis. Joyce understood how Irishness could be a portal to understand the wider, globalized world, and so it can be now again. The fate of Dublin from bust to boom and bust again may offer after all a way to understand Europe and even the world ± perhaps less in their macro-economic transformations, but from the point of view of culture, global and local at once and in a state of great flux, a way to observe the effects of contemporary economics on social and mental life. So, after the Celtic Tiger, the visibility of Joyce as an ideal expression of Irishness, commodified and commercialized though it is, may be a valuable inheritance (and Ulysses itself would suggest that commercialization can be a valuable form of communication). Less YDOXDEOHLVWKHLGHDRI³EUDQG ,UHODQG´WKDWZHQWKDQGLQKDQGZLWKWKH -R\FH ³ERRP´ WKH QRWLRQ WKDW ,UHODQG LV HQWLWOHG WR DGXODWLRQ DV D ³FUHDWLYH´ SODFH DQ RQJRLQJ VRXUFH RI OLWHUDU\ WDOHQW  7KH Joyceanization of Dublin erases the obvious and vital fact that Joyce was never a working writer in Ireland, but someone whose whole professional and creative life was spent abroad. His Dublin was a product not of a life spent in the circles of literary Dublin, but of the imagination and of distant, youthful memories. In fact, it may even be WKDWWKHXQLYHUVDOYDOXHRI,UHODQG¶VVHPL-particularity may not really be graspable from within. For Joyce, the possibility of grasping it, of WUDQVIRUPLQJ WKH FLW\¶V ORFDO OLIH LQWR WKH PDJLF RI XQLYHUVDO P\WK came at the price of exclusion from it. Emigration, which has returned since the boom turned to bust, is corrosive of many things at home, of social, cultural and economic life. But it also potentially gives birth to many new Dublins or Irelands of the imagination, carried in the heart and reconstructed, with the help of our new technologies, from a distance. A place that resides in the mind and travels away in it can accrue a creative value not available in any other way. The last line of UlyssesDVZHNQRZLVQRW³\HV,VDLG \HV,ZLOO YHV´ EXW ³7ULHVWH-Zurich-Paris 1914-´  -R\FH¶V ODVW ZRUG LV D reminder of his own exclusion from the place and the time of his fictional world. These words seem at first to be a postscript, as extraneous to the chapter preceding them as the author was to Dublin.



But in a way, important for our considerations here, these names and GDWHVDUHRIDSLHFHZLWK³3HQHORSH´,QWKLVILQDOFKDSWHUWKHQRYHO¶V world, which we have spent so long immersed in, is revisited and UHGHVFULEHG0ROO\¶VPRQRORJXHJLYHVXVDVRUWRIELUG¶V-eye, external view of this world as she lies in bed thinking about it and calling up its characters and their histories from memory: a situation which is partly DQDORJRXV WR WKDW RI WKH QRYHO¶V DXWKRU UHFDOOLQJ WKH 'XEOLQ RI KLV youth from faraway continental cities. We the readers have spent most of the day with men in the public spaces of the city: streets, pubs, cafés, beaches. Molly has spent the whole day, as far as we can gather, at home in Eccles Street. As a woman, the life of the offices, brothels, and taverns of Edwardian Dublin, transformed into sites of epic adventure by Ulysses, are not open to Molly as they are to Bloom or Stephen. She does not circulate in the streets and spaces of the city where the novel takes place. Physically, she is not part of the community we have been exposed to in the novel, but she is often thought and talked about there. Like the emigrant Joyce, she is present in minds and gossip but not in body. By the same token, in ³3HQHORSH´WKURXJK0ROO\¶VPLQGZHJHWDQRYHUYLHZRIWKHQRYHO¶V Dublin and its population, not experienced directly, but at one remove, reconstructed in her imagination, at a spatial and temporal distance. This, it seems to me, is a source of deep fellowship between Joyce and Molly. It may be that the current, sad state of Dublin might again offer a way to understand the modern world, its flows of people, ideas and capital, the vast recent changes in the ways we interact with one another, as memories of the city and its people are carried around the globe in the minds of emigrants, far away but still present, as for Molly and Joyce, in various virtual forms.



Before coming to Dublin, Bosnian immigrant Selma Harrington ³KDUGO\ NQHZ DQ\WKLQJ DERXW ,UHODQG H[FHSW IRU WKH 7URXEOHV´ DQG ³-DPHV-R\FH>[email protected]ZDVFRPSXOVRU\LQVFKRROOLWHUDWXUHA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and a bit of Ulysses´³7KDWVDLG´ she adds, ³WKH ,ULVK SHRSOH , PHW DEURDG ZHUH RSHQ-minded, cosmopolitan. /LYLQJ KHUH >LQ '[email protected] , DP ILQGLQJ RWKHU VLGHV WR WKH PHQWDOLW\´ 1 Like many immigrants and cultural commentators in Ireland today, Harrington implicitly identifies the figure of James Joyce with an ideal of Irish cosmopolitanism and open-mindedness which is perceived to be increasingly under threat. My intention here is to examine such contemporary responses to the legacy of James Joyce in the context of ,UHODQG¶V RQJRLQJ LPPLJration debate, as interpreted from the perspective of cultural theorists and that of immigrants themselves. Broadly speaking, I want to consider the ways in which both cultural WKHRULVWV DQG LPPLJUDQWV KDYH LQYRNHG -R\FH¶V FKDUDFWHUV DV exemplars of Irish intercultural ideals, as well as the manner in which Leopold Bloom himself has come to epitomize the place of the immigrant in the Irish popular imagination, especially during the period leading up to the Citizenship referendum and Bloomsday Centenary in mid-June 2004. More specifically, I want to argue that members of Irish cultural minorities and immigrant groups tend to identify their situation with that of Leopold Bloom in their struggle for UHFRJQLWLRQ LQ FRQWHPSRUDU\ ,UHODQG DQG WKDW %ORRP¶V RZQ JHstures RIUHVSHFWIRUPLQRULW\³EHOLHIVDQGSUDFWLFHV´YHVWHGLQWKHFRPPXQDO $Q H[SDQGHG YHUVLRQ RI WKLV FKDSWHU LV IRUWKFRPLQJ LQ -DVRQ .LQJ ³Ulysses, the &LWL]HQVKLS5HIHUHQGXPDQGWKH%ORRPVGD\&HQWHQDU\´Memory Ireland VI. James Joyce and Cultural MemoryHG2RQD)UDZOH\DQG.DWKHULQH2¶&DOODJKDQ 6\UDFXVH Syracuse University Press). 1 Cited in Susan Knight, ed., Where the Grass is Greener: Voices of Immigrant Women in Ireland (Dublin: Oak Tree Press, 2001), p. 67.


Jason King

³PHPRU\RIWKHVHPLJUDWLRQV´ U 17.1895, 17.1916) reflect a positive attitude towards immigrants which appears less indicative of his status as an outsider than his enduring significance as a role model for the Irish host society. More than any other character in modern Irish fiction, Leopold Bloom has served as an exemplar of immigrant self-expression. His experiences of marginalization have also become increasingly interpreted as a metaphor for the social position of the immigrant in an ostensibly intercultural Ireland. For example, both Declan Kiberd and Ronit Lentin invoke the figure of Leopold Bloom to exemplify their GLIIHUHQW SHUFHSWLRQV RI ,UHODQG¶V UHFHSWLRQ RI LPPLJUDQWs and nationalist attitudes towards cultural diversity in a variety of historical and contemporary Irish settings. In the case of Declan Kiberd, he has DUJXHG ³WKDW ,UHODQG LWVHOI ZDV DOZD\V PXOWL-cultural, in the sense of being eclectic, open, and assimilative. The best definition of a QDWLRQ´KHDGGV³LVWKDWRI/HRSROG%ORRPWKHVDPHSHRSOHOLYLQJLQ WKHVDPHSODFH´2 The historical ideal of Irish nationality is in no way inherently inhospitable, in other words, to external cultural influences or the interests of immigrants or minorities living in Ireland now, EHFDXVH ³WKH KLVWRU\ RI WKH ,ULVK WKHPVHOYHV GLVSRVVHVVHG \HW HYHU more sure of their communal identity, seemed to bear out the idea of a QDWLRQRSHQWRHQGOHVVMRLQHUV´3 By contrast, Ronit Lentin has argued that the normative definition of Irish nationality, from the moment of its inception and institutionalization in the Irish State, has been inherently racialized, as represented in the figure of Leopold Bloom ³ZKRNQRZV ± as early as 1904 ± that the Irish, given half a chance, DUHDVUDFLVWDVWKHLULPSHULDOQHLJKERXUV´4 7KXVVKH³SURSRVHVWKDWD political theory of Irish multiculturalism must begin with an LQWHUURJDWLRQ RI WKH >LGHD RI [email protected] QDWLRQ´5 and nationality in Ireland, rather than envisioning it, as Kiberd does, in terms of a receptive host that is infinitely amenable to the interplay of cultural differences. For 2 'HFODQ .LEHUG ³6WUDQJHUV LQ WKHLU 2ZQ &RXQWU\´ Multi-Culturalism: The View from the Two Irelands (Cork: Cork University Press, 2001), p. 63. 3 Ibid., p. 55. 4 5RQLW/HQWLQ³$WWKH+HDUWRIWKH+LEHUQLDQSRVW-Metropolis: Spatial Narratives RI (WKQLF 0LQRULWLHV DQG 'LDVSRULF &RPPXQLWLHV LQ D &KDQJLQJ &LW\´ City 6, no. 2 (2002): 233. 5 5RQLW/HQWLQ³$QWL-Racist Responses to the Racialization of Irishness: Disavowed Multiculturalism and its DLVFRQWHQWV´ LQ Racism and Anti-Racism in Ireland, ed. Ronit Lentin and Robbie McVeigh (Belfast: Beyond the Pale, 2002), p. 233.

Joyce, Interculturalism, and the Irish Immigration Debate


/HQWLQDILJXUHOLNH/HRSROG%ORRPLVH[HPSODU\³RIWKHUDFLDOL]DWLRQ RIWKH,ULVK-HZV´6 whereas for Kiberd he has PXFK³PRUHLQFRPPRQ ZLWK WKH PHPEHUV RI WKH KLVWRULF ,ULVK QDWLRQ´ ZKRP OLNH %ORRP were always suspicious, Kiberd claims, of mono-cultural ideals.7 This question of whether Irish culture is more inclined to insularity or hospitality became especially pronounced during the Bloomsday Centenary, which took place almost immediately after the Citizenship referendum in June 2004. The confluence of these two events was PDUNHG E\ WKH ³3DUDEOH RI WKH 3OXPV´ VWUHHW WKHDWUH VSHFWDFOH ZKLFK featured immigrant performers from Eastern Europe, West Africa, and 6RXWK $VLD ZKR GUDPDWL]HG WKH ³$HROXV´ HSLVRGH RI Ulysses on the HYHQLQJRI-XQH$FFRUGLQJWR0DWWKHZ6SDQJOHUWKH³3DUDEOHRI WKH 3OXPV´ ³LQYLWHG SHRSOH RI FRORXU WR SDUWLFLSDWH LQ D WKHDWULFDO representaWLRQ RI RQH RI ,UHODQG¶V QDWLRQDO OLWHUDU\ WUHDVXUHV DQG LQ doing so, implicitly conferred equal citizenship upon them at a time ZKHQPDQ\DUHVWUXJJOLQJIRUHTXDOULJKWV´8 My intention here is to consider the impact of this cultural conferral of citizenship on the lives RIWKHLPPLJUDQWVZKRSOD\HGWKHFKDUDFWHUVLQ-R\FH¶VWH[WVHYHUDORI whom were under threat of deportation at the time. More specifically, , ZDQW WR DUJXH WKDW WKH %ORRPVGD\ &HQWHQDU\¶V UHFODPDWLRQ RI -R\FH¶V memory in the name of cultural diversity has sought to promulgate an ideal of interculturalism in Ireland that appears at odds with the actual life experiences of those immigrant theatre practitioners who have been called upon to perform it; but that their participation in the Bloomsday festivities conferred a certain degree of cultural capital upon them that significantly enhanced their chances of staying in Ireland. Finally, I want to suggest some ways in which their experiences can provide the vantage point for new readings of Ulysses that bring into clearer focus the cultural politics of the novel LQUHODWLRQWR,UHODQG¶VLPPLJUDWLRQGHEDWHWRGD\ The transformation of Ireland from an emigrant sending to an immigrant receiving society has created a new context for reading Ulysses LQ ZKLFK %ORRP¶V H[SHULHQFHV FDQ EH LQWHUSUHWHG DV prototypical for migrant groups and minority communities 6



Jason King

establishing themselves in contemporary Ireland. This is precisely how both Declan Kiberd and Ronit Lentin envision Bloom, albeit from oppositH SHUVSHFWLYHV  ,Q DQ HVVD\ HQWLWOHG ³6WUDQJHUV LQ WKHLU 2ZQ &RXQWU\ 0XOWLFXOWXUDOLVP LQ ,UHODQG´ .LEHUG GHFODUHV WKDW -R\FHKLPVHOIZDV³DQHDUO\JXHVW-ZRUNHURQWKHFRQWLQHQW´DQG³RQH RIWKHILUVWDUWLVWV«WRLPDJLQHµDZRUOGZLWKRXWIRUHLJQHUV¶DZorld made possible once men and women begin to accept the foreigner in the self and the necessarily fictive nature of all nationalisms, which DUHRSHQWRHQGOHVVUHQHJRWLDWLRQ+HZDVDOVRKLJKO\DVWXWH´.LEHUG FODLPV ³LQ ORFDWLQJ WKH UDFLVW LPSXOVH LQ those who have an LPSRYHULVKHG VHQVH RI KLVWRU\´9 $FFRUGLQJO\ ³WKH FHQWUDO ILJXUH RI >-R\FH¶[email protected] QDUUDWLYH /HRSROG %ORRP LV YDOXHG´ .LEHUG LQVLVWV ³WR precisely the extent that he can recognize the stranger in himself. He is, in fact, more Christ-like than any of his anti-semitic fellow citizens DQGFRQVWDQWO\DEOHWRSXWKLPVHOILQWKHRWKHUIHOORZ¶VSRVLWLRQ´,WLV %ORRP¶VFDSDFLW\IRUHPSDWK\DQGFXOWXUDOK\EULGLW\LQRWKHUZRUGV that makes him a far more representative figure of the historical Irish nation than his detractors in Ulysses who appear atypical in their failure to embrace a fluid sense of national identity. By contrast, Ronit Lentin identifies Irish nationalism itself as the source of stigmatization of immigrants in Ireland, for whom a figure like Leopold Bloom becomes exemplary of processes of racialization that provide the parameters by which the imagined political community of the Irish nation-state is constitutively defined. She cites with approYDO /RXLV /HQWLQ¶V FRQWHQWLRQ ³WKDW PD\EH 0U 'HDV\ LV ULJKW DIWHU DOO´ LQ WKH VHQVH WKDW ,ULVK -HZV KDYH QHYHU EHHQ IXOO\ DGPLWWHGWRWKHLPDJLQHGSROLWLFDOFRPPXQLW\RIWKHQDWLRQZLWK³WKH vital word being in ± fully in ± not half in, or with a foot in the GRRU´10 /RXLV/HQWLQUHODWHVKLV³SHUVRQDOH[SHULHQFHV´ZLWKWKRVHRI /HRSROG %ORRP IRU ERWK RI ZKRP WKHLU ³SRVLWLRQ DV DQ ,ULVK -HZ LQ &DWKROLF,UHODQG´PDNHVHQFRXQWHUVZLWK³DQWL-Semitism ... in no way XQIDPLOLDU´11 Thus, for both Ronit and Louis Lentin, it is the


.LEHUG³6WUDQJHUV´SS-65. 5RQLW /HQWLQ ³$QWL-UDFLVW UHVSRQVHV´ S   $OVR VHH /RXLV /HQWLQ ³, 'RQ¶W 8QGHUVWDQG,)DLOWR6D\,'HDUVHH[email protected] WKH UHSURGXFWLRQRIILFWLRQDOVFHQHV´22 Nor was it a direct performance of the evenWV WKDW WUDQVSLUH LQ -R\FH¶V FKDSWHU EXW UDWKHU LW HVFKHZHG textual fidelity to showcase an ideal of Irish cultural and racial KDUPRQ\ ,WV SRUWUD\DO RI ³WKH KHDUW RI WKH +LEHUQLDQ PHWURSROLV´ RZHGOHVVWR-R\FH¶VYLVLRQRIXUEDQSDUDO\VLVWKDQWKHHPHUJHnce of multiculturalism on the streets of Dublin that struck observers like /DWKDPDQG6SDQJOHUDVHLWKHU³VXUUHDO´RU³UDGLFDO´LQWXUQ Nevertheless, it could be argued that the richness of the Bloomsday Centenary lay precisely in the skewed angle of vision that it brought to Ulysses  :KHWKHU RU QRW 6WHSKHQ¶V SDUDEOH FRQWDLQV D SROLWLFDO allegory about the sterility of Irish nationalism in 1904, its reinvention as multicultural street theatre could provide Joyceans themselves with an altered vantage point from which to develop re-UHDGLQJVRI-R\FH¶V text that are more fully cognizant of the ways in which its treatment of cultural diversity could be related to contemporary Ireland. If DQ\WKLQJ WKH ³3DUDEOH RI WKH 3OXPV´ RIIHUHG D SUHPRQLWLRQ RI WKH jostling of dominant and subordinate cultural and ethnic communities for recognition in the Irish public sphere. Its staging of Joyce and /HRSROG %ORRP ³IORDWLQJ DERYH D PXOWLWXGH  RI UDFLDOO\ GLYHUVH SHUIRUPHUV´ PHWDSKRULFDOO\ SRVLWLRQHG WKHP LQ WKH UROH of the dominant culture presiding over the challenges of integration that lie ahead for the whole of Irish society: to strike the right balance between maintaining some common Irish cultural norms and core values for nationals and newcomers alike, without eradicating particular forms of cultural expression. 7KH SHUIRUPDQFH RI WKH ³3DUDEOH RI WKH 3OXPV´ DOVR UHYHDOHG D form of tension between a received version of Irish cultural memory ± manifest in the reproduction of the conventions and rituals of Bloomsday ± and the need to develop more plural and inclusive 22 Joseph Brooker, -R\FH¶V&ULWLFV7UDQVLWLRQVLQ5HDGLQJDQG&XOWXUH (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004), p. 211.


Jason King

modes of cultural self-H[SUHVVLRQWKDWUHIOHFW,UHODQG¶VWUDQVIRUPDWLRQ into a multi-cultural society. Thus, if Bloomsday has now become firmly lodged as a site of Irish cultural memory, its subversion provides an opportunity to develop re-readings of Ulysses that can bring into focus an Irish multicultural self-image that is very much within the spirit of the text itself. Only the rudiments of such a reading can be offered here. In an essay entitled ³$XWKHQWLFLW\ DQG ,GHQWLW\ &DWFKLQJ WKH,ULVK 6SLULW´9LQFHQW&KHQJDUJXHVWKDWDVDUHVXOWRI³FRQWHPSRUDU\,ULVK FXOWXUDOVWXGLHV«WKHSRUWDOVRI,ULVKQHVVDUHEHJLQQLQJWRRSHQXS´ DQG DUH EHFRPLQJ PRUH DFFRPPRGDWLQJ RI ³/HRSROG %ORRP¶V YDJXH and heOSOHVVYDFLOODWLRQWKDWµ$1DWLRQLVWKHVDPHSHRSOHOLYLQJLQWKH VDPH SODFH « RU DOVR LQ GLIIHUHQW SODFHV¶´ 23 %ORRP¶V ³SRVLWLRQ « VHHPVOHVVKDSOHVVDIWHUDQGUDWKHUPRUHYLDEOH´VLQFHWKHUHIHUHQGXP on the Belfast Agreement in 1998, Cheng adds. The rolling back of the Belfast Agreement in the 2004 Citizenship referendum, however, KDVPDGH%ORRP¶VDVVHUWLRQWKDWKHLVDQDWLRQDORI³,UHODQG«,ZDV ERUQKHUH´ U 12.1431) seem less axiomatic today. The proliferation of postcolonial studies of Joyce has to some degree been working at cross-purposes with the prevailing forces in contemporary Ireland ZKLFK KDYH VRXJKW WR QDUURZ UDWKHU WKDQ ZLGHQ WKH ³SRUWDOV RI ,ULVKQHVV´WKDW&KHQJDOOXGHVWR The task at hand, then, is to re-imagine Leopold Bloom as an exemplary member of the Irish host society rather than defining him exclusively as a minority subject in a colonial setting. As a novel about a second generation Irish-Hungarian Jew who is still perceived to be a foreigner by his contemporaries, Ulysses exposes the challenges of integration that will increasingly confront Irish society as second and third generation diasporic communities take shape and reconceptualize their collective identities along lines that have already been formed by Leopold Bloom. Indeed, if Bloom is often perceived as a racialized Other and outsider in his social interactions in Ulysses, he is also very much a member of the Irish host society. His fluid but robust sense of identity and capacity for empathy with people from diverse backgrounds could provide the basis in contemporary Ireland for more widespread forms of reciprocal cultural exchange. An 23

9LQFHQW &KHQJ ³$XWKHQWLFLW\ DQG ,GHQWLW\ &DWFKLQJ WKH ,ULVK 6SLULW´ LQ SemiColonial Joyce, ed. Derek Attridge and Marjorie Howes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 259, 240.

Joyce, Interculturalism, and the Irish Immigration Debate


approach to Ulysses WKDWFDUHIXOO\SDUVHV%ORRP¶VFXOWXUDOLQWHUDFWLRQV with members of other minority and immigrant communities could also provide the means for recuperating a hospitable self-image that has long defined the Irish nation. :KLOHLWLVFRPPRQSODFHWRQRWHWKDW%ORRP¶VVHQVHRIHPSDWK\± whether it be for Molly, Milly, Josie Breen, Mina Purefoy, the blind stripling, his cat, even the printing press ± is one of his defining characteristics and a reflection of his innate decency, generosity and warm humanity, his highly refined hospitable and sympathetic impulses should also be interpreted as culturally specific manifestations of his mixed Irish and Jewish inheritance. As a second generation Irish-Hungarian Jew who has become successfully LQWHJUDWHG LQWR ,ULVK VRFLHW\ %ORRP¶V ILQHO\ KRQHG VHQVLWLYLW\ LV derived from his familiarity with the immigrant experience and complex cultural and familial upbringing, and, more importantly, his ability to learn from his social interactions to self-correct when his behaviour and beliefs prove inadvertently disempowering for others. $FDVHLQSRLQWLVLQ³$HROXV´ZKHQ%ORRPPHQWDOO\GLVHQIUDQFKises the Irish-Italian Member of Parliament Joseph Patrick Nanetti and printer Cuprani from belonging to the Irish nation that he himself is frequently regarded to have only the most tenuous claim on. 2EVHUYLQJ 1DQHWWL %ORRP WKLQNV LW ³VWUDQJH KH QHYHU VDw his real country. Ireland my country. Member for College Green ... Cuprani WRRSULQWHU0RUH,ULVKWKDQWKH,ULVK´ U 7.87-88, 99-100). According WR 9LQFHQW &KHQJ WKLV VHTXHQFH RI WKRXJKWV LOOXVWUDWHV WKDW ³%ORRP (who was born in Ireland as was Nanetti ´ LV PDNLQJ ³WKH VDPH HVVHQWLDOLVW PLVWDNH´ DV KLV GHWUDFWRUV OLNH WKH &LWL]HQ LQ ³&\FORSV´ ³E\DVVXPLQJWKDW1DQHWWL¶VµUHDOFRXQWU\¶LV,WDO\DQGQRW,UHODQG´ 24 In my view, the passage should also be interpreted as evidence of %ORRP¶V SURSHQVLW\ IRU VHOf-correction. In the instant between his initial supposition that the Irish-,WDOLDQ ³QHYHU VDZ KLV UHDO FRXQWU\´ and his realization that he himself could be similarly seen, Bloom does QRW MXVW FRPPLW EXW DOVR FRUUHFWV KLV ³HVVHQWLDOLVW PLVWDNH´ E\ identifying his situation with that of Nanetti as an ostensible fellow outsider who might also be regarded as less than fully Irish. His LQFOXVLRQRI³&XSUDQLWRR´DV³PRUH,ULVKWKDQWKH,ULVK´WKHPVHOYHV confirms that this is a moment of self-correction, a redefinition of 24 Vincent Cheng, Joyce, Race, and Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), p. 187.


Jason King

,ULVKQHVVLQDPRUHH[SDQVLYHIDVKLRQ,QGHHGKLVDYRZDOWKDW³,UHODQG >[email protected] P\ FRXQWU\´ LPSOLHV WKDW VHFRQG-generation Italian and Jewish communities are no less Irish than long established members of the QDWLRQDWODUJH8OWLPDWHO\%ORRP¶V ability to learn from his mistakes through sympathetic identification attests to a process of maturation that distinguishes him from all of the other characters in Ulysses. ,W LV QHLWKHU %ORRP¶V RVWHQVLEOH UHVHPEODQFH WR PHPEHUV RI WKH historical Irish nation nor his victimization as a racialized Jew that makes him a role model for Ireland today. Rather, it is this cultural maturity that he exhibits as well as his highly compromised sense of VHOI0RUHVSHFLILFDOO\%ORRP¶VFXOWLYDWLRQRIDIRUPRIFURVV-cultural empathy through his social interactions makes him at once highly receptive to the influence of other beliefs and values and able to reconcile them into his own stable and resolutely Irish self-image: one that appears emblematic of an Irish multicultural identity in the PDNLQJ,QGHHGDERYHDOOHOVH%ORRP¶VKLJKO\FRPSURPLVHGFXOWXUDO and national self-image has been formed in adversity to accommodate diversity: he epitomizes an ideal of Irishness that has been shaped by a mixture of cross-cutting cultural influences and resilience to past trauma that is becoming increasingly mainstream in the nation at large. This is not to claim Bloom as a paragon of post-modern pluralism whose sense of identity is so infinitely malleable and supple as to appear bleached of any positive cultural content. Andrew *LEVRQ¶VGHVFULSWLRQRIKLVSROLWLFDORXWORRNDV³SRVW-Parnellite, anti%ULWLVKV\PSDWKHWLFWR6LQQ)pLQ´SURYLGHVDQLPSRUWDQWFRUUHFWLYHIRU FRQFHSWLRQV RI %ORRP¶V SHUVRQD DV D FXOWXUDO EODQN VODWH25 Nevertheless, advocates of Irish cultural, linguistic or racial purism whose ideal of Irishness is anything other than intrinsically compromised will not find a congenial role model in Bloom, or the increasingly mainstream Irish multicultural identity that he has come to represent. In an Irish multicultural society, collective memory must fill the void by providing core values that were once more narrowly defined along cultural, linguistic, and racial lines. Leopold Bloom is ideally positioned to fill this void: as an object of memory in his own right, and, as a remembering subject whose sense of cultural and national identity is defined through his retrieval and reassessment of his mixed 25 Andrew Gibson, -R\FH¶V 5HYHQJH +LVWRU\ 3ROLWLFV DQG $HVWKHWLFV LQ 8O\VVHV (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 55.

Joyce, Interculturalism, and the Irish Immigration Debate


Irish and Jewish heritage. He also provides an object lesson about the cultivation of empathy as it is engendered in the recuperation of FXOWXUDO PHPRU\ 1RZKHUH LV %ORRP¶V FDSDFLW\ IRU HPSDWK\ PRUH HYLGHQW IRU H[DPSOH WKDQ LQ KLV H[SUHVVLRQ RI ³D VHQWLPHQW RI UHPRUVH´ LQ ³,WKDFD´ DIWHU WKH GHDWK RI KLV IDWKHU ³EHFDXVH LQ immature impatience he had treated with disrespect certain beliefs and SUDFWLFHV´ U 17.1893- LQFOXGLQJ³VRPHRIWKHPRVWYLWDOSLOODUVRI 2UWKRGR[ -HZLVK´ IDLWK26 ³:KDW ILUVW UHPLQLVFHQFHV KDG KH RI 5XGROSK %ORRP GHFHDVHG "´ U 17.1905) queries the narrator in ³,WKDFD´7KHUHSO\LVWKDW³5XGROSK%ORRP GHFHDVHG QDUUDWHGWRKLV son Leopold Bloom (aged 6) a retrospective arrangement of migrations and settlements in and between Dublin, London, Florence, Milan, Vienna, Budapest, Szombathely, with statements of VDWLVIDFWLRQ´ U 17.1906-  EXW WKDW ³WLPH´ KDG ³REOLWHUDWHG WKH PHPRU\ RI WKHVH PLJUDWLRQV´ U 17.1916). For Leopold Bloom, his UHFXSHUDWLRQ RI ³WKH PHPRU\ RI WKHVH PLJUDWLRQV´ IURP WKH WKUHDW RI oblivion provides a means of expiation for the sense of guilt that he IHHOV DERXW DEDQGRQLQJ WKH IDLWK RI KLV IDWKHU EXW KLV ³VHQWLPHQW RI UHPRUVH´FRXOGDOVREHLQWHUSUHWHGDVDV\QHFGRFKHIRUWKHZLGHU,ULVK VRFLHW\¶V UHFRJQLWLRQ RI LWV FROOHFWLYH UHVSRQVLELOLW\ WR PDNH DPHQGV IRUWKHKLVWRULFDO³GLVUHVSHFW´WKDWLWGLVSOD\HGWRZDUGVWKH³EHOLHIVDQG SUDFWLFHV´ U 17.1895) of minority groups in general. %ORRP¶V FDSDFLW\ IRU HPSDWK\ GHULYHV IURP KLV DQFHVWU\ QRW EHFDXVH KH LQKHULWV KLV IDWKHU¶V ³EHOLHI DQG SUDFWLFHV´ EXW SUHFLVHO\ because he rejects them yet learns to respect them all the same. From his position of relative power in relation to his ailing father, he cultivates a sense of empathy and respect for a set of values other than KLV RZQ +LV ³LPPDWXUH LPSDWLHQFH´ EHFRPHV D PRUH FRQVLGHUDWH acknowOHGJHPHQW WKDW ³RWKHU EHOLHIV DQG SUDFWLFHV´ DUH QR PRUH RU OHVV UDWLRQDO WKDQ KLV IDWKHU¶V -HZLVK IDLWK ³/HRSROG ZKR OHIW WKH KRXVH RI KLV IDWKHU DQG OHIW WKH JRGV RI KLV IDWKHUV´ GRHV QRW IHHO remorse for his religious conversion but for his insensitivity to his IDWKHU¶V HQVXLQJ SDLQ U 15.261-  %ORRP¶V HPSDWK\ WKXV UDGLDWHV IURPKLVFXOWXUDOPHPRU\KLVILOLDO³UHPLQLVFHQFHVRIDKXPDQVXEMHFW VXIIHULQJ´SURYLGHWKHLPSHWXVIRUKLVV\PSDWKHWLFLGHQWLILFDWLRQZLWK others (U 17.1887). The genealogical line of succession between 26

Neil Davison, James Joyce, Ulysses, and the Construction of Jewish Identity: &XOWXUH %LRJUDSK\ DQG ³7KH -HZ´ LQ 0RGHUQLVW (XURSH (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), p.236.


Jason King

Leopold Virag, Rudolph Bloom, Leopold Bloom, and Milly and Rudy, is less a story of the transmission of Jewish cultural values from +XQJDU\WR,UHODQGWKDQRI/HRSROG%ORRP¶VDZDNHQLQJDQGZLGHQLQJ sense of compassion for others in compensation for his partial loss of cultural heritage. Indeed, his experience of personal and cultural loss sensitizes him to the anxieties of others and defines him as a model for the hospitable accommodation of difference. Neil Davison argues that ³LW LV %ORRP¶V VWUXJJOH IRU D YLDEOH -HZLVK LGHQWLW\ LQ &KULVWLDQQDWLRQDOLVW 'XEOLQ WKDW IRUPV WKH FRUH RI WKH VWRU\´ LQ Ulysses,27 ZKHUHDV /RXLV /HQWLQ UHJDUGV ³%ORRP¶V MRXUQH\´ DV D IUXLWOHVVTXHVW³IRUDQLGHQWLW\WKDWZLOODOZD\VEHGHQLHGKLP´ 28 And yet Ulysses LVOHVVDQRYHODERXW%ORRP¶VRZQVWUXJJOHIRUDVHQVHRI self-recognition than it is about his cultivation of empathy and respect for the cultural identities of others. His sentiment of remorse for failing to respect the values of others encapsulates a structure of feeling that defines the cultural maturation of contemporary Ireland, the epiphany of a post-Catholic society. Against the threat of erasure of minority identities and collective memory stands Leopold Bloom, a role model in his respecW IRU WKH P\ULDG ³EHOLHIV DQG SUDFWLFHV´ WKDW comprise the cultures of Ireland today.

27 28

Davison, Construction of Jewish Identity, p. 185. /RXLV/HQWLQ³,'RQ¶W8QGHUVWDQG´S



His lips lipped and mouthed fleshless lips of air: mouth to her womb. Oomb, allwombing tomb. His mouth moulded issuing breath, unspeeched: ooeeehah: roar of cataractic planets, globed, blazing, roaring wayawayawayawayawayaway. (U 3.401-404)

7KURXJKRXW ³3URWHXV´ ZH JUDGXDOO\ OHDUQ WKDW 6WHSKHQ SHUFHLYHV WKH world only in relation to himself. In lines 453-463, he listens to the VRXQG RI KLV RZQ XULQH PRUSKHG LQWR D ³IRXUZRUGHG ZDYHVSHHFK´ a moment that is persistently repeated insofar that Stephen ricochets between parts and patterns of sentences, identifying and then severing his allegiance to a myriad of sources. J. Mitchell Morse has FRPPHQWHGRQ-R\FH¶VRZQUROHRI³SOD\IXO3URWHXV´1 referring to his H[SODQDWLRQWR)UDQN%XGJHQRIWKHZRUG³DOPRVWLQJ´ 7KDW¶V DOO LQ WKH 3URWHDQ FKDUDFWHU RI WKH WKLQJ (YHU\WKLQJ FKDQJHV land, water, dog, times of day. Parts of speech change too. Adverb becomes verb.2

Correspondingly, the opening VHQWHQFH ³,QHOXFWDEOH PRGDOLW\ RI WKH YLVLEOH´HQJDJHVHYHU\FRPSRQHQWRIVSHHFKWRQJXHOLSVDQGODU\Q[ It demands accuracy by the mechanical effort of its evocation, an effort which calls attention to the intellectual rigor contained in the phrase. Yet, if delivered too rapidly, the consonants collide, and we get a general sense of imprecision, hence a ± perhaps deliberate ± blurring of purpose. Taking the chosen passage as example, I would like to focus on sound and slippage; that is, how the word can break apart when spoken aloud, irrespective of its original, fixed, intent. $IWHU DOO WKH QDWXUH RI ³3URWHXV´ HQVXUHV WKDW WKH VOLJKWHVWHPSKDVLV or elision, can warp our reception. Firstly: 1 -0LWFKHOO0RUVH³3URWHXV´LQ-DPHV-R\FH¶VUlysses: Critical Essays, ed. Clive Hart and David Hayman (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974), p. 34. 2 Frank Budgen, -DPHV -R\FH DQG WKH 0DNLQJ RI ³8O\VVHV´ DQG 2WKHU :ULWLQJV (London: Oxford, 1972), p. 34.


Jane Lewty

His lips lipped and mouthed fleshless lips of air.


6WHSKHQ KDV MXVW WR\HG ZLWK WKH SKUDVHV ³0RXWK WR KHU NLVV´ DQG ³0RXWKWRKHUPRXWK¶VNLVV´,QKLVPLQG¶VHDUKRZHYHUKHVHWWOHVIRU ³PRXWK WR KHU ZRPE´ ± a phrase which needs little movement of RQH¶V RZQ PRXWK LI VSRNHQ 7KHUH DUH QR SORVLYHV LW LV OLWHUDOO\ breathed out. It inspires, and almost bleeds over into its own echo: ³2RPE DOOZRPELQJ WRPE´ 7KH YLVXDOL]DWLRQ RI 6WHSKHQ¶V SURFHVV RQWKHSDJHLVGHFHSWLYH:HUHDGWKHODQJRURXVUHSHWLWLRQRI³RPE´ DQGLPDJLQHWKH³DOOZRPELQJ´WKH³DOOFRQVXPLQJ´VSDWLDOH[SDQVHWR which Stephen is affixed, yet freefloating within. To thoroughly HQJDJHLQ6WHSKHQ¶VH[SHULPHQWLVWRKHDUWKHZDUSHGHFKRLQVLGHKLV attempt at structuring words; the articulated syllables and phonemes that surge from the recesses of memory to be reanimated in a different context. They become fluid and active again; they oscillate in the mind before cross-fading into something else. This technique of imagining sounds is refined to subtle proportions by Japanese haiku poems, whose action and subject can be vividly united in two or three movements. Here is an example from W.S. 0HUZLQ¶V WUDQVODWLRQV LQ East Window ³$QWV RQ D PLOOVWRQH  ZKLFKHYHUZD\WKH\ZDONWKH\JRDURXQGZLWKLW´ 3 Tiny insects are thus defined by their placing on a large surface, nevertheless, they amass to inhabit the same area and become joined with the object rather than being its adornment. The movement of sound is also a 3 W. H. Merwin, East Window (Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 1998), p. 40.



facet of haiku poetry, not always as metaphor but as an indirect way to UHJLVWHUWKHVWUDQJHFRPPXQLFDELOLW\RIVLOHQFH³'HDGOHDIWHOOVSLQH needle / hush´4 Any listening experience is complex and multifaceted. Every sound has its own secret polyphony even if none may be LQVWDQWO\DSSDUHQW:KHUHLVWKHEHVW³SODFH´WRDQDO\]HDVRXQG")URP where it originates or from where it is detected? Can it be understood ZLWKLQ D JHQHUDO ³VRXQGVFDSH´ RU LV LW SULPDULO\ DSSUHKHQGHG E\ WKH HDU" 7R UHSO\ ³ERWK´ LV LQDFFXUDWH DV ZH FDQQRW EH LQ WZR SODFHV DW once. For Stephen, the sensation of sound evolving cryptically in the whorls and passageways of his ear seems to be a more authentic way RI UHFHLYLQJ RI DEVRUELQJ QRLVH 7KH SKUDVH ³0RXWK WR«´ PD\ EH LQWHUFKDQJHDEOH ZLWK ³Ear to« KHU ZRPE´ 7KH ³2RPEWRPE´ HFKR PD\EH6WHSKHQ¶VSHUFHSWLRQRIDERG\¶VLQWHULRUVSDFHVDEVWUDFWDQG fluctuating as a planetary mass. He imagines his ear as the entrance to a womb, his mouth mimicking its sound that melts into the world beyond persons, rippling and reciprocal. Then: His mouth moulded issuing breath, unspeeched: ooeehah: roar of cataractic planets, globed, blazing, roaring wayawayawayawayawayaway.

+HUHWKHUHSHWLWLRQRIDV\OODEOH³PRX´LVDYLVXDOUK\PH,WHQIRUFHV the idea of an orifice slackened and jawing, unable to define the vowels accurately. Between the colons, the mouth contracts and flexes, producing a blurrHG HPLVVLRQ ZKHUHLQ WKH ³K´ LV EDUHO\ articulated. The fissure that occurs with the second colon I would read as follows: Stephen does not speak, but hears, or imagines, a celestial clamour of unfathomable proportions. 0XFKRI6WHSKHQ¶VFRQWLQXDOGLOHPPDLs as to whether everything worthy of serious discussion can really be quantified. His brave DWWHPSWWRHQYRLFHWKH³FDWDUDFWLFSODQHWV´PLJKWLPSO\KLVVROLSVLVWLF tendency insofar that their noise reverberates around his own head, but it also assigns sound to what is essentially aphonic. If we consider the universe as designated by Euclidian space dimensions (three for space and one for time) much of what we do not understand is due to the lack of sound by which to associate these immense events. A gravitational field is silent, a cosmic ray shower is silent, the equations of classical mechanics do not denote anything tactile or acoustic. 4

Ibid. p. 97.


Jane Lewty

6WHSKHQ¶VSODQHWVDUH³FDWDUDFWLF´QRW,WKLQNWRLPSO\DQRFFOXGLQJ membrane, but rather to give the impression of dHOXJHD³FDWDUDFW´RI rain across planets whose terrain is ringed by poisonous gases. We can visualize them, yet they are incoherent ± emitting sounds stretched into infinity. In arguing the case for madmen and seers, all of whom throughout history have been known to hear voices, Murray Schafer contends that the right hemisphere of the brain may have once had a speechproducing function which communicated messages to the left KHPLVSKHUH YLD DQ ³DQWHULRU FRPPLVVXUH´5 Over 3000 years, the transmitter-receiver device was weakened, and is no longer perceived as a normal function of human sensibility. Hence the tendency of the ODVW KXQGUHG \HDUV RI SV\FKLDWU\ WR GHVLJQDWH ³KHDULQJ YRLFHV´ DV D feature of mental illness. Schafer quotes the psychologist Julian JD\QHVZKRVDLG³KDYH>WKHVH[email protected]UHDOO\GLVDSSHDUHG>RUDUHWKH\@ merely suppressed because they are too frightening or irrational for WKH PRGHUQ PLQG"´6 Certainly, Stephen could be accused of having delusional tendencies, given that he hears the music of the spheres repeating cyclically within his own ear canal, but he will soon fall into WKHFDFRSKRQLFFKDRVRI³&LUFH´ZKHUHDOOGHOLQHDWLRQVRIWLPHVSDFH and the degrees of aurality are collapsed. 6RXQGVLQ³3URWHXV´GRQRWVSHDNLQWHUPVRIILUVW person singular, like a bell chiming or even a siren song; they do not have a concrete motive with a corresponding statement. They encourage a heightened listening akin to that which a reader must consider when reading a haiku. Stephen turns his back to the sun and scribbles words. This act, of course, is inscription, a process which captures sound ± any kind of VRXQGHYHQDYHU\GLVWDQWRUGHDGRQH+HDVNV³:KRHYHUDQ\ZKHUH ZLOOUHDGWKHVHZULWWHQZRUGV"´ U 3.414-5) with an air of incongruity. He has MXVWLPDJLQHGFDVWLQJRIIKLV³HQGHGVKDGRZ´IURPDSODFHLQ the firmament where he walks among stars. Inscription might serve to catalogue the noise of objects and bodies, but it is not wholly UHSUHVHQWDWLYH RI 6WHSKHQ¶V LQWHULRU VRXQGVFDSH +LV ZULWWHQ words diminish the vibrancy of space and imagination into cipher and stasis.


0XUUD\6FKDIHU³2SHQ(DUV´LQThe Auditory Culture Reader, ed. Michael Bull and Les Back (Oxford: Berg, 2003), p. 34. 6 Ibid.



,Q ³1DXVLFDD´ /HRSROG %ORRP LV ZHOO DZDUH WKDW YR\HXULVP ± the GHVLUH WR VHH VRPHRQH¶V VHFUHWV ZLWKRXW EHLQJ VHHQ LQ WXUQ ZKLFK LV one of the desires behind reading as well ± is based on an illusion. The unconscious desire is not to see reality, but to be blind with a EOLQGQHVV RU LQQRFHQFH  UHPLQLVFHQW RI \RXWK %ORRP¶V SDUWLQJ ZRUGV DUH ³LW ZDV ORYHO\ *RRGE\H GHDU 7KDQNV 0DGH PH IHHO VR \RXQJ´ U 13.1272-3) The revelation that excited Bloom in the gathering twilight ZDVRQO\³KDOIRIIHUHG´ZKDWKHDFWXDOO\VDZZDV *HUW\¶V ³QDLQVRRN NQLFNHUV´ U 13.724) and her wellfilled hose. He has seen an unrealistic, cosmetically enhanced, still-clothed image, not *HUW\¶V LPSHUIHFWLRQV DQG KHU SK\VLFDO KDQGLFDS %ORRP LV JUDWHIXl WKDW KHU ODPHQHVV ZDV QRW DSSDUHQW WR GLVWXUE KLV IDQWDV\ ³*ODG , GLGQ¶WNQRZLWZKHQVKHZDVRQVKRZ´ U 13.775-6). A few minutes ODWHUKHWKLQNV³6HHKHUDVVKHLVVSRLODOO0XVWKDYHWKHVWDJHVHWWLQJ WKHURXJHWKHFRVWXPHSRVLWLRQPXVLF´ U 13.855-6). He remembers desiring his wife in much the same idealizing way; he thinks of the HYHQLQJZKHQKHZDVZRRLQJKLVZLIHNLVVLQJKHUVKRXOGHU³:LVK, KDGDIXOOOHQJWKRLOSDLQWLQJRIKHUWKHQ´ U 13.1091-2) Unlike many readers of the episode, Bloom is not ashamed of the moment of understanding and pleasure he shared with Gerty, despite its artificiality. He understands first that the desire for an idealized communion between watcher and watched was mutual. He envisions their attraction as natural magnetism, and he compares his orgasm to a VQHH]H³'UHVVXSDQGORRNDQGVXJJHVWDQGOHW\RXVHHDQGVHHPRUH DQG GHI\ \RX LI \RX¶UH D PDQ WR VHH WKDW DQG OLNH D VQHH]H FRPLQJ OHJVORRNORRNDQGLI\RXKDYHDQ\JXWVLQ\RX7LS+DYHWROHWIO\´ (U 13.993-  +H IHHOV RQO\ JUDWLWXGH ³'LG PH JRRG DOO WKH VDPH  )RU WKLV UHOLHI PXFK WKDQNV´ U 13.939-40) The reader, too, feels a NLQG RI UHOLHI ³%HDXWLIXO´ DUW DQG HYHQ SRSXODU ILFWLRQ SXUSRUWV WR give the viewer a glimpse of something secret, when its function is actually to clothe more disturbing realities. Bloom is excited by a JOLPSVHQRWRI*HUW\¶VERG\EXWRIKHUXQGHUZHDUUHIHUUHGWRDVKHU


Vicki Mahaffey

³XQGHUVWDQGLQJV´ ,W RIIHUV UHDGHUV D UHVSLWH D ZHOFRPH PRPHQW RI blindness, a sensation of impossiblH UHMXYHQDWLRQ ³0\ \RXWK 2QO\ RQFHLWFRPHV´U 13.1102-3) Joyce invites the reader to recognize his or her own blindness when KH XVHV D VWUDQJH V\OODEOH WR SXQFWXDWH %ORRP¶V LQWHUQDO PRQRORJXH ³%D´ ³Ba. What is that flying about? Swallow? Bat probabO\´ U 13.1117; see also 1119, 1127, 1143). This syllable is most aptly described as a castrated or raped word; its ending has been removed, producing two opposite effects: nonsense and a potential proliferation of meanings. After the syllable is first introduced (U 13.1117), we see %ORRPFRPSOHWHLWWRPDNHWKHZRUG ³EDW´XVLQJWKHVDPHORJLF WKH reader had to utilize earlier in the book when Bloom thinks of his ³KLJK-JUDGH KD´ SUHVXPDEO\ EHFDXVH WKDW LV KRZ WKH LQVLGH RI KLV hatband literally reads afteU ORQJ ZHDU %ORRP¶V ILUVW UHVSRQVH WR WKH half-IRUPHG ³%D´ LV ³%DW SUREDEO\ 7KLQNV ,¶P D WUHH VR EOLQG´ (U 13.1117-18); he attributes his own blindness to the bat. He even imagines the kind of tree he would be ± a weeping willow ± and he connects metemSV\FKRVLV ZLWK WKH *UHHN EHOLHI WKDW ³\RX FRXOG EH FKDQJHGLQWRDWUHHIURPJULHI´ ³>7KH[email protected]7KLQNV,¶PDWUHHVREOLQG Have birds no smell? Metempsychosis. They believed you could be FKDQJHG LQWR D WUHH IURP JULHI :HHSLQJ ZLOORZ %D´ U 13.1118-9). This bat, if he perceives Bloom as a weeping willow, is clearly not as blind as Bloom thinks; on the contrary, he is acutely sensitive to the feelings of loss Bloom is trying to ignore. Bloom projects other fears onto the bat, as well, especially in the pasVDJH ZKHUH KH VSHFXODWHV DERXW ZKHUH WKH EDW OLYHV ³There he goes. Funny little beggar. Wonder where he lives. Belfry up there. Very likely. Hanging by his heels in the odour of sanctity. Bell scared KLPRXW,VXSSRVH0DVVVHHPVWREHRYHU´ U 13.1120-22). When he associates the bat with the belfry of the nearby church, imagining him ³KDQJLQJ E\ KLV KHHOV´ XS WKHUH ZKHQ WKH ³%HOO VFDUHG KLP RXW´ (U   WKDW OLQNDJH HYRNHV WKH SKUDVH ³EDWV LQ WKH EHOIU\´ D popular metaphor for mental instability. The fear that others see him as not quite right in the head, like the fear of being blind, is something Bloom manages by repressing it, but it leaks out through an unconscious identification with the bat. The narrative confirms %ORRP¶V DQ[LHW\ DERXW KRZ RWKers perceive him at the end of the FKDSWHUZKHQLWUHFRUGVKRZ*HUW\0DF'RZHOO³QRWLFHGDWRQFHWKDW



the foreign gentleman that was sitting on the rocks looking was &XFNRR&XFNRR&XFNRR´(U 13.1301-6). %ORRP¶V LGHQWLILFDWLRQ ZLWK WKH EDW DOVR DOORZV XV to glimpse his subconscious sense of himself as simultaneously very young and very ROG D ³FKLOGPDQ ZHDU\ >[email protected] PDQFKLOG LQ WKH ZRPE´ U 17.2317-18). After thinking about the bat in the church, Bloom tries to imagine what frightens highly instinctive bats, eventually likening the bat to a small man: ³%D$JDLQ:RQGHUZK\WKH\FRPHRXWDWQLJKWOLNHPLFH 7KH\¶UH D PL[HG EUHHG %LUGV DUH OLNH KRSSLQJ PLFH :KDW IULJKWHQV them, light or noise? Better sit still. All instinct like the bird in drouth got water out of the end of a jar by throwing in pebbles. Like a little man in a cloak he is with tiny hands. Weeny bones. Almost see them VKLPPHULQJ NLQG RI D EOXH\ ZKLWH´ (U 13.1127-  %ORRP¶V attention to the tininess of the hands and bones suggests that beneath the level of consciousness, he seems to have completed the syllable ³%D´ LQ WZR GLIIHUHQW ZD\V DV ³EDW´ EXW DOVR DV ³EDE\´ 7KH ³OLWWOH PDQ¶V´WLQ\KDQGVDQGZHHQ\ERQHVUHIOHFWDQDVVRFLDWLRQRIWKHEDW± a surrogate for Bloom himself ± ZLWK%ORRP¶VLQfant son Rudy, who died when he was 11 days old. In addition to being a baby, the bat is also a miniature man, importantly connected with the passage of time WKURXJKKLV³FORDN´ZKLFKWKURXJKLWVHW\PRORJ\OLQNVWKHEDWEDFN to the belfry and to blindness, thereby completing the circuit of DVVRFLDWLRQV ³&ORDN´ DQG ³FORFN´ GHULYH IURP WKH VDPH URRW WKH French cloche, or bell (a cloak presumably has something of a bell shape). The buried kinship between a cloak and a clock underscores the connection betwHHQ %ORRP¶V GHVLUH WR FORDN KLV VXVSLFLRQ RI KLV ZLIH¶V LQILGHOLW\ HDUOLHU WKDW GD\ DQG WKH ZD\ WKDW GHVLUH ZDV interrupted by his clock, or watch, which stopped at the time of her VFKHGXOHG PHHWLQJ ZLWK KHU ORYHU )LQDOO\ %ORRP¶V VXEFRQVFLRXV mind, directing the stream of language that constitutes his thoughts, DOVRDVVRFLDWHVWKHEDWZLWKWKDWZDWFKRUFORFNZKLFKDOVRKDV³WLQ\ KDQGV´GLUHFWLQJXVWRUHDOL]HWKDWDZDWFKGHVSLWHLWVQDPHLVEOLQG it is designed to be seen rather than to see. To watch the clock emerges as a version of voyeurism, in that one is observing a face and KDQGV WKDW FDQQRW ORRN EDFN ,W LV WKH ³EOLQGQHVV´ RU XQDZDUHQHVV RI the watched object that makes the voyeuristic relationship sterile and illusory rather than vital and illuminating. %\³FDVWUDWLQJ´DZRUG-R\FHFUHDWHVDVSDFHIRU%ORRPWRILOOWKH gap thereby created in several revealing ways. He has produced a


Vicki Mahaffey

miniature aporia, or dead end, for the conscious mind that paradoxically operates as a portal for the unconscious to express its EXULHG GHVLUHV DQG IHDUV :H KDYH REVHUYHG %ORRP¶V UHYHDOLQJ reactions to the incomplete word, but is it also possible to imagine how we ourselves may have responded to it? Joyce seems to have directed our possible responses by featuring several short words that EHJLQ ZLWK ³ED´ WKURXJKRXW Ulysses. For example, to complete the ZRUGDV³EDOO´ZRXOGEULQJXVEDFNWRWKHEHJLQQLQJRIWKH³1DXVLFDD´ FKDSWHUWR WKH UROOLQJEDOOWKDW GLUHFWHG %ORRP¶V H\HV WR *HUW\ LQ WKH first place. More PHDQLQJIXOO\LIZHUHJLVWHU³ED´DVWKHEHJLQQLQJRI ³EDWK´ WKDW DVVRFLDWLRQ ZRXOG OLQN %ORRP¶V PDVWXUEDWLRQ LQ ³1DXVLFDD´ ZLWK KLV HDUOLHU SODQ WR ³'R LW LQ WKH EDWK´ WKDW PRUQLQJ (U   0RVW LPSRUWDQWO\ WKRXJK ZH FDQ VHH ³ED´ DV D SDUWLDO expressLRQRIWKHZRUG³EDG´ZKLFKLQWLPDWHVDIHDUWKDW%ORRPFDQ barely tolerate: the apprehension that he is bad: incomplete, castrated, impotent, blind, unstable, unlovable. Bloom draws attention to that FRQVWUXFWLRQ RI ³ED´ DV ³EDG´ E\ UHFDOOLQJ D OLQH IURP a letter from 0DUWKDWKDWKHUHFHLYHGHDUOLHULQWKHGD\³,FDOOHG\RXQDXJKW\ER\ EHFDXVH,GRQRWOLNH´ U  7KHHQGRI0DUWKD¶VVHQWHQFHLV ³WKDW RWKHU ZRUOG´ U 5.245), by which she clearly means that other ³ZRUG´± bad? ± but her typographical error betrays a deeper fear of the posthumous consequences of badness. ,Q WKH ODVW SRUWLRQ RI WKH PRQRORJXH SXQFWXDWHG E\ WKH ³ED´ (U 13.1117-1143), Joyce accents the revelatory power of blindness or darkness (when the blindness is accepted rather than denied) by contrasting it with the potentially destructive effect of the sun, or light. Colours depend on the light you see. Stare the sun for example like the eagle then look at a shoe see a blotch blob yellowish. Wants to stamp his trademark on everything. Instance, that cat this morning on the staircase. Colour of brown turf .... Howth a while ago amethyst. Glass IODVKLQJ7KDW¶VKRZWKDWZLVHPDQZKDW¶VKLVQDPHZLWKWKHEXUQLQJ JODVV 7KHQ WKH KHDWKHU JRHV RQ ILUH ,W FDQ¶W EH WRXULVWV¶ PDWFKHV What? Perhaps the sticks dry rub together in the wind and light. Or broken bottles in the furze act as a burning glass in the sun. $UFKLPHGHV,KDYHLW0\PHPRU\¶VQRWVREDG U 13.1132-43)




RUVKHVHHVQH[W³6WDUHWKHVXQIRUH[DPSOHOLNHWKHHDJOHWKHQORRNDW D VKRH VHH D EORWFK EORE \HOORZLVK´ (U 13.1132-  %ORRP¶V LQWHUSUHWDWLRQRIWKHVXQ¶VSRZHULVVLJQLILFDQWKHFRQFOXGHVWKDWWKH VXQ ³:DQWV WR VWDPS KLV WUDGHPDUN RQ HYHU\WKLQJ´ U 13.1133-34), and he associates the power of light to brand or possess what it touches with a dim memory of the use of light to burn and destroy the enemy in war: *ODVV IODVKLQJ 7KDW¶V KRZ WKDW ZLVH PDQ ZKDW¶V KLV QDPH ZLWK WKH burning glass. Then the heather goes on fire .... Archimedes. I have it! 0\PHPRU\¶VQRWVREDG U 13.1138-42).

What Bloom partly remembers is the legend that Archimedes destroyed the Roman fleet in 212 B.C. by setting it on fire with a convex glass. By implication, Joyce is asking us to contemplate the idea that light ± especially the light of reason ± can work like the brightness of gold to inspire a covetous love of all that glitters and a complementary destruction of what threatens it. In contrast, darkness, EOLQGQHVV DQG HYHQ ³EDGQHVV´ FDQ EH UHYHODWRU\ DV ORQJ DV WKH perceiver is willing to own them rather than projecting them onto RWKHUV 7KH ZRUG ³EDG´ LV GHILQHG DV ³IDLOLQJ WR PHHW DQ DFFHSWDEOH VWDQGDUG´ WKH YHU\ FRQFHSW LV UHODWLYH UDWKHU WKDQ DEVROXWH DQG relative to an established norm. By such a logic, even innovation ZRXOGEH³EDG´ It is not the occasional erotic and pleasurable experience of blindness that is a problem, then, but how that experience is understood. Bloom can see the bat as blind, but he cannot easily DFFHSWRU³VHH´WKHEOLQGQHVVRUEDGQHVVLQKLPVHOI$WWKHHQGRIWKLV episode, Bloom experiences himself as incapable of connection with someone else: he can neither read nor write. When he picks up a piece RISDSHURQWKHVWUDQGDQGSHHUVDWLWKHKDVWRJLYHXS³/HWWHU"1R &DQ¶W UHDG´ U 13.1247) A moment later he finds a bit of stick and tries to write a message in the sand with it, but he only gets as far as ³, $0 $´ EHIRUH KH HIIDFHV WKH OHWWHUV ZLWK KLV ERRW XQZLOOLQJ RU unable to complete the thought, deciding the effort is useless (U 13.1258, 1264- +RZVKRXOG%ORRP¶VVentence be completed? I am a ... bat? A cuckoo? A cuckold? A bad man? Here we can see once again how the truncation of an ending serves to multiply the interpretive possibilities. These incomplete textual utterances also make it possible for the reader to discover his or her own fears and


Vicki Mahaffey

desires in the text, reflected as they are at an oblique angle. The impulses of many readers are narcissistic: desirous of seeing ourselves flatteringly reflected, loathe to see ourselves as blind or incapable. At bottom, however, Bloom understands the value of the rare opportunity WR³6HHRXUVHOYHVDVRWKHUVVHHXV´ U 13.1058) ± a result of looking at art or reading something that resists our desires. When Bloom makes a trip to the National Museum earlier in the day to see if the Greek statues have anuses, he is trying to see both art and divinity as less idealized, more real. The ability to see the self from the perspective of something outside the self ± apart from desire or fear ± is a precondition of non-narcissistic love. It is important to be able to love what is different, because the self is inescapable: as Bloom ruminates, \RX³7KLQN\RX¶UHHVFDSLQJDQGUXQLQWR\RXUVHOI´ U 13.1110). Those who deny their own blindness or badness will hate that of others, oblivious to the fact that projected hate is merely self-hatred in disguise.



I can still recall the frisson with which I first read the opening stage GLUHFWLRQ RI ³&LUFH´ IRUW\ \HDUV DJR 7KLV PRPHQW ZDV VWUDQJHU WKDQ DOOWKHVWUDQJHPRPHQWV,¶GHQFRXQWHUHGVRIDULQWKHERRNDQGKDGD peculiar intensity and vividness that I couldn¶WH[SODLQEXWWKDWJULSSHG me immediately. Thinking about it now, I can identify several sources for its peculiar power. There were the completely unexpected, YHUEOHVV VWDJH GLUHFWLRQV DQQRXQFLQJ WKH VFHQH ³The Mabbot street entrance of nighttown ... Rows of grimy houses ... Rare lamps with rainbow fans.´ U 15.1-4).1 There was the enticing notion of nighttown itself, a whole town dedicated to the night and its secret doings, made HYHQVWUDQJHUE\-R\FH¶VK\SKHQOHVVVSHOOLQJ7KHUHZDVWKHRGGVHQVH that WKLVZDVDQGZDVQ¶WDWKHDWUH± as if a whole street had become a stage. And there was the garish hyperreality of the descriptive method, as though a perfectly normal scene ± an evening street with children buying ice-creams near tram-tracks ± was being relayed through an alien and distinctly sinister consciousness that perceived the tramtracks as skeletons, signals as red and green will-R¶-the-wisps, and ice cream as lumps of coal (this was, of course, pre-Gabler2) and copper snow. Although the chapter has lost some of the sheer bewildering potency it had for me then, I still find the intensity of its descriptions ± often in contrast to comic and even banal speech ± unlike anything ,¶YH FRPH DFURVV HOVHZKHUH LQ OLWHUDWXUH 7KLV KDV VRPHWKLQJ WR GR with the FKDSWHU¶VSHFXOLDUUHODWLRQWRUHDOLVPLPPHGLDWHO\HYLGHQWLQ the opening sentence. I propose to call it pararealism,3 taking advantage of all the adverbial senses of the prefix para- listed by the OED ³WR RQH VLGH DVLGH DPLVV IDXOW\ LUUHJXODU GLVRUGHUHG 1 2Q WKH LQLWLDO SDUHQWKHVLV RI ³&LUFH´ VHH 'DQLHO )HUUHU ³&LUFH 5HJUHW DQG 5HSUHVVLRQ´LQPost-structuralist Joyce: Essays from the French, ed. Derek Attridge and Daniel Ferrer (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), pp. 127-8. 2 +DQV:DOWHU*DEOHULQKLVHGLWLRQFRUUHFWHGWKHHDUOLHU³OXPSVRIFRDODQG FRSSHUVQRZ´WR³OXPSVRIFRUDODQGFRSSHUVQRZ´ 3 Not exactly a new coinage, but a very rare word, occasionally used in connection with surrealism.


Derek Attridge

LPSURSHU ZURQJ´4 as well as the notions, also mentioned in the definition, of perversion and simulation. To exemplify the pararealism of Circe, at least in one of its modes, ,¶YHFKRVHQWKH SDVVDJHLQZKLFK%ORRP¶V JUDQGIDWKHU/LSRWL9LUDJ makes his appearance. We begin with an exchange between Zoe and Lynch: ZOE ... (Lynch with his poker lifts boldly a side of her slip. Bare from her garters up her flesh appears under the sapphire a nixie¶V JUHHQ6KH puffs calmly at her cigarette.) Can you see the beautyspot of my behind? LYNCH ,¶PQRWORRNLQJ ZOE (PDNHV VKHHS¶V H\HV  1R" ³:KHUH LV WKH UXOH WKHQ"´@4. Bloom suffers from the same disease, but when confronted with deviation and anomaly, he resorts to ³WROHUDQFH´ LQ WKH sense this word has in PHFKDQLFV ³DQ DOORZDEOH DPRXQWRIYDULDWLRQLQWKHGLPHQVLRQVRIDPDFKLQHRUSDUW´5 Not so with Virag. His use of books, manuscripts and more generally learned sources is much more radical and totalitarian than %ORRP¶V WKH DQVZHUs to all apparently incomprehensible monstrosities are to be found in some unknown treatises or 2

Thomas Mann, Der Zauberberg (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1967), pp. 551-552. Jean-Pierre Richard, Littérature et Sensation (Paris: Seuil, 1954), pp. 159. 4 Gustave Flaubert, Bouvard et Pécuchet (1881) (Paris: Le Livre de Poche, 1959), p. 62. 5 Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed. (online version, September 2011), s.v. ³WROHUDQFH´ Q  E  DFFHVVHG  'HFHPEHU /Entry/202979. 3



manuscripts, a corpus of knowledge available from time immemorial. When confronted with blanks or failures in the great corpus of knowledge, Virag refers Bloom to the ultimate solution, an itemized FODVVLILFDWLRQ WKH LQGH[ ³FRQVXOW LQGH[ IRU DJLWDWHG IHDU RI DFRQLWH PHODQFKRO\ RI PXULDWLF SULDSLF SXOVDWLOOD´ U 15.2394-95). This is why his remedy to what appears to Bloom as a hopelessly mixed up mass of facts LV ³([HUFLVH \RXU PQHPRWHFKQLF´ U 15.2384). One knows that Joyce, from his Jesuit education which insisted as much on techniques of memorization and repetition as on the acquisition of knowlege,6 was particularly interested in mnemotechnics (Letters I 216), which offers a way of storing up information and whose serial architectures provide an ordered reconstruction of knowledge, programmed only with an aim to extraction and recall. Here the apparently nonsensical clusters of learned words assembled only bHFDXVHRIWKHLUSKRQLFVLPLODULW\DQGLQWHUUXSWLQJ9LUDJ¶VVSHHFKZLWK explosive exclamations seem to announce the incipient collapse of these mnemotechnical architectures of loci memoriae³3DUDOOD[ with a nervous twitch of his head) Did you hear my brain go snap? 3RO\V\OODED[´ U 15.2334- 2U³5XDOGXV&ROXPEXV7XPEOHKHU &ROXPEOH KHU &KDPHOHRQ´ U   2U DJDLQ ³-RFXODU´ (U  ZKLFKEHFRPHV³RFXODU´ U 15.2441). Data retrieval and data recall seem to have lost their connecting link and to be drifting apart. %HFNHWWZLOOJRHYHQIXUWKHU-XVWDV³,WKDFD´DQQRXQFHV%HFNHWW¶V Watt (1953) RQH PLJKW ILQG LQ 9LUDJ DQ DQWLFLSDWLRQ RI /XFN\¶V soliloquy in Waiting for Godot (1953). The extraordinarily chaotic compendium of knowledge assembleG LQ 9LUDJ¶V GLVFRQQHFWHG GLVTXLVLWLRQPD\DQQRXQFH/XFN\¶VVSHHFKZKLFKDOVRVRXQGVOLNHDQ encyclopedia gone mad: now the index itself collapses into the aleatory. The very visualization of the scene is sexualized and eroticized, unsurprisingly in an episode where hallucination tends to disrupt all RSWLFDOODZV:KHQ9LUDJUHPDUNVDERXWRQHRIWKHSURVWLWXWHV³7KHUH LV SOHQW\ RI KHU YLVLEOH WR WKH QDNHG H\H´ U 15.2344), the phrase seems to imply the need of a telescope, or a microscope, to perceive the characteristics of this female creature, making of Bloom and Virag explorers or scientists about to discover a new species or a new planet. 6 Kevin Sullivan, Joyce among the Jesuits (New York: Columbia University Press, 1957), pp. 80-81.


André Topia

This may recall Gulliver in Brobdingnag discovering the details of a IHPDOH VHUYDQW¶V VNLQ DV LI LPPHQVHO\ HQODUJHG under a telescope.7 %XWOLNHDOOLPDJHVLQ³&LUFH´³QDNHG´PD\DOVREHWDNHQOLWHUDOO\DV if optical perception required the same nudity of the eye as that of the sexual organ. The male eye becomes a substitute for the penis and the LPDJHRID³QDNHGH\H´RIIHUVWKHDQDWRPLFDOPRQVWURVLW\RIDQH\HLQ HUHFWLRQ7KLVLVQRWWKHILUVWWLPHLQ-R\FH¶VZRUN,Q³&RXQWHUSDUWV´ ZHDUHWROGWKDW)DUULQJWRQ¶VH\HV³EXOJHGIRUZDUGVOLJKWO\´ D 86), as if his repressed sexual impulses had migrated to his eyeballs. At the EHJLQQLQJRI³6LUHQV´0LVV.HQQHG\UHPHPEHUVZLWKH[FLWHPHQWWKH RSWLFDOHUHFWLRQRID³JRJJOHH\H´ U  DQGWKHREVFHQH³JUHDV\ H\HV´ U 11.169) of one of her lecherous admirers. 6LPLODUO\LQ/LSRWL9LUDJ¶VVSHHFK³RFXODU´FDOOVXS³MRFXODU´DQG various erotic allusions such as the assimilation of the female sex to a ³ELYDOYH´³2FXODUO\ZRPDQ¶VELYDOYHFDVHLVZRUVH´ U 15.2444), or ³WKRVH EXEEO\MRFXODU 5RPDQ PDWURQV´ U 15.2449). The obscene sexual allusion is more explicit in the 1929 French translation, where LW LV GLVSODFHG WRZDUGV DQDOLW\ ³:LWK P\ H\HJODVV LQ P\ RFXODU´ (U  EHFRPLQJ³$YHFPRQFDUUHDXGDQVPRQRFXOR´8 But this VKRXOGQ¶WVXUSULVHXVLIZHUHPHPEHUWKDWLQ³1DXVLFDD´%ORRPWHOOV us that women never sit on a bHQFKPDUNHG³:HW3DLQW´EHFDXVHWKH\ KDYH³(\HVDOORYHUWKHP´ U  ,Q³6LUHQV´WKHPLJUDWLRQRIWKH H\HZLOOEHWRZDUGVDQRWKHUIHPDOHRUJDQRQHRIWKHEDUPDLG¶V H\HV EHLQJFDOOHG³$OLTXLGRIZRPERIZRPDQH\HEDOO´ U 11.1104). The episode also offers an extraordinary compendium of male clichés, fears and fantasies about the female body, all resulting in what could be called the vanishing of the female body, which undergoes a double dislocation: from the organic to a synthetic artefact, and from a unified whole to a montage of juxtaposed, dissociated parts. 8QGHU 9LUDJ¶V VFLHQWLILF H\H WKH SURVWLWXWHV¶ ERGLHV DUH VHHQ essentially as artefacts, synthetic constructs, a trompe-O¶°LO involving the deceptive powers of articles of clothing and cosmetics, and more generally all that both conceals and exposes the sexual attraction of IHPLQLQLW\ ³0HUHWULFLRXV ILQHU\ WR GHFHLYH WKH H\H´ U 15.2332). Behind this juxtaposition of inanimate attributes, the female body is 7

See Jonathan Swift, *XOOLYHU¶V Travels (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1967), p. 158. Ulysse, traduit par Auguste Morel assisté de Stuart Gilbert, traduction entièrement revue par Valery Larbaud avec la collaboration de l'auteur (1929) (Paris: Gallimard, 1948), p. 569. 8



QRWLFHDEOH E\ LWV DEVHQFH (YHQ WKRXJK RQH RI /LSRWL 9LUDJ¶V ILUVW UHPDUNVLV³3URPLVFXRXVQDNHGQHVVLV PXFKLQHYLGHQFHKHUHDERXWV´ (U 15.2313), this nakedness is largely obliterated in the episode, being covered with layer upon layer of clothing, cosmetics and jewels. The clothes tend to become a substitute for the body by mimicking the RUJDQLFVKDSH³WKRVHSDQQLHUSRFNHWVRIWKHVNLUWDQGVOLJKWO\SHJWRS HIIHFWDUHGHYLVHGWRVXJJHVWEXQFKLQHVVRIKLS´ U 15.2229-30). Even WKH ³FRQVLGHUDEOH OD\HU RI IDW´ U 15.2355) with which the body of RQHRIWKHSURVWLWXWHVLV³FRDWHG´DSSHDUVDVRQHPRUHOD\HUFRQFHDOLQJ this body. This vanishing of the organic and emergence of a kind of antinature may echo the devastating anatomy of the female body SHUIRUPHGE\6ZLIWLQKLVSRHP³$%HDXWLIXO