Vincent J. Cheng, et. al., eds., Joycean Cultures/Culturing Joyces (1998)

Bibliographical details: Vincent J. Cheng, Kimberly J. Devlin & Margot Norris, eds., Joycean Cultures/Culturing Joyces [transactions of conference at Univ. of California (Delaware UP; AUP 1998), 294pp. CONTENTS: Abbreviations [7]; Acknowledgments [9]; Introduction [11]; Christine Van Boheemen ‘Joyce’s Sublime Body: Trauma, Textuality, and Subjectivity’ [23]; Clara D. McLean, ‘Wasted Words: The Body Language of Joyce’s “Nausicaa”’ [44]; Harly Ramsey, ‘Mourning, Melancholia, and the Maternal Body: Cultural Constructions of Bereavement in Ulysses’ [59]; Bonnie Kime Scott, ‘“The Young Girl,” Jane Heap, and Trials of Gender in Ulysses’ [78]; Carol Loeb Shloss, ‘Finnegans Wake and the Daughter’s Fate’ [95]; Susan Stanford Friedman, ‘Reading Joyce: Icon of Modernity? Champion of Alterity? Ventriloquist of Otherness?’ [113]; John Whittier-Ferguson, ‘Embattled Indifference: Politics on the Galleys of Herbert Gorman’s James Joyce’ [134]; R. B. Kershner, ‘The Culture of Ulysses’ [149]; Catherine Whitley, ‘The Politics of Representation in Finnegans Wake’s “Ballad”’ [163]; Erika Anne Flesher, ‘“I am getting on nicely in the dark”: Picturing the Blind Spot in Illustrations for Ulysses’ [177]; Irene A. Martyniuk, ‘Illustrating Ulysses, Illustrating Joyce’ [203]; Cheryl Temple Herr, ‘The Silence of the Hares: Peripherality in Ireland and in Joyce’ [216]; Benjamin Harder, ‘Stephen’s Prop: Aspects of the Ashplant in Portrait and Ulysses’ [241]; Mark Osteen, ‘A High Grade Ha: The “Politicoecomedy” of Headwear in Ulysses’ [253]; Contributors [284]; Index [287].

Christine Van Boheemen ‘Joyce’s Sublime Body: Trauma, Textuality, and Subjectivity’, pp.23-43
See separate file.

Clara D. McLean, ‘Wasted Words: The Body Language of Joyce’s “Nausicaa”’
See separate file.

Harry Ramsey, ‘Mourning, Melancholia, and the Maternal Body: Cultural Constructions of Bereavement in Ulysses’:
[...] “The Omphalos: Signifier of Absence and Nostalgia” [Sect. Heading]: In the “Proteus” chapter, Stephen jocoseriously muses “Will you be as gods? Gaze in your omphalos” (U 3.38). In asking, “Will you be as gods?” the serpent tempts Eve with the divinity of (self-) knowledge; here, Stephen implies that such empowering knowledge is to be found by gazing into one’s omphalos, one’s navel. Stuart Gilbert notes that “the navel ... has, partly for symbolic reasons, been associated by esoteric writers with the source of prophetic inspiration,” and such associations resonate in Stephen’s jest (Gilbert 1955, 51). The image of the navel reveals not only Stephen’s authorial anxiety for originality but also his anxiety of origins. The navel is an indelible somatic representation of the severed maternal connection; at once a scar from the crisis of separation and a badge acknowledging individuation, it recalls both origins and loss. The navel can thus be read as a signifier of maternal absence.5

In reviewing the etymology of the term omphalos, Gilbert quotes Victor B6rard, who argues, In the Iliad and Odyssey ‘omphalos’ merely signifies a round protuberance, a swelling" (quoted in Gilbert 1955, p.55). From this, Gilbert concludes: “The ‘tower’ allusions in Ulysses should therefore be directly associated with the navel motif and need not necessarily be held to refer to that favorite quarry of the symbol-hunter, the phallic emblem” (55). I concur with Bérard and Gilbert that the term omphalos carries an etymological sense of duality; however, what I find more compelling are the textual dynamics of this shifting signification in Ulysses. In Stephen’s quest for self-knowledge, as well as in his impossible mourning for the lost maternal object, he never returns to the omphalos-as-navel. [Ftn.: [...] Bloom literally follows Stephen’s advice in the bath] Instead, he becomes preoccupied with the omphalos-as-navelcord, expressed as the “cords of all [that] link back, strandentwining cable of all flesh” (U 3.37). Stephen does not only imagine a navelcord, he envisions an anastomosis of the umbilical cords of all humanity; the omphalos is extenuated from a signifier of absence to a hypernostalgic signifier of union and oneness. Such nostalgia, of course, goes hand in hand [61] with what Kristeva identifies as the melancholiac’s impossible mourning for the maternal object. [...] Stephen’s imagined anastomosis of spiritual contamination turns to physical contamination, as throughout Ulysses the material body literary connects birth and death via the image of the novelcord. (p.62).

Carol Loeb Shloss, ‘Finnegans Wake and the Daughter’s Fate’
[..] As both Richard Ellmann and Brenda Maddox tell it, what to do with Lucia was the central dilemma of Joyce’s final years. [... i]t is clear that he himself wanted to stop writing and to devote himself exclusively to the problem of her cure. According to Ellmann, he did this out of guilt: [97] ‘he had always put his writing beyond all other considerations: now as an expression of guilt, he put his daughter’s health before his art.’ (JJ, 1982, p.674.) Maddox prefers to avoid such direct moral judgement, but the parallelism of her chapter titles tells us that she, too, pitted “Work in Progress” against “Madness in Progress”, as if one should understand the body of the daugher and the body of the father’s work to be antithetical concerns, one potentially draining the other of its freedom and strength. (pp.96-97.)


One of the problems that ensues from remaining within this oppositional framework is that it requires a culprit. Either we must fault the child for her disruption of a quiet home, or we must fault the parents for their preoccupation with themselves; and in the case of Joyce himself, we are finally driven to see not only neglect, but a kind of expropriation of the child whose experiences routinely provided the preconditions of his art. [...] Without going into this debate about the drowning of the feminine that is implicit in its seeming rescue from oblivion, I would like to reproject the terms of apparent opposition offered by these models that seek to describe Joyce-the-Writer and Lucia-the-Person , and to offer, instead, some speculations that lead in new directions. For it occurs to me that the way of writing of Finnegans Wake affected the child Lucia in ways that were encoded on her body, that were then expressed by her body, and that the usurpations of Finnegans Wake [97] though not typical of Western culture as a whole, nonetheless exemplify some of the darkest but most common practices. In teasing out these interactions, we can begin to see how Joyce’s Work in Progress might itself be considered a progenitor of Lucia’s schizophrenia, and that having left Lucia in his wak, Joyce responsed to his progeny in far-reaching ways that we are only beginning to uncover. (pp.98-99.)

[...; II:] I am eventually goig to posit that Lucia’s dis-ese served as a means of escape that had the paradoxical function of maintaining an intimate connection with her father. [...] I am going to take Joyce at his word and explore what comes from agreeing that he could see and understand things that remained beyond the insight of his daughter’s family and even her doctors. I want to ask, instead, what was the nature of her lived experience and how did Joyce contrive to interact with it. [...] in his assessment of the medical profession and its lack of knowledge of schizophrenia, he was much more accurate than we have ever given him credit for being.

[Schloss refers her method to Michel Foucault and Louis Sass, an interpreter - especially in refard to the the notion that ‘the self is not merely given but is constituted in the relationship to itself as subject [and] objectified in the process of division either within itself or from others.’ (p.99.)

Had she [Lucia] persisted in working with Lois Hutton, Hélène Vanel, Margaret Morris, and Isadora Duncan, I would like to think that she would have gained the support of artistic mothers whose own influence might have countermaded the father’s implicit demands and unavailability. I like to think of the brilliance of that choice, for in body language she would have found a way to swerve out of the wake of [101] her father’s verbal genius. As it turns out, she threw herself into transgressive behaviour [...] (pp.101-02.)

[Focuses on the episode where Lucia threw a chair at her mother, arguing that the body not words were the communicative vehicle in her life:] if we ask not what should a properly filial daughter have done, but what was expressed by the gesture, we might understand this behavioural displacement to be saying something about Nora’s perceived lack of “chair-ity”. (p.105.)]

Quotes Yeats [poem on Margaret Ruddick]: ‘Escaped from her bitter youth, / Escaped out of her crowd, / Or out of her black cloud. / A dancer, ah sweet dancer!’ (“Sweet Dancer”, in Coll. Poems; here p.105.)

This rage was later expressed by fires, which she associated with her father’s complexion and which he associated with displaced movement - “for a burning would is come to dance inane” (FW 250.16) - as if she understood her role as a surrogate for her father’s constellation of unexpressed complexes at the same time tht he could see the murdurous origins of her swerve. (p.105.)

Lists previous papers by Shloss incl. ‘Madness and Modernism’ [Bailey’s James Joyce Summer School, Dublin, 1993; ‘Father-Child Relationships in Joyce’ [James Joyce Conference, Irvine, Calif., 1993]; see also ‘Lucia Joyce was a Dancer’ [Twelfth International James Joyce Symposium, Monte Carlo, 1990]; ‘The Daughter’s Seduction in Finnegans Wake’ [Berkeley Finnegans Wake Conference, Berkeley, 1989]; ‘Lucia Joyce and the Dance’ [Redefining Marginality Conference, Tulsa, Okla., 1989); ‘James Joyce and Performance Art’ [Twenty-fifth Anniversary Celebration of the James Joyce Quarterly, Tulsa, Okla., 1988].

Also, Kimberly Devlin, Wandering and Return in “Finnegan Wake” (Princeton UP 1991), and works of Foucault.

Susan Stanford Friedman, ‘Reading Joyce: Icon of Modernity? Champion of Alterity? Ventriloquist of Otherness?’, pp. 113-33
[Friedman takes Dilly’s encounter with Stephen in Ulysses as a possible instance of Joyce’s engagement with the idea of the femalle (might-have-been) modernist and uses it as a point de depart for her reading of the politics of gender criticism in the belief that ‘politics remains a central focus of gender enquiry in Joyce studies’ (p.114). She identifies three broadly different ways in which the issue is formulated in relation to Joyce’s modernism and - finding them contradictory - ‘attempts to formulate a fourth’ (p.114), based on Shoshana Felman’s psychoanalytical reading of debate among literary critics according to which readers ‘captured by the textual web ... act out contradictory patterns often submerged beneath the surface of the text and within the psyche of the reader’ (p.119).]

The first appproach constitutes Joyce as the icon of modernism, the canonical writer of the twentieth century: the Shakespeare, Chaucer, Milton of his times. As the elite of the elite, Joyce is read as the supremely modern writer, the inventor and technologist of moderist and postmodernist poetics [...; 115.] In political term, this gesture paradoxically transforms a figure of transgression into the literary establishment - moves Joyce, in other words, from the margin to the centre. Margot Norris calls it the “canonisation effect”, which results from the “equation of Joyce with the aestheticism of modernism”, with the “ahistoricism and apoliticism” that connects him with the universal and transcendent. (Joyce’s Web, 1992, p.6.) What this reflect upon is the process of canonisation that began int eh 930s and has continued apace through the publication of such monumental books as Richard Ellmann’s biography (1959 1982) and Hugh Kenner’s books on Joyce (1962, 1987).


The second approach to reading Joyce’s modernism and gender is [115] part of the larger poststructuralist critique of the totalising notions of transcendance and universalism associate with the first approach. For some theorists and critics Joyce serves as metonym for modernity, a fragment of the whole that stand in for the deconstruction of the very notion of icons and canons. For these, Joyce contributes supremely to the death of the author and the disintegration of the Cartesian subject by his inscriptions of a modern consciousness forever split from certain knowledge of itself. [...] Joyce writes not in the language of the high priests of Western culture, but rather speaks the problematic of these discourses-parodying, exaggerating, mimicking, decentering their logocentrism on behalf of Otherness. Woven in and among the strands of the canonical in his texts are the discourses of the noncanonical, of the marginalised and repressed. His texts, for some, speak what has been unspeakable, represent what has been unrepresentable in the phallogocentric discourses of Western culture: the feminine, the unconscious, the racial and colonized Other. (p.116.)

[Summarises readings by Derrida, Lacan, Cixous, Kristeva, and sundry poststructuralist/feminist Joyceans incl. Colin MacCabe, Karen Lawrence, Christine van Boheemen, Suzette Henke and Sheldon Brivic [speaking of ‘a power related to jouissance’].

What are the gender politics of these readings of Joyce as the champion of Otherness? Lawrence, MacCabe, van Boheemen, and Henke - among many others - use poststructuralism as a tool in the reclamation of Joyce for feminism. By arguing that Joyce’s identification with the feminine deconstructs phallogocentrism, they counter the claims of other feminists that Joyce reflects, inscribes, and perpetuates the patriarchal word, Law of the Father, and representation of woman as the womb/tomb and virgin/whore of flesh. But do such claims forget the problem of Dilly, of Joyce’s modernist sisters, as Joyce himself seems to have done? However much they open up new ways of reading Joyce as part of an antipatriarchal project, do they gnore the way in which the textualized feminine serves masculine Subjectivity? (p.117.) [Joins with Elaine Showalter in expressing a fear of the approach that serves as ‘another raid on the resources of the feminine in order to modernise male dominance.’]

The third approach, often informed by poststructuralism, insists upon Joyce’s occupation of a male and masculine positionality. Heavily historicist, it aims for a kind of “think description” of the cultural moments in which Joyce’s texts are produced and read [...]. [C]ritics working within this framework read Joyce as neither idl nor metonym for modernity, positioned solely as neither universal genius or the Other’s champioin. Rather, Joyce remains once voice among others. His play with Otherness ambivalently attests to the ower of these voices emergent on the scene of a modern world split open: the voices of women, the voices of racial, ethnic, sexual and regional others, insistently testifying to the breakup of empire and the disruptions of gender, reace, ethnic and class systems. / This historicist and cultural studies approach produces different readings in relation to the gender politics of modernism. (p.118.) [Cites Gilbert and Gubar, Frances Restuccia, and Margot Norris.]

In shifting the focus of gender analysis from the totalising politics of to the local politics within Joyce’s modernism, we can avoid unnuanced readers of Joyce that “forget” what does not fit. This involves reading Joyce’s texts psycho/politically as sites of contradiction, as palimpsestic, multivoiced, and dialogic engagements with gender politics, as these interface with other kinds of political and cultural discourses. (p.121.)

Nowhere in Ulysses does Joyce try to represent the subjectivity of a woman who is akin to Stephen. Instead, his interest in the possibilities of female subjectivity centre in woman’s difference. (p.122.) What might Dilly have been capable of if she had been educates as Stephen had? (p.124.)

[Re. three different ways of reading the gender politics inscribed in the brief exchange between Dilly and Stephen:] In the first, the one most closely allied with modernism, Joyce reproduces Stephen’s phallocentrism. In the second, Joyce is the ironist who exposes Stephen’s sterility and narcissism with a satiric deflation that parallels not only the realist Ibsen but also the modernist Eliot. In the third, the one most closely allied with realism, Joyce is the male feminist who delineates the material and ideological conditions of patriarchy that narrow the lives of Irish women. It is worth noting that in this particular scene, the tendency of poststructuralist readings to associate realism with reactionary politics and (post)modernism with transgressive politics breaks down.

The point, however, is not to choose one or another of these readings. Nor is it my purpose to affix a specific politics to either the passage’s form or content. Instead, I want to locate Joyce and his [124] multilayered politics in all these readings. Their contradictions remain unresolved. [...] We need to identify scenes of the political within Joyce’s modernism as sites of contradictory cultural discourses. Such an approach reduces Joyce neither to an icon of modernity, nor to a champion of alterity, nor to a ventriloquist of Otherness. It does not posit Joyce as the Great Arranger, [... R]ather, it grants him partial agency as one writer among many who engage dialogically and contradictorily with the multiple ruptures and discontents of modernity. (pp.124-25.)

Notes: Incls. remarks on Margot Norris’s move from an ahistorical postructuralism to historicised analysis, and notes Helene Myers’s observation that Norris’s reading depends upon a resurrection of Joyce’s intentionality. (n.17, p.127; ref. to a paper the History and Popular Culture session of the California Joyce Conference, Irvine, 1993.) Quotes Derrida: ‘Everything we can say about Ulysses, for example, has already been anticipated, including, as we have seen, the scene about academic competence and the ingenuity of metadiscourse. We are caught in this net.’ (Derrida, ‘Joyce’s Gramophone: Hear Yes in Joyce’, in Acts of Literature, ed., Derek Attridge, London: Routledge, 1992, p.281.)

[Note: the quotation from Derrida is amplified in Cheryl Herr, ‘The Silence of the Hares’, infra - quoting from a variant source, viz., Bernard Benstock, ed., The Augmented Ninth (1988)]

Bibl. incls. Shari Benstock, ‘Nightletters: Women’s Writing in the Wake’, in Critical Writings on James Joyce, ed. Bernard Benstock (Boston: G. K. Hall 1985), pp.221-33; Keith M. Booker, Joyce, Bakhtin and the Literary Tradition: Towards a comparative Critical Poetics (Michigan UP 1995); Hélène Cixous, Readings: The Poetics of Blanchot, Joyce, Kafka, Kleist, Lispector and Tsvetayeva, ed. & trans., Verna Andermatt (Minneapolis UP 1991); Derrida, ‘Joyce’s Gramophone: Hear Yes in Joyce’, in Acts of LIterature, ed., Derek Attridge, London: Routledge, 1992, ppp.253-309; Kevin J. H. Dettmar, Rereading the New: A Backward Glance at Modernism (Michigan UP 1992); Susan Stanford Friedman, ed., Joyce: The Return of the Repressed (Cornell UP 1993); Friedman, Modernism’s Body: Sex, Culture, and Joyce (Columbia UP 1996); R. B. Kershner, Joyce, Bakhtin and Popular Literature: Chronicles of Disorder (N. Carolina UP 1989); Julia Kristeva, ‘Joyce “The Grasshopper or the Return of Orpheus”’, in The Augmented Ninth: Proceedings of the Ninth International James Joyce Symposium, Frankfurt, 1984, ed. Bernard Benstock (Syracuse UP 1988), [q.pp.]; Ellen Carol Jones, ‘The Letter Selfpenned to One’s Other: Joyce’s Writing, Deconstruction, Feminism’, in Coping with Joyce: Essays from the Copenhagen Symposium, ed. Morris Beja & Shari Benstock (Ohio State UP 1989), pp.180-94; Jacques Lacan, ‘Joyce le symtôme’, in Joyce and Paris, ed. Jacques Aubert & Maria Jolas (Editions du CNRS 1979), Vol. I, pp.13-17; Karen Lawrence, ‘Joyce and Feminism’ in Attridge, ed., Cambridge Companion to James Joyce (Cambridge UP 1990); Patrick McGee, Paperspace: Style as Ideology in Joyce’s “Ulysses” (Nebraska UP 1988); Margot Norris, Joyce’s Web: The Social Unraveling of Modernism (Texas UP 1992); John-Paul Riquelme, Teller and Tale in Joyce’s Fiction: Oscillating Perspectives (Johns Hopkins UP 1983); Richard Pearce, ed., Molly Blooms: A Polylogue on “Penelope” and Cultural Studies (Wisconsin UP 1994). [Also classics by Raymond Williams, Bradbury & MacFarlane and num. fam. titles by Benstock, Brivic, Cheng, Ellmann, Goldman, Henke, Herr, Kenner, Kershner, Lernout, Mahaffey, Restuccia, Bonnie Scott Kime, et al.]

John Whittier-Ferguson, ‘Embattled Indifference: Politics on the Galleys of Herbert Gorman’s James Joyce’, pp.134-48
Quotes from Gorman’s draft [galley] (p.137; as infra) and Joyce’s emendment to same (with his ironic comments: ‘it is almost impossible in the present political state of the world of [sic] what was his political atitude if it can be dignified by such a term at the time’. (p.138.)

Quotes from draft (galley) of Gorman’s Life a passage that Joyce deleted and substituted with two passages of his own, adding ironic notes on the verso:

Gorman: ‘Joyce, although he sympathised with the promoters of the rebellion from the theoretical Irish point of view, was convinced from the beginning that the move was ill-advised and doomed to failure. He continued to follow affairs in Ireland (as well as he could from his distance) and betrayed a keen sympathy with the struggle and was delighted when determined in Ireland prevented the English from enforcing conscription there.’ (Galley 81, here p.137.)

Cites the case of Michael Lennon who accused Joyce of working for the British ‘department propaganda’ in Italy during the war and accepting ‘sufficient cash in hand to be able to loll about for several months’ in Paris afterwards while ‘the British government was carrying on a war [..] against the nationalist forces in Ireland which culminiated in the Easter Week rebellion’. (p.138.)

Assessing the “two statements” which Joyce provided for Gorman to replace his paragraph about Joyce’s sympathy with the ideals of the rebels, Whittier-Ferguson writes that Joyce ‘removes Pearse and Cuchulain from Dublin’s General Post Office, as it were, leaving us merely with a building where mail is sorted.’ (p.139.)

Also quotes Joyce’s exchange with the American acting for the British Consul who professed himself proud to do so: [JJ:] ‘The British Consul is not the representative of the King of England [...] he is an official paid by my father for the protection of my person”. (Gorman, p.2134; here p.139.)

When a questioner asked him if he did not look forward to the emergence of an independent Ireland[,] Joyce is reported to ahve counter-queried: “So that I might declare myself its first enemy?”’ (Gorman, James Joyce, 1939, p.234; here p.140.)

Gorman: ‘Joyce, if anything, was an Irish Nationalist at heart’ (James Joyce, 1939, p.189) - to which Joyce added, ‘if a lifelong and so far unsuccessful battle against English ideas merits that title’ (Ibid.; Gorman papers, 4/6/65; here p.141.)

Gorman writes that Joyce holds ‘holds only the opininons of a man immersed in a vast literary endeavour to the practical exclusion of all else (James Joyce, 1939, p.234; here p.141).

Quotes Gorman on Joyce’s participation in the English Players productions, which arose when ‘it was conveyed to him unofficially but pretty plainly that he should officially do something in return for what had been done for him - i.e., the gift from the King’s Privy Purse.’ (Gorman, op. cit., p.251; here p.144).

Gorman indicates that Joyce’s action against Carr was intended in part to counter ‘rumours of Joyce’s activities in the Great War’ spread by Michael Lennon. (p.145.)

[...] Gorman’s proclamation resonates with complexities that make it difficult to use the passage to gesture convincingly toward a formalist sanctuary in which Joyce comfortably resides- exemplary high modernist from beginning to end of his long career. Gorman shows us in James Joyce an artist under siege in Zurich, the world’s neutral center, and shows us that artist’s manifold responses: trenchant rejoinders, lawsuits, angry letters, satirical songs, the careful embedding of “certain names in Ulysses” (Gorman 1939, 262). Gorman’s manuscript reveals both authors’ thumbprints, sometimes at precisely those spots where indifference is advertised (I deliberately choose the passive voice). [...] Also to be in the embattled writing space are questions about how to find money and readers, how to vindicate one’s vocation, how to insure that manifest indifference fully carries its political weight. [End.] (p.146.)

Bibl. Incls. Willard Potts, ‘Joyce’s Notes on the Gorman Biography’, in ICarbS, 4 (Carbondale 1981), pp.83-89.

R. B. Kershner, ‘The Culture of Ulysses’, pp.149-61
Incorporates full discussion of the respective views of Ulysses of Theodore Adorno, T. S. Eliot, Wyndham Lewis, Hugh Kenner, et al., and addresses the question whether the culture Joyce portrayed in Ulysses is one of “barbarism” in keeping with Adorno’s conception of it as a “negative epic” of a society alienated by commodification [i.e., advertising] almost past redemption. See quotations from and comments on Hugh Kenner (under Kenner [infra]) and James Joyce (under Joyce, Commentary [infra]).

A footnote includes ref. to Denis Donoghue, ‘Is There a Case Against Ulysses?’, in Vincent Cheng & Timothy Martin, eds, Joyce in Context (Cambridge UP 19992), pp.19-39 - with the remark: ‘[Donoghue] discusses Kenner’s and [Frederic] Jameson’s readings from a related perspective, but I believe he seriously misreads Jameson’s essay’ - viz., Frederic Jameson, ‘Ulysses in History’, in W. J. McCormack & Alastair Stead, eds., James Joyce and Modern Literature (Routledge & Kegan Paul 1982, pp.126-41.)[vix]

Catherine Whitley, ‘The Politics of Representation in Finnegans Wake’s “Ballad”’, pp.163-76.
[...] The political nature of narration and reading is underscored in “Ballad”’s implicitly presented subtopics and the way in which, both through the chapter’s form and references, history is linked to popular culture. The “Ballad” chapter evokes a certain version of Irish political history, through references to such events as the Protestant planting of Leix and Offaly, the Drogheda massacre, the Phoenix Park murders, and Parnell’s downfall. These references serve as a historical index of Ireland’s struggles with invasions, colonial forces, and the country’s loss of and inability to regain self-governance. Two time periods crucial to the country’s history and their concomitant events are thus linked; the “plantation” period of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, in which Irish Catholic land was given to English Protestants, is weighed against the period of the nineteenth century, with its attempts by Ireland to gain Home Rule. The chapter’s content simultaneously contains many references to culture popular in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, while it also borrows from some popular culture genres in its form. The “Ballad” chapter contains many references to certain politically charged versions of the island’s history, as reflected in popular plays and songs, as in, for instance, the overtly nationalistic song “Sinn Fein”. However, Joyce alters popular culture’s stereotypical treatment of Irish history, neutralizing its reactionary chauvinism through subtle alteration of the song’s content. In “Ballad” control over the geographical spaces of Ireland becomes symbolized by control over the textual spaces of popular culture; Joyce, intimating that whoever occupies the one is assured of the other, argues for a forward-looking culture and nationalism for Ireland as a replacement for a reactionary art and a nationalism that remains endlessly mired in the detritus and defeats of the past. A new culture that goes beyond nostalgia’s deadlock would be politically revolutionary, since, as Declan Kiberd states, “Culture for the revivalist ‘is always something that was,’ but for the revolutionary it is something that will be”. (Kiberd, ‘The War Against the Past’, in The Uses of the Past: Essays on Irish Culture, ed Audrey S. Eyler & Robert F. Garratt, Delaware UP 1988, 15-54; p.41.)

Cheryl Temple Herr, ‘The Silence of the Hares: Peripherality in Ireland and in Joyce’, pp.216-40
[Chiefly a reflection on Dermot Seymours series “Fresh Maumaratta Hares and Other Painting from the Periphery” (c.1993), in which the herds of Maamtrasna where Myles Joyce was indicted for murder in 1882, the year of Joyce’s birth. Cites Derrida, Kristeva and Deleuze by way of critical orientation.]

[...] I want to link the elswhere to Deleuze and to downplay the space-between while foregrunding the periphery (realising that spaces-between and peripheral spaces can certainly at times denote the same geographical, philosophical, or even experiential area.) I want to pose the periphery as a specific kind of elsewhere (not necessarily between anything) that Irish culture, with Joyce’s help but certainly without his domination, has elaborated in startingly persistent ways over the centuries. That elsewhere is the sine qua non of Finnegans Wake; it is the sometimes abject, sometimes exhilarated physical ground of the nightworld produced within the sleeping body. (p.217.)

[...] Seymour emphasises vertiginous spaces of danger, a strategy that becomes all the more powerful in the context of the ancient Dindsenchus trastion. The absolute dependence of identity on land in that tradition means that if the land is in disarray, then social idenityt cannot become more than Lack infinitely compounded by Loss.

[...] In this setting, where in the year of Joyce’s birth Myles Joyce became a sacrifice to alterity, and where a hundred years later Ireland still finds itself in the throes of necolonial co-optation, is it any wonder that Irish culture has composed for itself literal elsewheres, which I would argue Kristeva acutely detected despite the fact that her relative lack of interest in Irish society per se did not lead her further into context. Reading Joycean affect and style, she detected this always-already outsideness that motors Joyce’s project, from which he draws peripheral energies at his will because they are there. In fact, it seems clear to me thatJoyce positions his works not ony as spaces-beetween (whether the poles in quesiton are those of dogma or those of culture) but also as thresholds to alternative spaces that insist on their illegibility, their silence, for reawsons that become more than understandable the more one probes them.

[...] Where, then, is Truth located in this putative Irish viewpoint, this steady dovetailing of clues from the peripery? [...] One answer is, not in the spaces-between but in the depths, the stuff that’s behind, beneath, below, within. And that’s one reason that Finnegans Wake is “the book of the depth” (FW 621.3), why the body of HCE and the Egyptian underground have so much [225] in common. We get outside the system only by going deeper in. (pp.225-26.)

[...] Joyce is aware of the underground as a category [...] The mound or barrow is repeatedly unfolded into numerous “rambling undergroands” (FW481.15. Joyce is the Orpheus of the urban environment, of striated space, of the “Imaginary” [...] It’s what Gabriel shies away from and what keeps Michael Furey vital. (p.228.)

[Herr gives anecdotal evidence of the congruence between the ‘spiritual otherworld’ and the ‘linked space of smuggling’ with particular reference to the ‘unapproved roads’ of the Northern-Ireland border region where smugglers drive at night in complete darkness on the premise (confided to her) that “Life is all a dream” (p.237).]

The slippages between other elsewheres and smugling space helps to explain to me the Wake’s references to “smuggler for lifer” (FW 294.30) [...] (p.237).


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