James Joyce and the ‘strolling mort’: significations of death in Ulysses.

Item request has been placed! ×
Item request cannot be made. ×
loading   Processing Request
  • Additional Information
    • Subject Terms:
    • Subject Terms:
    • Abstract:
      Death occupies a pertinent place in the matrix of James Joyce’s complex philosophical outlook, his historical engagement, social praxis, and his artistic choices. This essay shows how his high-modernistmagnum opus Ulyssesdeconstructs and undercuts in a carnivalesque fashion the powerful religio-political appropriations of death, particularly in the Irish context of violent nationalism, and the death-cult surrounding the martyr associated with it. The subversive, heterodox perspectives on death presented in the book relieve the phenomenon of manipulative-conspiratorial meanings as well as religio-metaphysical conceptions, and regain its ordinariness. Further, operating in the precarious space between the existential and the cultural, Joyce jealously salvages the experiential dimension of mortality for reflection. The essay also argues that Joyce’s ‘polyphonic’ discourse (theorised by Mikhail Bakhtin) of death, paradoxically, suggests an inverse critique of life and the transformation of both death-dispensing histories, and narratives thereof, in the service of life. The polyphonic method enables Joyce to make death the focus of an alternative historical trajectory by thematising inUlysseswhat Michel Foucault calls a ‘bio-history’. This alternative emphasis establishes such vital concerns as health and the quality of life as the true field of historical praxis and the criterion for evaluating historical initiatives. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
    • Abstract:
      Copyright of Mortality is the property of Routledge and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)