Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Strange Belly-Fellows: The Impossible Projects of Salvation and Subjecthood in James Joyce's Ulysses
by Woldeyohannes, Elisabeth, M.A., State University of New York at Buffalo, 2020, 319; 27737521
Abstract (Summary)

This investigation supposes a fundamental ‘wound’ in the Subject based in the theories of Lacan where the subject is separated from an experience of the Real due to the necessity to mediate self and Other through the vehicle of language. I argue that James Joyce’s Ulysses is a reflexive text, the protagonists of which, Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom, as well as the text itself are aware that they are nothing more than characters on the page with no concrete selfhood. This paper tracks the systems of sublimation and demonization to which they subject the female characters around them in hopes of returning to an unmediated experience of themselves and the world represented by the mother’s womb; however, it likewise follows that the repression of flesh and materiality, impotency, and death threaten to overturn such projects and inherently corrupt them. In fact, such projects are shown to be self-defeating paradoxes that fulfill that which they are the means to escape. Stephen and Bloom exist instead in a dialectic of synthesized contradictions best personified in the Greek goddess Hekate who, through her alignment with Ulysses’ players and their plights and her haunting of Christian belief and Western literature, underscores an equally fraught visage of the Trinity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Valente, Joseph
School: State University of New York at Buffalo
Department: English
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 81/8(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Literature
Keywords: Hekate, James Joyce, Modern literature, Psychoanalysis, Ulysses
Publication Number: 27737521
ISBN: 9781658422314
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