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The Movement from Lyrical to Epical and Dramatic Form: the Opening of Ulysses

  • Daniel R. Schwarz

Abstract

As soon as we enter into the imagined world of Ulysses, we realize that Stephen is a man in trouble. He is living with a man he dislikes and who patronizes him, in a Martello tower which was intended to be a British fortress against a French invasion during the Napoleonic era. Although it is early morning in late spring, a time of hope and promise, the artistic expectations aroused by the ending of Portrait are unfulfilled. By providing a traditional omniscient narrator whose voice is separate and distinct from Stephen’s, Joyce uses the opening of Ulysses to provide a critique of the lyricism and subjectivity of Portrait: “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed” (U.2–3; I.1–2).

Keywords

Secret Sharer Diary Entry Bodily Shame Lyrical Figure Creative Imagination 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    George Eliot, Middlemarch: a Study of Provincial Life, ed. Quentin Anderson (New York: Collier Books, 1962) p. 569.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    H. Montgomery Hyde, The Trials of Oscar Wilde (New York: Dover Publications, 1962) p. 201.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    Darcy O’Brien, The Conscience of James Joyce (Princeton University Press, 1968) p. 11.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    For this view, see Daniel Mark Fogel, “Symbol and Context in Ulysses: Joyce’s ‘Bowl of Bitter Waters’ and Passover”, ELH 46 (1979) 710–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 10.
    See George DeF. Lord, “The Heroes of Ulysses and Their Homeric Prototypes”, Yale Review, 62:1 (October 1972) 43–58.Google Scholar
  6. 12.
    Richard Ellmann, The Consciousness of Joyce (Toronto and New York: Oxford University Press, 1977) p. 20.Google Scholar
  7. 15.
    Pentateuch and Haftorahs, ed. J. H. Hertz (London: Soncino Press, 1980) pp. 102–3, 759.Google Scholar
  8. 18.
    See Frank Kermode, The Genesis of Secrecy (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1980).Google Scholar
  9. 19.
    See Father William Noon, S.J., Joyce and Aquinas (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1957); my discussion takes issue with Father Noon’s argument that Stephen rejects the Arian position.Google Scholar
  10. 24.
    I am accepting Richard Ellmann’s translation; see his “The Big Word in ‘Ulysses’”, The New York Review of Books 31:16 (25 Oct. 1984) 31–2. However, it should be noted that Ellmann has made an incomplete sentence into a complete one.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Daniel R. Schwarz 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel R. Schwarz
    • 1
  1. 1.Cornell UniversityUSA

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