Demonic Joyce

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Abstract

In this article, I revisit “Cyclops” as a scene of political and interpretive conflict, which I re-interpret using Ewan Fernie’s notion of the “demonic.” I first show how “Cyclops” has been a focal point for conflicts between groups of twentieth-century Joycean critics, notably the “humanist critics like Ellmann” (whom I call the L-men) and the historicists, with the figure of “the Citizen” understood either as an inhuman monster or a figure of political resistance. I go on to use Fernie’s account of the demonic, supported by ideas from psychoanalysis and anthropology, to open a new perspective on-scene staged by Joyce in “Cyclops” with the contrast between the narrative and the interpolations re-envisaged as a clash between the realm of discursivity (and thus of a certain intersubjective rationality) and another realm where forbidden, unspeakable enjoyment shows itself and eclipses the human subject.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-611
Number of pages11
JournalJames Joyce Quarterly
Volume51
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2014

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