Mr Joyce and Dr Hydes: Irish selves and doubles in 'The Dead'

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Abstract

The article looks at Joyce's work around 1907 to explore his developing sense of 'self ' ' both his own identity as artist and Irishman, and the question of personal and ethnic identity in general. The name Hyde, belonging to the prominent Irish nationalist Douglas Hyde as well as Dr Jekyll's famous monstrous double, opens a Joycean link between questions of Irishness and of selfhood, extending to a double reading of Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Joyce's 1907 story 'The Dead'. The figures of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, I argue, embody a set of contrasting ethnic and psychical characteristics which Joyce re-inscribes in 'The Dead' as a way of treating Irish, artistic and individual identities. What becomes clear from that re-inscription is that the question of being Irish ' at the time being energetically reduced to a non-negotiable legibility ' could only be posed for the young Joyce in terms of the full complexity of being oneself, in other words, crucially, of not being one self.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-468
Number of pages16
JournalTextual Practice
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sept 2008

Keywords

  • Irish identity
  • Multiple personality
  • Politics of language
  • Self
  • Voice

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