The Occult as Narrative and Thematic Device in James Joyce's Ulysses 公开

Pickard, Andrew Wesley (2009)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/0c483j87z?locale=zh
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Abstract

For many years readers and critics alike have puzzled at the extensive body of references to occult ideas and topics present in James Joyce's Ulysses. One aspect of the difficulty in understanding the references is the very nature of the word "occult" (Latin: occultus, ‘to hide' OED) and the area of knowledge it pertains to--mysticism, hermetism, esoteric Hinduism, and very many other subjects. Because there is no traditional basis for scholarly inquiry into these concepts, especially with regards to Joyce criticism, the implications of a directed research into the occult and how it operates in Ulysses have largely been ignored. It is therefore the aim of this thesis to analyze evidence of the occult in both Joyce's life and his works to investigate the extent to which the occult operates as a narrative and thematic device specifically in Ulysses. Furthermore, recognizing the preponderance of vampires, ghosts, and other Gothic indicators, I raise the question of situating the occult phenomena of the early 20th century as a substantiation of Gothic literature. By selecting four chapters out of the book, which are particularly relevant in an occult mindset, I subjected them to close reading and interpretation with the aid of the marginal amount of Joyce criticism that exists on the subject. I found that the occult in and of itself comprises a powerful force within Ulysses, featuring the ability to elevate the thematic and narrative meaningfulness of its characters out of the mundane and into the world of mystical correspondence and fate. Additionally, I make the argument that the occult should in fact be viewed under the light of Gothic criticism--doing so would allow new perspectives into the ramifications of the occult as a medium for deciphering the mysteries which have plagued critics for generations.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:

I. Introduction……………………………………………………………..…….1

II. Chapter One: Telemachus……………………………………………………16

III. Chapter Two: Proteus………………………………………………………...29

IV. Chapter Three: Nausicaa……………………………………………………...43

V. Chapter Four: Circe…………………………………………………………..56

VI. Conclusion…………………………………………………………………....74

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