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Bloomsday 100Essays on Ulysses$
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Morris Beja and Anne Fogarty

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034027

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034027.001.0001

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Why Leopold Bloom Menstruates

Why Leopold Bloom Menstruates

(p.41) 3 Why Leopold Bloom Menstruates
Bloomsday 100

Austin Briggs

University Press of Florida

This chapter examines a persistent vein of imagery in James Joyce's Ulysses which cross-associates Bloom with stereotypical properties of Jewishness, particularly those of effeminacy and the peculiar slur of male menstruation. Moreover, the panoply of racist stigmas, as the chapter deftly shows, is inherently contradictory because it simultaneously casts Jews as vengeful and bloodthirsty and as timorous and emasculated. Ultimately, Joyce references and counterpoints the lurid denigrations of anti-Semitism and the discourses of masculinism and athleticism espoused by Irish nationalists such as Michael Cusack and Patrick Pearse in order to refute them. This chapter argues that the unmanliness and pacifism of Stephen and especially of Bloom act as a pointed counter to political ideologies that aggrandize violence and aggression.

Keywords:   James Joyce, Ulysses, Jews, effeminacy, male menstruation, anti-Semitism, masculinism, athleticism, violence, aggression, Leopold Bloom

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