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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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Mixing Memory and Desire

Mixing Memory and Desire

Narrative Strategies and the Past in Ulysses

(p.64) (p.65) 4 Mixing Memory and Desire
Bloomsday 100

Richard P. Lynch

University Press of Florida

This chapter focuses on the problematic operations of memory. It differentiates between active memory and passive memory and the modes of storytelling that they generate and argues that symbolic narratives which reorder the past or sidestep facticity may act as a palliative to the dead weight of history. Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses, however, is caught between two modes of recall: a radical refutation of the past, on the one hand, and a passive surrender to its enervating effects, on the other. He persistently fights against forms of memory that induce stagnation but ultimately cannot escape the traumatic vestiges of his own familial past, especially the enduring psychic damage caused by the death of his mother.

Keywords:   Ulysses, memory, active memory, passive memory, storytelling, symbolic narratives, past, history, Stephen Dedalus

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