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Who's Afraid of James Joyce?$
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Karen R. Lawrence

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034775

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034775.001.0001

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Legal Fiction or Pulp Fiction in “Lestrygonians”

Legal Fiction or Pulp Fiction in “Lestrygonians”

(p.119) 8 Legal Fiction or Pulp Fiction in “Lestrygonians”
Who's Afraid of James Joyce?

Karen R. Lawrence

University Press of Florida

This chapter focuses on orality and its relation to the psychoanalytic concept of identification. Drawing on Julia Kristeva's influential work on Joyce's use of the symbol of the Eucharist, the chapter juxtaposes Bloom's repulsion from the cannibalistic male-eating rituals he witnesses in the Burton Restaurant with the erotic memory of communion with Molly as they exchanged the seedcake on Howth Hill. Moments of carnivorous and vegetarian assimilation, present and remembered, constitute Bloom's consciousness. The initial description gives substance to Bloom's interiority. It mimes for us the fullness of his inner life, a fullness and richness which the novel will increase in its pages. Although he subsequently does leave home to purchase a pork kidney at Dlugacz's, and is seen “chewing with discernment the toothsome pliant meat,” the initial culinary description pertains to his thoughts only.

Keywords:   psychoanalytic concept, Julia Kristeva, Joyce, Eucharist, Bloom

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