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At FaultJoyce and the Crisis of the Modern University$
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Sebastian D.G. Knowles

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056920

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056920.001.0001

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Seeing the Joe Miller

Seeing the Joe Miller

(p.178) 7 Seeing the Joe Miller
At Fault

Sebastian D.G. Knowles

University Press of Florida

This chapter contains a study of the processes of neurology involved in humor detection and what those processes tell us about incongruity and risk-taking in the works of Joyce. A “Joe Miller” is a joke, and this study of Joyce’s jokes takes us into the heart of Joyce’s treasure hoard, which is language. Getting a joke is a cognitive function, performed in the same section of the brain where language tasks take place; appreciating a joke is an affective function, performed in the insular cortex, which is also implicated in pain perception, the perception of disgust, and vomiting. Both depend on parallax, or comparison with existing paradigms; the ability to think of two things at the same time is a useful way into the lexical world of Joyce.

Keywords:   parallax, cognitive function, neurology, humor, joke, Joyce

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