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Joyce's Allmaziful PlurabilitiesPolyvocal Explorations of Finnegans Wake$
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Kimberly J. Devlin and Christine Smedley

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061542

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061542.001.0001

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Habeas Corpus Epiphany in I.4

Habeas Corpus Epiphany in I.4

(p.59) 4 Habeas Corpus Epiphany in I.4
Joyce's Allmaziful Plurabilities

Mia L. McIver

University Press of Florida

The demand of the crowd in the trial of I.4—to produce the body—introduces a thematic habeas corpus. Mia McIver proceeds to emphasize the recurrently ambiguous status of the body or corpus itself, in the Wake: present as referent, but absent to sight, a starving form, but expanding through self-cannibalization. The odd nature of the corpus leaves a residue of the flesh, the body reduced to relics or traces. The absurdity of the trial lies in the problem of trying to “try” a body that has gone astray, and is adumbrated in its endlessly mutating identities. The remainder of the flesh in I.4, McIver suggests, is unruly, an excess, a restlessness, a disturbance, far from dead or inert. The final effect of this uncanny form produces a paradoxical epiphany: “a structure of immanent repetition that non-produces a non-body that nevertheless survives to rise again and regenerate itself.”

Keywords:   Habeas Corpus, Finnegans Wake, body politic

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