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Martin 1 The Questionable Progression from Modernism to Postmodernism: Exploring Aesthetic Convergences in Ulysses and Kelly Martin ENG 4970: Fall 2013 Advisor: Brandon Kershner
Martin 2 Table of Contents 11 33 44 3. Meta 54 61 63 67
Martin 3 Introduction The problem with attempting to discuss the differences between modernism and postmodernism almost immediately presents itself in most discourse as a series of unreliable dichotomies. Perhaps the most famous of these oppositions is the concept of modernism as primarily an epistemological exercise and postmodernism as more of a focus on ontological i 1960 Levin views modernism as simply history, which seems plausible due to the ex post facto nature is construction only works if we concede that by 1960 we have entered the postmodern. The idea of the superseding oneself requires that or as postmodernism has possibly created a different temporal mode to distinguish itself. There does not seem to be a consensus on what this temporality is; due to the existence of a variety of possible explanations attempting to explain these temporal shifts, much of the theory attached to these concepts still remains quite ambiguous:
Martin 4 stasis in contradistinction to modernism's dynamism either in the form of a static neoclassicism (a version favored by Charles Jencks in his various accounts of postmodern architecture), or in the form of apocalypse and the end of history (which are recurrent topics of postmoderni st theory and practice alike, as we'll shortly see). Alternatively, postmodernism might attempt to outstrip modernism by adopting an even more frantic pace of innovation and obsolescence, speeding up the cycle until it approached the seasonal rhythm of fas Despite all of these possible alternatives to explain postmodernism, there is even stronger es, or non that it is possible for modernism and postmodernism to simultaneously exist due to the unevenness of cultural postmodernization (i.e., some fields postmodernize faster than others). McHale eventua lly makes the crucial distinction of the fields, those with heterogeneo us and contested modernisms, such as film, painting, or literature, Before McHale eventually proposes his theory of the ontological vs. the epistemological, he con siders himself above all a constructivist: useful; they help us see connections among disparate phenomena, but at the same time they also obscure other connections, and we must constantly weigh the illumination they shed over here against the obscurity they cast over there epistemological and ontological after making this statement. Although McHale recognizes the
Martin 5 tenuousness of these rigid dichotomies, he seems to rely on a type of bin ary categorization that is frequently misleading. fluid, hybrid terms that a re fundamentally contained in one another. Any given work of art that has been categorically labelled as either postmodernist or modernist cannot exclude that which it ve been engendered primarily through critical theory that has attempted to categorize certain aesthetic and cultural moments in history. W hen rigid guidelines are created to explain groups of explain the possibility of cross differentiates the modernists from the postmodernists; appropriately, these terms have been used as interpretive techniques that have gradually become associated with certain cultural and historical milieus. For example, postmodernism is heavily associated with existentialism (although existentialist philosophers such as Soren Kierkegaard predate the 20 th century), so existentialist the ory is often interpolate d in aesthetic formulations of When Waiting for Godot the overwhelming sense of absurdity thus becomes equated with the anomic state of mind associated with existentialism. Now we have created the following associations: Waiting for Godot features absurdity, which is an element of existentialism, which has become attached to postmodern theory; therefore, Waiting for Godot is
Martin 6 interpretive expedients, these types of associations are created in an attempt to explain aesthetic s that would otherwise be devoid of any contextual meaning. In an at tempt to illustrate the multi interpretive fluidity of modernism and postmodernism, the focus of this study will analyze the aesthetic and theoretical convergences of two of the most imp ortant texts of the 20 th Ulysses and Thomas Ulysses has been labelled as the apotheosis of modernism, and likewise is frequently cited as the greatest example of postmodernism in the second half of the 20 th century. My purpose is to not necessarily discredit these statements altogether; I am more concerned with examining the similarities betw een the two texts to delineate how Ulysses has many elements that are now associated wit h postmodernism, while cannot completely divorce itself from the modernism it has supposedly left behind. For one, Ulysses seems to be the exception to most of the blanket modernist tendencies, and re usual ly contradistinguished Waiting for Godot It is more important to understand how these texts can be interpreted as modernist, postmodernis t, or both simultaneously. The degree to which these novels are categorized is based on the intermingling o f terminological constructions with a given aest hetic or theoretical framework. Ulysses could be considered modernist simply because it was published in 1922, and, for that matter, as postmodernist for being published in 1973, a time when postmodern discourse began to generate in critical theory. Sections of Ulysses fragmentation (note: postmodernism is often
Martin 7 fundamentally modernist. It seems as if both novels functi on on a coin like aesthetic in which both aut hors seem to fluctuate between these aesthetic categories via experimentation in form and context. Although it seems strange to cons ider something as comprised of two categories simultaneously this notion of a spectrum rather than strict aesthetic demarcations lends credence to the interpretive nature of these terms. It has certainly been easier to label certain works as primarily one category or the other, and while a giv en work may appear to exhibit certain te ndencies related to a particular category, it is important to analyze how these categorizations are subject to change based on a quasi parallax relationship with any given set of theoretical frameworks. I have identified various aesthetic and theoretical simi larities between the two texts in my efforts to delineate the underlying crossovers between these parag ons of the modern avant garde. I have focused more on attempting to find characteristics that could be interpreted as either postmodernist or modern ist and, therefore, subject t o change due to the elasticity of theoretical and interpretive construction s The firs t chapter will explore how Joyce and Pynchon canvass paranoia in terms of chaos, industrial culture (cyberpunk), entropy, skepticism, mysti cism and religion, and represen ts a post war society where technology and cyberpunk landscapes are juxtaposed with the mysticism of astral p rojection, sances, telepathic narration, etc. Fo r example, The Zone (similar to William S. Naked Lunch ) presents human existence as a liminal projection caught between a cabalistic world wide conspiracy and an apocalyptic vision of cyberspace, pareidolias, paranoi ac symbols of phalluses (the S chwarzgerat ), and preterition (itself a sort of limbo). Joyce similarly employs paranoia in Ulysses via religious and literary
Martin 8 symbolism. Throughout Ulysses there is a sense of paranoia similar to : in th century landscape of information overload in the form of newspaper headlines creating a sense of foreboding through advertisements, pamphlets, and cele stial and religious symbols that Bloom and other characters see throughout the day that forecast or reflect on certain eare, for example, is embedded in a type of conspiracy g of the mysterious Imoplex G) that traces patterns t c reating a sense of skepticism in re of paranoia in the two novels to configuration s, which are not radically of a similar type of paranoia in It has become somewhat of a clich that postmodernism is dehistorized and flat due to tial alienation and the Two or Three Things I Know About Her ). Pynchon ions create dialectical commentaries on the very c ultures in which the authors themselves reside If Ulysses is deemed postmodern engages in a pastiche of the gestation of the English language. A similar example of pastiche in is to say the least) are a representation of the nature of commodity cultur e and history what celebrities
Martin 9 becomes abstruse in his treatment of culture through pastiche and parody: various songs, riddles, celebrities, sayings, slang, operas, plays, and historic al instances are interplayed to create a microcosm of the 19 th century (and early 20 th ). is also an encyclopedic microcosm of cultural and historical sensibilities channeled through very similar stylistic motifs often employing a type of cultural artifice as a comment on the postmodern condition, which, I will argue, is not void of histor ical contextuality. Despite their various interactions with history, both Ulysses and Joyce views history as a nightmare of clichs, and Pynchon is also skeptical of the authenticity of World War II!). In this chapter, I will trac e the similarities of Joyce history and culture. Much of Ulysses Rainbow also plays with the multiplicity and perhaps subjectivity of history, featuring over 400 characters whose per spectives are explored (cf. the episode in Ulysses which plays with a similar type of subjective multiplicity via rapidly changing perspectives) I will also expl ore a number of theories relating to fluctuating modes of cultural discourse vis a vis changing ideas of aest hetic representation, including the notion of an increasingly self reflexive avant garde sensibil ity as well as discussions of post structuralism mass culture high vs. low culture s and ironic juxtaposition It seems as if both Joyce and Pynchon reflect on their specific time periods, which somewhat explains the various aesthetic and historical as sociations we have of modernism and postmodernism. Joyce comments on Victorian and early 20th century culture through ironic ju xtapositions of high vs. low and explores the politi cal and social attitudes of an amalgamation of countercultural politics and,
Martin 10 perhaps, the anti intellectual sensibilities of the 1960s. Therefore, both novels seem to be snapshots of avant garde culture endemic to particular moments in history (although supposedly the avant garde has c ollapsed by the time we get to has an aura of the camp sensibility of the 1960s in which the obscene becomes art (Joyce, o f course, has these types of moments as well). We can view these novels as historical and aesthetic artifacts of both the modern and postmodern condition, although many theorists would find this somewhat antithetical to postmodern theory, which traditional elements outside of historical context. I will attempt to differentiate between the aesthetics themselves and the theory surrounding the aesthetics. My last two chapters focus specifically on the meta fictional aspects of the texts. It has been posited by theorists such as Clement Greenberg that the avant garde has become increasingly self reflexive, which, I will argue, often becomes a type of meta narration. It is difficult to classify parody, pastiche, and absurdity as eithe r postmodernist or modernist, as both the modernists and postmodernist s often utilize these tropes. Ulysses and could be both modernist and postmodernist in terms of self reflexivity, artificiality, and intert extuality, none of which are inherently situated in various motifs. The final chapter will extend my previous chapte meta textuality to specific stylistic characteristics of both novels that could be either modern or postmodern, and, more what is rimental nature of modernism is sometimes downplayed
Martin 11 when concessions are made to a diametrically oppositional postmodernism; these types of binary constructions prioritize canonization at the expense of very complex aesthetic intertextuality. What makes U lysses configuration of postmodernism etely obliterated in postmodern liter ature as maintained by many theorists Or is it possible we now have a postmodern bias when reading Ulysses ? Why do some theorists cringe at the thought of calling Ulysses s Rainbow as an instance of postmodernism? Despite the problem s of these theoretical models, I will attempt to illustrate what (stylistically) has carried over from Ulysses to (and, vice versa, what could be applied to Ulysses from Gravit ) and how certain motifs could be in both simultaneously
Martin 12 Chapter 1: Paranoia and Reality The notion of extreme paranoia has become a ttached to ideas surrounding theories of a postmodern society. A number of these theories directly address paranoid societ y or are applicable to certain has specific stylistic representations. In this chapter, I will examine certain aspects of this notion of paranoia in relation to the difficulties of classification; in dichotomous frameworks, the while the modernist text is often distingui This type of model only somewhat explains these very complex aesthetics: in both Ulysses and paranoia, like modernism and postmodernism in themselves, takes a variety of forms that ar e difficult to link to a singular aesthetic or th eoretical school of thought. Before bro aching a discussion of the modes of paranoia in and Ulysses (and whether or not postmodern paranoia is fundamentally contradistinguished from modernis t paranoia), it is necessary to discuss briefly a few of these theories and how their discourse is conducive to an understanding of both modernist and postmodernist configurations of paranoia. Michel Foucault is perhaps the theorist most closely associat ed with paranoia in Discipline and Punish suggests the existence of a panoptic, carceral society in which individuals may or may not b never know whether he is being looked at at any one moment; but he must be sure that he may modern society as an allego ry for the ultimate prison, which, as he argues, has become the society in which we live, where the panopticon:
Martin 13 instruct schoolchildren, to confine the insane to supervise workers, to put beggars and idlers to work. It is a type of location of bodies in space, of distribution of individuals in relation to one another, of hierarchical organization, of disposition of centres and channels of power, of definition of the instruments and modes of intervention of power, which can be implemented in hospitals, workshops, schools, prisons. Whenever one is dealing with a multiplicity of individuals on whom a task or a particular form of behaviour must be imposed, the pano This panoptic schema specifically to the science fiction genre (e.g., A Clockwork Orange, 1984, A Scanner Darkly ). An even better example of the panopti postmodern novel due to our increasingly technological society, but even before the supposed end of modernism, there can be found varying degrees of parano ia in modernist literature based on this panoptic schema I used 1984 makes the cutoff into postmodernism if modernism ended in 1940. If we could still consider 1984 as a modernist novel, then it could be argued that the modernists at least prefigured many of the Gravity so there arises many overlap s in the constructions of paranoia employed by both the modernists and postmodernists The Waste Land personifies a paranoid sensibility in the Game of Chess section of the poem, where the disi ntegrated form is heavily influenced by the paranoid hallucinations of a woman who represents many of the neuroses of modern sexuality. In other
Martin 14 words, you could apply this paranoid, panoptic schema to novels with since, at times the modernists are just as paranoid as the postmodernists, as in the case of Ulysses Simulacra and Simulation similarly offers a paranoid reading of society, but perhaps not as directly as Foucauldian analysis. asis is on the notion of simulacra and hyperreality in postmodern society where, according to Baudrillard, reality and the virtual are blurred in hyperrealistic alienating capacities. Baudrillard traces the existence of simulacra thr oughout the ages, culminating supposedly in of a fixed reality. In his online modules on Jean Baudrillard, Dino Felluga, professor at Purdue University and creator of the highly acclaimed website Introduction to Critical Theory writes: ird order of simulacra, which is associated with the postmodern age, we are confronted with a precession of simulacra; that is, the representation precedes and determines the real. There is no longer any distinction between reality and its representation; Modules on Baudrillard: On Simulation ). Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep ?, whic h presents a society overloaded with simulacra in the form of advertise ments, mechanical animals, and cyberpunk motifs (i.e., high technology intermixed with squalid living conditions). As with Foucault, you society to modernist society as well: modern period of the counterfeit image and mass produ ction, advertising in the 19 th are readings of various points of modernization. Once again, the idea of a postmodern pa ranoia
Martin 15 could be equated with modernist literature), but Joyce seems to be the exception. Arguably, there are m oments in Ulysses in which the fixation on Blazes Boylan ), but I think the differen ces and similarities in the use of paranoia as a device in Ulysses and are not based solely on the idea of level s of extremity; a fortiori the distinction, I think, is based more on stylistic configurations of paranoia that fluctuate in varying degrees throughout both novels, not necessarily a fundamen tal difference in the overall effect. Although is equally potent paranoia. is complex for its stylistic representation of an apocalyptic vision of a disillusioned, confused, technologically advanced post World War II notion of the ontologica l, which conceptualizes the ambiguity of reality this paranoia could be i nterpreted as a Baudrillardian schema of hyperreality. This interpretation is certainly sound, but it fails to fully accommodate the funda mentally epistemological problems of subjective realities, where the true difficulty in distinguishing what is real is a discrepancy between our perceptual knowledge systems (such as our sense of sight) and how these systems determine reality; it is our subjective knowledge systems that form ul ate the real vs. the virtual. ontological, especially since the terms are often extremely proximal in theoretical applica tions.
Martin 16 Another possible function of this paranoia is the notion of extremity which I previously suggested often associates with the postmodern For one, Pynchon and Joyce are in completely different narrative milieus, Pynchon in an apocalyptic sci fi set ting, Joyce in the quotidian Pync more extreme because is essentially an t in is with the patterns of technology and culture which determine, together with the physical laws of the universe, what is be more directly pa ranoid as a means to enrich the allegory. Joyce, on the other hand, is perhaps reading of society. ems of categorizes an exercise in creative paranoia, a self but he also mentio ns one aspect of the epistemological: ou the system of the novel) that matters in allowing man to type of This self conscious pa a set
Martin 17 of unwritt consciousness: The camera is often very closely associated with a type of voyeur istic paran oia, or, rather, a Hitchcockian concept of being watched by an unknown viewer (cf. the prisoner being watched in Foucau Grigori the octopus, a specimen in an observation screen from his ut the Pynchon 113). ecomes a fetishistic treatment of under the constant scrutiny of scientis ts, such as the Pavlovian experiments conducted antiseptic cotton swab; unconditioned re sponse = Observational dozen times tonight, into the dark, to sedate Fox (hi (Pynchon 47). Through out Slothr many encounters with paranoia, an appl icable concept as well, where there is a constant struggle in deciding if there are truly any patterns there is still anti paranoia, where nothing is connecte d to anything, a notion should not be used to undermine the skepticism a t the apex of high modernism. Modernism is rooted in a very simil ar form of power systems responsible for the existence of certain social institutions are heavily scrutinized. I n Ulysses
Martin 18 there is possibly in the form of the Catholic Church. What is institution dictating the very realities in which we live. In almost every chapter, there is some type of configu ration of the Church as an all young Stephen orgulous of mother Church that would cast him out of her bosom, of law of canons, of Lilith, patron of abortions, of bigness wrought by wind of seeds of brightne ss or by criticisms of the Churc h, which is portrayed as the a ll seeing eye that influences our every move. ique of Faubourg Saint Patrice : Ulysses A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Ulysses (1922), James Joyce demonstrates what he perceives to be the paralyzing effects of those institutionalized religions that sit at the center of cultures. Drawing on Michel Foucault's analysis of institutional dressage as well as his use of Jeremy Bentham' s Panopticon prison in Discipline and Punish (1975), this thesis argues that Joyce's portrait of the Catholic Church's influence on Irish culture is his attempt to display its ubiquitous and inextricable power. In both works, Joyce focuses on the internalization of this power which emanates from the physical manifestations of the Church's presence, the strict tenets of its doctrine, and its concept of an omnipotent, omniscient God who, embodied in an individual's conscience, becomes the perfect "surveillant" (Nelson 1). in Ulysses via Buck Mulligan, whose jocular remarks denigrate many aspect s of Catholic
Martin 19 tradition s 1984 where Big Brother mus t only be criticized in private. E ven amongst fr e 16). It is as if Haines, even though he claims to the most harmles s quips against the Church may result in eternal damnation (cf. preterition in in which the characters often question if God has abandoned them to apocalypse). In there is an interconnection between technology and wha t I term is very much akin to cyberpunk, where there is a blend of hy perrealism and technology ( humans and machines become one in the same, thus blurring what is rea l vs. simulation) as well as notion s of surveillance society, chaos, entropy, and destruction which there also exists elements of the paranormal and ultramundane. These elements are further intermixed via hallucinogenic delusion s, pat terns, conspiracies, preterition, and the liminality of subjective reality, creating a milieu in which the idea of a Baudrillardian hype r rea llity is certainly applicable. mu ltiple or co nflicting realities type of paranoia, as I mentioned, epistemologically ontological in its various ramifications.
Martin 20 The opening sequence in Rainbow moti f of unapologetically placing the reader (often in medias res ) in realities that may or may not be A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now. It is too late. The Evacuate still proceeds. There are no lights ins It is gradually revealed decoding) is very easy to miss: blanket, a tartan of orange, rust, and scarlet. His skull feels m of reality is q uite often a series of dissilient stratifications that c ontinually burst through multiple layers of consciousness as in in which Slothrop is being administered sodium amy tal this scene fluctuates between the thoughts absurdity blurs what actually happens as Slothrop supposedl y crawls through a toilet bowl amongst various articl es of waste that are described in excruciating detail, an instance that gradually segues into the adventu res of Crutchfield In fact, these types of paranoid hallucinations are rampant through out a Guilt Convention, the Komica l Kamikazes, and finall y (perhaps the most notable) fragmented c W e truly do not know what even happens to Slothrop, who appears to fizzle out amongst c book esque adventures with the Floundering Four against the insidious Paternal Peril). It is precisely these types of blurs between reality and fantasy that make it tempting to assert ovels; however, these
Martin 21 ideas of existence are fundamental ly tied to questions of knowing. Brandon Kershner in The 20 th Century Novel just how do we tell whether a given novel is more epistemological or more ontological in its (Kershner, The 20 th Century Novel 77). According to Kershner, anything can be read may be more a way of reading than a way of writing: virtually any work can be said to have The 20 th Century Novel 77). As outrageous as these paranoid fantasies become, they are not a s divorced from modernism as you may think. The modernists frequently played with the notion of fragmented realities via these same types of hallucinogenic digressions, such as, of course, Ulysses You could also cite a few pre modern examples w here the outlandish and grotesque are carried to extremes, such as Macbeth Divine Comedy or The Faerie Queene B lurs between reality and fantasy are, therefore, not necessarily inherently postmodern writers have bee n using this technique for centuries. alternate universe in which the paranor mal and technological become two very important ingredients in an allegory Throughout the novel, there are references to Tarot cards, sances, a nd the White Visitation type of paranormal ability there is a sense that technology continually blurs the lines between the animate and inanimate.
Martin 22 ring the line between what's alive and what isn't, Pynchon enables us to see organic processes carried on by inanimate means. Metals in particular are understood to carry on life's electric impulses without loss of vital spirit. After a lengthy description o f thousand Pynchon writes: Yet the continuity, flesh to kindred metals, home to hedgeless sea, has persisted. It is not death that separates these incarnations but paper: paper specialties, pa per routines. The War, the Empire, will expedite such barriers between our lives. The War needs to divide this way, and to subdivide, though its propaganda will always stress un ity, alliance, pulling together Our former engineering student's sense -that the metallic can be made kindred to flesh if it's wired to the human spirit -seems to foresee a path for the ultimate extension of human thought and expression across the phone lines, silicon chips, notion of the Earth itself as being alive, or made up of va rious microscopic systems that and steel i s coal tar. Imagine coal, down in the earth, dead black, no light, the very substance of death. Death ancient, prehistoric, species we will never see again Growing older, blacker, deeper in layers of perpetual night. Above ground, the steel rolls out fier y Pynchon 169). In cyberpunk settings, there is a mix of the spiritual or metaphysical with highly advanced technology, which creates a Baudrillardian sense of hyperreality as discussed above. Perhaps realms is to sharpen his diale ctic prophecies of cyberspace, which has become a milieu composed of the intangible and often hidden from the naked eye Perhaps
Martin 23 the best example of the blend ing of the animate and inanimate, ontic and metaphysical, paranormal and te chnolo gical, is the long history of Byron the Bulb, which, like previous episodes, arises abruptly in the form of a digressional aside: Osram light bulb that Franz Pokler used to sleep next to in his bunk at the underground rocket works a bulb, if only it could speak well, as I matter of fact, it can 7). immediately presented application s of configurations of cyberspace. Stonehill addresses the revelatory dialec ti c : at someth ing close to the speed of was not even taken seriously as science fiction when Pynchon let Byron the Bulb shed his light, but clearly, in retrospect, the epis ode was prophetic, and now every bulb in Europe -or every wired monitor screen in the world -does know what's happened. Interestingly enough, Pynchon mentions prophecy itself at the end of Byron the Bulb's story, for it is Byron's fate -like that of so many e mail addicts -to have access to all the information in the world, yet be able to do little with it: Someday he will know everything, and still be as impotent as before. His youthful dreams of organizing all the bulbs in the world seem impossibl e now -the Grid is wide open, all messages can be overheard, and there are more than enough traitors out on the line. Prophets traditionally don't last long -they are either killed outright, or given an accident serious
Martin 24 enough to make them stop and thi nk, and most often they do pull back (654 (Stonehill). inanimate certainly have the paranoid aspect of deci ding whether or not as if Pynchon is writing an alternate history of the inanimate that vs. the hidden or unknown waiting to be uncovered perhaps a conspiracy theory of the inanimate. Even Rocket 00000 is given a mystical, godlike aura, in which humans no longer Equal in the eyes of the r own course of action, which very heavily recalls the classic sci fi motif of technology taking over humans (cf. I, Robot or The Matrix ) in post apocalyptic settings. Before turning to a discussion of paranoia in Ulysses I would like to discuss th e overall and how they i ncorporate many of the motifs I have discussed above. One of the quest is the map of his sexual encounters and rocket explosions both of which are apparently connected. The true paranoia lies in attempting to explain this phenomenon, which science and reason cannot necessarily explain: Every square is just as likely to get hit ag constant. Nothing on the map to the contrary. Only a classical Poisson distri 54). The concept of k nowledg e outside the grasp of human cognizance is played with here, even a loomin g fear of Preterition, mos t basically, stems from the Calvinist doctrine in which the elect ascend to heaven while the nonelect are left behind Throughout the
Martin 25 novel, it seems as if the characters believe they have been left behind in this te chnological wasteland, being abandoned by God: This in part, explains the very cha os into which they have descended where reality is me aningless and human existence secondary to destructive e ntropy (cf. the decayed urban landscapes and psychological fragmentation in The Zone). Where ream the reader, eventually allowing the reader to distinguish between external reality and internal thoughts (cf. fluctuating perspectives between the narrator and Stephen Dedalus ). However, it must be remembered that milieu is everyday life. Stylistically Pynchon is more self consciously paranoid, but Joyce is more subtle nists employed paranoia as well; paranoia is not endemic only to postmodernism postmodernism is just more directly paranoid, which gives the illusion of being more extre apparent does not mean it has a lesser effect. Even so, Joyce has moments of direct paranoia y there, but it is often obfuscated through some stylistic means, or, p Once again, t his recalls is is too simple a formulation : his argument
Martin 26 relies too heavily on the ontological vs. the epistemological, which could be under stood Since Ulysses Odyssey novel is almost essential. I nfused throughout the novel are homages to the Odyssey, where characters and objects recall various Homeric counterparts: for one parallels, for his correspondences are neither exclusive nor continuously persistent. Nevertheless certain correspondences recur throughout Ulysses establishing themselves firmly. Thus Leopold Bloom corresponds to Ulysses in the Homeric parallel, and Stephen Dedalus amires 3). ly insuperable chaos (very similar to Pynchon in terms of an order amongst the chaos perhaps due the chaos). The Gilbert an d Linati schemas indicate that in each chapter of Ulysses there are a set of functions (e.g., catechism, di alectic, enthymemic, etc.) coordinating the events and formal elements of the novel almost like a computer code. For example, in the main sym bol is the heart, so Joyce carefully alludes to the heart both at indicate complex formal frameworks. Joyce infuses the entire narrative world of Ulysses with symbols, metaphors, parallels set of the novel,
Martin 27 manifest themselves in neurotic Irish art. The cracked lookingglass of a with these moments of paranoia, such as (Bloom) or the fallen angel, the poet, the dutiful son, the iconoclast, Christ himself, the redeemed, Hamlet, or Telemachus ) Stephen does not p ossible roles. Stephen also reflects on many symbols of Ireland itself, such as th e milkwoman, crone, lowly form of an immortal serving her conqu Joyce 12). The obsession with meta phor via punishment for his sins. Joyc e has car efully constructed a world in which symbols aboun d in a multitude of forms, where later events of the novel are foreshadowed in the earlier chapters through very subtle devices. y, which relates back to the epistemological vs. ontological problem s I discussed in knowledge, but his struggles with the nature of human kno Since we events of this chapter, the se narrative modes recall s idea of subjective realities ( Stephen also has a very Pynchonian
Martin 28 Stephen experiences various instances th at forecast cosmic paranoia very similar to Even though Bloom is often associated with the body or the corporeal as opposed to Stephen and the metaphysical, the chapters in which Bloom is one of the central foci employ a mediums. Whereas milieu of symbols channeled primarily through advertisements (the melon fields and 34 Bleibtreustrasse horse race), and indications of Molly physical world, then, to the reader is heavily influenced by the paranoid delusions of Bloom and Stephen, where their own fears doubts, and sensations interpolate systems of meaning in physical space. For example, in lethargic sensations heavily influence the way s my tooralo novel th rough proxy, in which we are presented with a variety of viewpoints, sensations, thoughts, and echelons of consciousness that we must attempt to juxtapose with reality Due to this proximal relationship, I would argue one of the more paranoid chapters in Ulysses is vignettes and the paper boat (the crumpled throwaway, with its slogan ) wandering Joyce 205). This description of the throwaway is used as a motif throughout the episode, a type of montage Joyc e frequently utilizes in Ulysses to draw attention
Martin 29 to recurring catching the coin f rom Molly Bloom, whose identity is not immediately apparent to the reader time, the reader has to wait for things or events to be revealed in their full panoply before complete sense is made ost Pynchonian moment of paranoia, where virtually esque trek through multiple realities and modes of consciousness. The episode has its own internal logic of illusion upon by these illusions, such as the cigarette smoke and fan both acting as transitional devices to (Blamires 182). (As a side note reminiscent of the dominatrix scene in ) Like we are the reader can never really find an apt orientation. Ulysses is voyeuri encounter wit h Molly Bloom. In (Gifford 291). As Bloom passes the window at
Martin 30 (Joyce 214). The Sweets of Sin hose Lovely Seaside G recurring thoughts in gly unrelated external objects take on symbolic meanings for Bloom (c religious imagery). As I mentioned previously, Bloom cigarettes, and the sensuousness of it takes him back to The Sweets of Sin that interpo late images related to his failin g marriage. Cuckold related images abound throughout the novel not only in reference to Bloom but also Stephen. Since Bloom is associated with the body and Stephen the metaphy old is more lite ral, whereas vis vis Buck Mulligan or even his own fragmented identity old bridges from tephen discusses Iago as a cuc k conduit between Bloom and Stephen: SHAKESPEARE: ( in dignified ventriloquy mind. ( to Bloom ) Thou th oughtest as how thou wastest invisible. Gaze. ( he crows with a ) Iagogo! How my Oldfellow chokit his Thursdaymornun. This image seems to solidify the link be tween Stephen and Bloom as cuck olds; even though Bloom to be subcon sciously aware of it perhaps a cosmic par anoia similar to It appears as if Stephen is a cuck old in a metaphorical sense ; perhaps histo ry, Ireland, or even God
Martin 31 have related images are particularly con centrated in sins such as masturbation) MEPIECE: Cuc Boylan has various dialogues in : BOYLAN ( sated, smiles ): Plucking a turkey. BOYLAN: Smell that. LENEHAN ( smells gleefully ) Ah! Lobster and mayonnaise. BOYLAN: Hello, B loom! Mrs. Bloom dressed yet? Show me in. I have a little 461). in the novel does Bloom directly address Boylan unless in these subconscious spaces; Bloom tries to avoid contact with Boylan in the physical spaces of as if trying to avoid the eyes anopticon I would also like to focus on the Aeolus chapter as o configu rations of the portrayal of technology and mass communication in Aeolus presents a in the episode are oriented, and there is also a notion of a mechanica threefour time. Thump, thump, thump. Now if he got paralysed there and no one knew how to This coul the air in an intangible realm ( of hidden intangible worlds inhabited by the inanimate ) (perhaps an editor
Martin 32 via information distribution Joyce seems to critique this notion of a com which information is distributed ad nauseum ceaseless Sllt Sllt, the shouting newsboys, and [in a different sense] the screaming headlines, all lamires 45). This sense of rest lessness attributed to modern informational processes seems to prefigure Pyncho result ing from these types of commodity systems and the ensuing difficulty in distinguishing t least the gas of inflated rhetoric and hectoring, wordy conversation. The rush of words, of rumour, of news, let loose daily from this pulsing, hectic organ, is pumped into the life of Dublin. perhaps more appropriate to deem this fo rmulation a specific ty pe of paranoid alienation, in which it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between reality an d simulation as a result of these very complex system s of information reproduction where the simulacrum precedes the original mode l u nravelling of the mysteries of the day, which we have spent a good portion of in Stephen Molly Bloom has her own system of paranoia in which she feels Bloom has cer ulterior motives, wondering why he has asked for breakfa st in bed. She questions all of his various idiosyncrasies, while simultaneously reflecting on her own mo tives for committing adultery. we experience the events of the novel through proxy and become gradually awa re of what is being expressed via a given consciousness (cf. when Molly hears the train, as well as when she
Martin 33 starts her period). I think these types of intrusive, stream of pre s notion of multiple realities that possibly have their own internal sets of knowledge systems Whatever reality is, we certainly have difficulty in trying to represent it. Like Pynchon, Joyce ultimately has a paranoid reading of reality in which a multitude of perspectives are represented as both epistemological and ontological problems, where our problems of knowing are fundamentally related to our conceptions of being.
Martin 34 Chapter 2: Historical and Cultural Knowle dge Systems So far in my discussion of Ulysses and I have been exploring the unreliability of binary constructions between postmodernism and modernism. Usually critics attempt to separate the two by means of unreliable dichotomies, as i l 1971 The Dismemberment of Orpheus where he presents ideas such as a modernist hierar chy vs. a postmodernist anarchy or a modernist narrative vs. a postmodernist anti narrative. As I have been attempting to illustrate, these configurations merely provide, perhaps, an introductory framework when discussing the terms but should not be used as absolutes. I originally chose Ulysses characteristics frequently cited by theorists such as Hassan. It is possible that Ulysses takes modernism to its utmost edges, which is why it appears to be so s Rainbow structuralist work The Open Work which argues that a text is ultimately indefinable which must be interpreted by a given could be applied to both Ulysses and in terms of historical and cultural relationships. It is not that Joyce and Pynchon did not have their own particular knowledge systems and aims w applications can enrich readings of both of these novels. As such, in this chapter I shall discuss how both of the novels interact with historical and cultural sensibilities, considering the ories such as the New Historicism and post structuralism. It is not my aim t o prove that Joyce and Pynchon are primarily post structuralists ; rather, I am merely using post structural analysis as a method to show how the texts question binary relationships and interact within their own cultural
Martin 35 knowledge systems. Before delving further into these relationships, I will first discuss some of the defining tenets of post structurali sm and its relationship to post modernism. tensions. New historicism suggests the newness of th e past, whereas postmodern suggests that which is considered behind us referred to as the modern age, the new historicism and postmodernism could be considered complement ary descriptions of the same condition...Appropriately, post structuralism and postmodernism question the assumptions of self conscious modern ages toward the very modern that post structuralism is at pains to discredi The New Historicism and Other Old Fashioned Topics Thomas attempts to analyze the possible convergences and distinctions be tween all of these terms, but I think we should move to a higher level of diale ctical reasoning in which we may use the terms as tools to enrich a text instead of limit ing it to one particular theoretical view. When using these types of terms, it is very tempting to force the texts to conform to singular views instead of applying a m ulti theoretical approach. It is my intention to argue that all of these analyses may be used in conjunction to give a complete reading to the texts, even if the terms themselves may prove to be contradictory on a purely ostensible level. For some reason condition in which the very idea of history has collapsed. Perhaps this is due, in part, to The Illusion of the End :
Martin 36 the dustbins of history. There are no longer any dustbins for disposing of old ideologies, old regimes, old values. Where are we going to throw Marxism, which actually invented the dustbins of history? (Yet there is some justice here since the very people who invented them have fallen in.) Conclusion: if there are no more dustbins of history, this is because History itself has become a dustbin. It has 26) Baudrilla rd attributes much of this historical eatures should be assessed fairly It is perhaps due in part to historical nihilists such as Baudrillard that the idea of has been completed abandoned; rather, t he concept of metanarratives has been questioned and re was intrinsic to the post structuralist stance was extended from texts to history and public affairs, and in this development the name of Jean even Lyotard himself becomes grim in his assessment of historical totalis standpoint whi ch can justly be described as one of the leitmotifs of post structuralism is grounded in the conviction that the standpoint of totalis 15). ped in one of the binary constructions post structuralists argue against every aspect of history is futile, since we only
Martin 37 perhaps). Although we may not be equipped to understand the entire picture of history, we should at least attempt to dec ode artistic representations to understand their own internal realities. Having all of this i n mind, both Ulysses and appear to question metanarratives, viewing history from a skeptical gaze. Alth ough the novels question historicity, it is not a nugatory exercise to attempt to understand at least a fractio n of the knowledge syste ms that contributed to the creation of the texts, which I will explore further in a discussion of cultural aesthe tics after I have analyzed how the texts interact within their own historical dialectic. Stephen Dedalus gives us an initial idea of his sens e of the chaos of history in racked looking hese types of notion of entelechy (or actuality vs. possibility). Stephen seems to feel trapped by the clichs of history; what has history chosen to remember? It is as if history is an autonomous being capable of choo history is an endless chaos of violence and racism immoral acts against the Othe r, which could be a Levinasian formulation of an ethical responsibility for the collective. Stephen views art as a means to orient himself amongst the cha os; even though art is redemptive, Stephen a ttacks sentimentality because he cannot accurately represe nt it (Wachtel 118). Although Joyce seems to be playing with ideas surrounding subjective history, perhaps he also considers the notion of a self The 19 th century dislike of romanticism is the rage of
Martin 38 Caliban at not see it further suggests that Stephen suffers from (Wachtel 118). Stephen continually views history as a dream despite his knowledge otherwis e, so perhaps Joyce is arguing against our romantic ideas of history perhaps the past is the past. o uncovering it and representing it, thus relying on a fundamental ambiguity (or at least a degree of ambivalence) of any type of historical sensibility. The past itself may be immovable, but I think Joyce acknowledges the chaos of history for those in the present. In John S. Rickard focuses, as the title suggests, on the role of memory in Ulysses in Ulysses is an attempt to search back through the past, or more accurately, through memories of Rickard 47). Rickard primarily focuses on the psychoanalytic aspect s instinct that works constantly to recollect and repeat represse to historical orientation in the novel, it would seem Joyce could be playing with the concept of an unconscious cultural memory (or collective memory) that has been repr essed or forgotten ( a history that we are unable to account for due to its overwhelming obscurity), which would be contradistinguished from individual obvious reasons i n his discussions of memory. approximates to Polyphemus, has a one eyed view, a fanatical, unreasoning nationali stic passion that makes him incapable of seeing any other side to a question. Bloom is always able to see two
Martin 39 sides to a question. He is two amires 118). According to Harry Blamires in The New Bloomsday Book this type of two eyed persp ective mires 119). This double ness i s appropriate when consider ing a concept as wide ranging as history, where there is both the pa st as it truly happened juxtaposed with our individual conceptions of it. Pynchon seems to similarly question our notions of historicity in by, for one, exploring the connections between individual subjecti vity and the physical world: physical world, then, ceases to be the predicable place it had been in the 17 th urse in stems from an epistemologically ontological question of subjectivity and the difficulties of knowing one reality from another. In this same vein, Pynchon seems very clos of history as chaos, which recalls Stephen moments in which our reliance on hist orical narratives is question ed Pynchon, like Joyce, seems to be focused on uncovering histories unknown to us, as serting (in most cases his times, but skepticism is rooted in reliably documenting the phenomenological world. Pynchon thematically situates this paranoia in a Foucauldian question of authoritarian historicity : as I quoted from Chapter 1 of my s something comforting almost religious about paranoia, there is also
Martin 40 anti paranoia, where nothing is connected to anything, a condition that not many of us can bear V ., Cowart, like most theorists dealing with postmodern analyses of his 20 th century move toward? Again, the very question assumes an unwarranted teleology, for in fact history moves toward nothing at all, unless it be oblivion, nothingness, universal is a novel of apocalypse; this is end where Rocket 00000 descen ds upon a movie theater amidst the song of the preterites In postmodern discourse, there is supposedly a lack of re demption, whereas in Ulysses Stephen view s the artist as the redeemer of the chaos of history In it is apocalypse that i s the savior of history: history must be rewritten, began anew, or perhaps reassessed The confusion of the phenomenological world has brought about this chaos into which we have should not be misconstrued as the nihilistic, ahistorical chaos Cowart asserts. Amongst the chaos the answer to the dysfunction and uncertainty of the physical world. Pynchon se ems to question existence beyond this inevitable apocalypse what shall emerge from the ashes? Pynchon appears to be writing his own history: produces a homogenous medium wh Rainbow (Marriott 69). By writing his own version of history, Pynchon falls victim to the extreme subjectivit y that is apparently at the root of the confusion of documenting our existences. O n the
Martin 41 other hand, Pynchon is perhaps attempting to illustrate a specific type of historical thinking that is itself an expansive marginal commentary on the 20th century; an alternate, heretical history which cannot be assimilated with 71). M : Apocryphal History or Historical Apocrypha ? does not merely use f ictional sources; he draws on several first person, ostensibly historical By admixing both fictional and historical (e.g., The A utobiography of Malcolm X ) accounts, Pynchon does not seem to be suggesting that history is doomed to nothingness; instead, Pynchon merely deconstructs our ideas surrounding history, questioning, once again, the instauration of history after apocalypse. How does all of this relate back to post structuralism and the New Historicism? Post structuralism and the New Historicism seek an understanding of historical contexts in the present, while simultaneously questioning all pre conceived historical relatio nsh ips. For instance, post structuralists th century is interplayed in Ulysses and what this can tell a reader in the present. I would like to present a rath argument of descriptive historicity in both Ulysses and Rainbow : while both novels do, in fact, question metanarratives and hist orical sensibilities (as well as commentate on how cultural concepts have changed over time), I would suggest that a mere stru cturalist reading of the novels, in which we attempt to understand the knowledge systems both Pynchon and Joyce were aware of in their own time periods is worth our attention.
Martin 42 Both Ulysses and (like Moby Dick, Don Quixote or Infinite Jest ) can be classified as encyclopedic novels, or, rather, microcosms of the cultures in which they reside. For instance, both novels play with many av ant garde sensibilities of specific cultural moments delayed decodi countercultural sensibilities ( art ) reminiscent of 1960s camp or even kitsch both of which are represented primarily though extreme obscenity (cf. t he Anu bi s orgy, Katje and the sadomasochistic coprophagy). To get back to the ultimate question of mo dernism vs. postmodernism, in both novels various cultural commentaries surface that are not cle arly modernist or postmodernist: interactions with pop culture, tech culture, and a growing cultural hybridity. Ulysses completely challenges this idea via such, it was generally felt he had nothing significant to do with the popular culture of his ular culture is one of the most Joyce and Popular Culture 1). Within Ulysses you will just as likely find reference s to a sensationalist novel such as East Lynn as you are likely to find reference s to Dante, Milton, o r Shakespeare. Joyce seems to prefigure the supposed postmodern phenomenon of a cultural hybridity between cultures, in which cultural distinctions have been eliminated or at least blurred significantly. The question o is similarly questioned: numerous references to famous film stars of the 1930s and 40s are juxtaposed with extremely advanced mathematical and scientific observations on the liminal existence of postmodern society. W hat is very
Martin 43 ramatically in context between post structuralist and structuralist configurations. In a post structural analysis, Joyce and Pyncho culture are rather obscure to present day readers, which structural phenomenon, where the present da y general public has possibly f orgotten pop culture figures such as Lillian Gish, Sarah Bernhardt, or Rose Hobart. This same public is well aware of which culture proceeds and what is left behind is a rather illusive concept. A structural ist view, however, would focus on how Joyce and Pynchon understood these cultural distinctions in their own time. For instance, John Galsworthy would not have been as obscure of a name for Joyce as it would appear to a present day reader: Galsworthy was one of the most celebrated English novelists and playwrights of his time, but, for whatever reason, he is little remembered by most probably escape many readers. previous chapt er, but it is also worth noting tech culture. In the paranoia chapter, I discussed J oyce vis vis Donald F. Theall in James Poetics extends this discussion f electro spat ial relationships in both Ulysses and Finnegans Wake time dramatizes the contemporary reduc Wake provides him with the closest fictive simulation of the virtual and simulated worlds that Finnegans Wake alysis of communication
Martin 44 theory ( ere we roll away the reel world ). The dream world of Finnegans Wake and Ulysses y of intersensory percepti on via television and film time relationships all appear immediately preceded TV the scophonic system o here of aspects of tone, light, colour, time, and energy indicates the complex way that Joyce presents the space discussions are focused on Fi nnegans Wake Ulysses as prefigurations extreme play with these spatial temporal relationships in Finnegans Wake productio n, reproduction, or transm a No matter which theoretical schools you apply to either of the novels when discussing historical and cultural relationships, it should begin to become clearer the ambiguity of the modernist vs. postmodernist spectrum, which fluctuates according to changing modes of theoretical and interpretive discourses.
Martin 45 Chapter 3: Meta Aspects With the advent of postmodern theory, metafiction has become a much debated topic in how metafiction is not clearly linked with either modernism or postmodernism specifically and how the novels have intertextual elements that create a meta sensibil ity. Theorists such as Fredric we now hav in postmodernism. First of all, I do not think in either Ulysses or that there is a clear division between parody and pastiche; often, the two are linked very close ly together in relation to intertextual ity with literature, pop culture, and history. It may appear in some instances that the novels celebrate a cultural hodg epodge (pastiche), but in other cases th ese same cultural modes may be parodied. Supposedly texts have ern age, drawing attention to their own artifices (cf. Clement reflexive avant garde). Truly, however, metafiction has been a type of narrative structure in literature since Chaucer. The Canterbury Tales clearly fiction. As aforementioned, it is worth noti ng the implications of Fredric pastiche, which, although limited in some senses, provides an int eresting commentary on how postmodernism has departed from modernism: as a falling off from modernism, where individual authors were particularly char the Faulkne rian long sentence, for example, with its breathless gerundives; Lawrentian
Martin 46 nature imagery punctuated by testy colloquialism; Wallace Stevens's inveterate hypostasis of nonsubstantive parts of speech ( In postmodern pasti che Modernist style (Postmodernism 17 a field of stylistic and discursi ve ). These types of formulations factor heavily i n and what is not. Ulysses is still mostly regarded as part of the modernist canon, even though their innovations, This implies is not completely removed from modernism, if, in fact, standing literary traditions pre dating the modernist period (cf. Tristram Shandy or eve n novels by Charles Dickens); therefore, her inaccurate. Of course the modernists have their own individual style, but the modernist style was influenced by a variety of sources. Moreover, I do not think it is accurat e either to suggest the dernists do not have a recognizable style, as a heterogeneity suggests a variety. I would argue that both the modernists and postmodernists are, the play o f random stylistic allusion, and in general what Henri Lefebvre has called the
Martin 47 increasing primacy of the 'neo' (Felluga ). It seems seems to s as a whole as the bridge into postmodernist discourse. Kevin Dettmar writes in the Illicit Joyce of Postmodernism: Ulysses is certainly a modernist clas sic; but in its playful unwillingness to take itself or its modernist devices too seriously, it is at the same time pregnant with a nascent Ulysses takes on t it app ears to know it is a modernist text; this level of playfulness with commentaries, which, as Dettmar has suggested, gives Ulysses a certain duality between both the modernist and postmodernist schools. H owever, even other writers such a s T.S. Eliot defy modernist codes as well, not in the least To segue back into my original discussion of metafiction, both novels form an intertextuality with th eir own specific cultures through parody and pastiche, where there is both a representation of allusion and simultaneously a parody of these selfsame references. This begs the question of why this intertextuality is classifiable under metafiction. Metafict ion brings attention to its own devices, more specifically the art of fiction in itself (cf. Joyce bringing themselves and possible worlds outsi de of their own fi ctive milieus. T tafiction in instances where a novel recognizes it is being read or experienced by an outside audience. All fiction could be classified as inherently sense, especially in cases where there is a first person narrator. Where Ulysses and
Martin 48 textuality hether it b e fiction, history, fil m, etc. T hese interactions usually involve some sense of the mock serious, jocular, or playfulness associated with absurdity (cf. the theater of the absurd Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Virginia Woolf ?). Any attempt to provide so me type of intertextual reading of Ulysses is in itself a colossal exercise: her aspects of popular culture in Ulysses are thrown in to add historical verisimilitude or as evidence of an encyclopedic technique run amok. But, as Cheryl Herr argues in her ground allusions are both structural and functional. In their broadest implications, they testify to individual consciousness is composed of materials derived from sources outside the mind Joyce, Bakhtin & Popular Culture 2). As Kershner in Joyce, Bakhtin, & Popular Culture indicates in the above excerpt, there is a Finnegans Wake, i dioglossia is Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus). The Gifford Annotations are perhaps tic referentiality, which unapologetically make allusions to medieval literature, Irish history, pop culture of the 19 th made of obscure high cultural allusions but especially in Ulysses
Martin 49 some appear as spoken references to topics of the day (in 1904), so that non 1 2 t contribute to the concept of a multiplicity of contextuality) as well as D of the 10). As Kershner delin eates, early Joycean theory focused on Homeric parallels and classical antiquity (which, especially the Homeric parallels, are particularly attuned to a meta discourse), but more recently Joyce and popular culture has become a burgeo ning field of critical discourse. It is not my concern here to provide an overview of these critical theories; my focus, rather, is on specific areas in Ulysses where the text crosses the boundaries between parody and pastiche in allusive configurations of culture. Ulysses has its own moments of intertextuality wi such as Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist (cf. Stephen Dedalus himself is a recurring character), but also instances in which real life and fiction cross, where Joyce bases characters and plot structures on real fe universe often distorts (or parod ies) the sources from which the allusions originate, such as the fantasy in his configuration of this Homerian episode. Throughout Ulysses there are these types of moments of ironic juxtaposition in which Jo to a specific source, but he simultaneously mocks a given reference as well eat example, where Joyce superimposes
Martin 50 currently reading such as the secretary reading The Moonstone I would argue that the most ity, parody, and pastiche occur in both celebrates and parodies the st ructures within which Joyce models each episode factor heavily in the meta aspects of Ulysses ; and discourse (I will focus more prevalently on how metafiction and form interplay in my final pastiches) of English prose style of Anglo Saxon days to the 20 th highly technical connexion between the detailed development of the foetus and allusions (Blamires 146). Note here the interesting interconnection between parody and pastiche: especially in this episode, J oyce plays with both devices in varying extremes For instance, the entire opening seq uence of the episode begins with a Latinate, pre English dialogue that is nearly im possible to read coherently. Mallory, Pepys, Addison, Steele, political oratory, the Gothic novel, De Quincy Dickens, and finally descends into a chaotic 20 th century slang. Concomitant with the se transitions are specific historical milieus that Joyce parodies, such as the highly inflated priggishness of Vic torian society or the chivalric modes of medieval life It seems as if Joyce very much blurs the modernist/postmodernist dichotomy that Jameson asseverates of a modernist parody as well as a postmodern pastiche.
Martin 51 vis vis its intertextuality Ulysses Odyssey World War II as a template for the story arch in (the title itself parodies the n parody, pastiche, and absurdity factors heavily in The opening segment of the novel presents a motif skip to and fro head, nose, top hat, and all, for its knob, and surely capable of magic, while the band plays a there is this level of intertex tuality with popular culture of the early to mid 20 th century, a type sensibility in which the ish vernacular reminiscent of The Big Sleep Slapstick comedy also prominently rear s its head, which even further enhances the degr ee of cultural intertextuality with film culture. For instance, the episode in which Slothrop is fleeing from Marvey and his Mothers (the Rus sians who sing dirty limericks), there is a custard pie fight befor is itself a n interesting representation of the science fiction genre (cf. the main antagonist, Blicero, of r eferences to popular culture is Fay Wray, 57; "horror movie devilfish 51; "Disneyfied look 70; Marx Brothers 197; "from a German came ra angle," 229; "Wild West movie 338; "Nazi movie villain," 360 ; Donald Duck, 146; "a De Mille set," 71; There's the s on of Frankenstein in it, "this cartoon here," 263; Dumbo, 135; "comic book colors 186; "Saturday afternoon western movies," 264; "paint FUCK YOU in a balloon coming out the
Martin 52 mouth of one of those little pink shepherdesses 203 ; Green Hornet, 376; Plasticman, 314, 752 ; comicbook shoes with enormous round toes 254; "a Sunday funnies dawn 295; Rocketm an, 376 ; The Lone Ranger & Tonto, 752; Captain Midnight Show, 375; Superman, 751 ; "the only beings who can violate their space are safely caught and paralyzed in comic books 379; Mickey Mous e, 392; Porky Pig, 545; "comic book cats dogs and mice ," 586; Bugs Bunny, 592; "comicbook orange chunks of island 634; Porky Pig tattoo, 638; Robin Hood, 664; Wonder Woman, 676; comic book K amikazes, 680; "down comes a comic book guillotine on one b lack & white politician," 687; Philip Marlowe, 752; etc. Amongst these references, you begin to see patterns in the form of film, movie, television, and comic book references, where Pynchon seems create an intertextuality with the specific time period in which is set. Like Ulysses aspect to its is playing w ith the notion of not only the blending of hist orical time periods, but also the notion of cultural parody an d pastiche as forms of meta textuality. The entire novel (very similar to a picaresque novel, actually) appears to take on the form of a movie, whe sense of a theatrical omniscience (cf. when the narrator informs the reader that Slothrop will meet Greta eventually). The novel even closes in a movie theater: Come on! Start the show! Come on! Start the show! The screen is a dim page spread before us, white and silent. The film has broken, or a projector bulb has burned out. It which before the darkness swept in. The last image was too immediate for any eye to
Martin 53 register. It may have been a human figure, dreaming of an early evening in ea ch great capital luminous enough to tell him he will never die, coming outside to wish on the first star. But it was not a star, it was falling, a bright angel of death. And in the darkening and awful expanse of screen something has kept on, a film we have now a closeup of the face, a face we all know Pynchon appears to play with a very complex metaphor in which life becomes equated with a level of paranoia T his focus on multiple layers of allusions to popular culture operates in a similar stylistic manner to Ulysses Ulysses is an intricate, dense web of reference both self reference and references to all levels of culture, from high Ulysses encourages the reader to move along unpredictable paths through its words because its own logic is not sim ply 14 15). certainly meets this categorization as well: references to popular culture are juxtaposed with extremely complex mathematical and terary culture as well. For instance, the Pale Fire and the character Sir Stephen could even be a reference to Stephen Dedalu s and, of course, plenty of references to high c ulture like Wagner and Rossini (Bell) L ike Ulysses has which charact V or Clayton Chiclitz from V. and The Crying of Lot 49 ) make reappearances (Bell) Other meta aspects of the novel include very Joycean linguistic pastiches, such as a soap opera dialogue between Narrisch and esque patois, as well as abrupt shifts in the prose
Martin 54 dependin g on the situation in the novel (Bell). W the style of the prose (cf. changing prose styles in Ulysses ). Pynchon, like Joyce, parodies popular culture in some very interesting (often salacious) ways, such as an extremely graphic portrayal girl buttocks rise like and audible now that the group have fallen silent and found the medium of touch, hands Having explored these various levels of intertextuality with culture, parody, and pastiche, my final chapter will focus on what has appeared to carry over styli stically from Joyce to Pynchon not di rectly, of course, since it would be quite difficult to prove Pynchon was directly influenced by Joyce. Rather, I will analyze spec ific textual forms onc e again, in light of seem purely modern or postmodern. I will examine how both writers seem to abandon traditiona l literary forms via extremely d ynamic texts that abruptly switch styles or forma t altogether.
Martin 55 Chapter 4: Form, Style, and Prose intertextuality of Ulysses and in which the texts utilize parody, pastiche, and allusion to very similar stylistic ends. This final chapter is an extension of these same arguments with a focus on the dynamic stylistic forms canvassed in the texts. As I mentioned in the introduction, t his section will explore at length what has appeared to carry over stylistically from the modernist to the postmodernist period and why many of these tropes are now considered experimental in historical senses that belie how closel y linked the aesthetics of the movements truly are. This section is an attempt to move away complex aesthetic constructions; rather, my focus is on how these texts are very closely related in terms of stylistic ex perimentation with the form of the novel, an experimentation, I think, that is fundamentally ambivalent (i.e., is not more modernist than postmodernist or vice versa). do not think the writing of the 20 th century has truly changed significantly from Joyce to Pynchon; more importantly, interpretative techniques (such as postmodern theor y) have influenced the way s in which we read and understand textual material. At the risk of of in modernism; a fortiori it is not the tropes themselves that ha ve changed but the theories
Martin 56 when discussing modernism and postmodernism.) As such, I would like to underscore once again the crux of the proceeding textual analysis : although metafiction has become so closely concatenated with postmodernism, it is important to analyze how both writers experiment with form in ways that are fundamentally inseparable. Perhaps it could be said that the true stylistic foundation of Ulyss es and Rainbow of style, the form of the texts are apt to change based on a given situation or perspective, a fluidity that is a mirror of the overarching chaos o f the consciousness of the individual perception. Both novels feature a fragmentary narrative through a series of constantly changing narrators of the c orporeal world), digressive texts, experiments with punctuation an d syntax (e.g., ellipses nouns as verbs, word compression, portmanteaux, multilingual puns), various filmic techniques such as montage Ulysses i n which an extremely detailed description of representations (e.g., Joyce the Schwarzkommando symbol tions in or Slaughterhouse Five ), and various uses of a variety of textual formats such as poetry, limericks, songs, haiku, mathematical equations, etc. I would like to call attention to a few of these instances in the texts in order to form ulate a close r examination of meta textuality orm Typically, novels feature a linear plot with a prose style that remains mostly consistent. In and Ulysses however, each episode becomes a microcosm of an individual perspective, and the shifts in style from episode to episode underscore these relationships. In
Martin 57 Ulysses for instance, the shift in style from the initi al episodes significant. A passage in into the studious silence of the library of Saint Genevieve where he had read, sheltered from the sins of Paris, night by n very eloquent, flowing sentences Excuse bad writing. Hurry. Piano downstairs. Coming out of her shell. Row with her in the XL. also features very similar types of shifts in prose style. For example, a Slothropian passage would read (notice t he omniscient narration, as in Ulysses is fused with a given ) that he was r eally scared this Pynchon 21). The ll, fast asleep down curled in shell craters, out sewing under the culvers with gray shirttails hoisted, adrift dreaming in the middles of fields. Dreaming of food, oblivion, alternative t of coldness, 342). The obscene style of d with these sublime images of a wasteland fact, this type of juxtaposition between the sublime and the grotesque is mirrored in another
Martin 58 . a s man and woman, coupled, are shaken to the teeth at their approaches for penetration, the style, garments of flaying without pass ion, sheer hosiery perishables a s th e skin of a snake, custom manacles and chains to stand for the bondage he feels in have to be these too, lovers who genitals are consecrated to shit a gathering of the fallen as many in acts of death as in acts of life or a sentence to be alone for another night This passage il lustrates a recurring stylistic motif in both novels where the obscene becomes transformed into the su blime through elegant prose or, conversely, that which is beautiful or romanticized view Bloom watched her as she limped away. Thought something was wrong by the cut of her jib. Jilted beauty. A defect is ten times 301). This shift in prose style also plays with the concept I discussed earlier of dynamic texts that change according to a particular point of view, in this case a contrast between sentimental acc coital thoughts (and of course,
Martin 59 evel) revealing a rather gritty, What is most striking about these abrupt shifts in style is a relationship to viewing s of a given event: it i s almost as if the reader is experiencing jump cuts, montage, and ample). Moreover, the fragmentar y perspectives of the novels contribute to a quasi cinematic experience, which is an interesting configuration of the texts as meta commentaries on the form of t he novel As the spectives ), the text s also shift in form. Ulysses features many types of experiments that accentuate its own artifices: ontage of the upcoming events, and is structured as a catechism. (i n agonizing detail ) the trajectory of a urine stream, which recalls of Imo Like Joyce, much episode with S aure: Buy your gal a brooch for a fancy gown, Buggy whip rigs for just a dollar down, (Pynchon 384)
Martin 60 These types of instances Ulysses ) appear to be aligned with the overarching mock seriousness rampant thr oughout both novels. Accompanying mockery of cult ure, religion, and society is a lack o f reverence for the traditional form of the novel. In addition to these t extual structures Joyce and Pynchon have a penchant for linguistic and grammatical experime nts. Nouns become verbs (i n chevroning, palimpsested, ganstering, ratt lesnaking), words are compressed (i n Ulysses : peacocktwi ttering,snotgreen, crystalclear), and languages shift quite often (Herero in Rainbow Ulysses seguing into French: Et vidit Deus. Et errant valde bona Tie ns, quel petit pied! ). I would argue that the best example of as ask t o get his breakfast in bed with a couple of eggs since the City Arms hotel when he used to be pretending to be laid up with a sick voice doing his highness to make himself interesting for of consciousnes s technique in Molly Finnegans Wake of consciousness in the sense of a fragmentary narrative structure, but it does not completely abandon structure to quite Truly some of the most striking meta experiments in the novels present very abru pt shifts in format altogether For inst budget li st in a di fferent font and his changed
Martin 61 the yaw contr ol equation) or self conscious indications of the text as a includes the picture of the sign instead of merely describing it. It would seem that Pynchon owes much to Joyce in terms of stylistic innovation, especially in the realm of metafiction. Although Pynchon certainly employs some very Joycean unique, of course but his possible influences should certainly be accounted for. Truly meta aesthetics, although now closely associated with the postmodern novel, are perhaps neutral in the rimentations are modern period. Thus, instead of focusing on creating sub sets of aesthetic movements, we should focus on which aesthetics have transferred into new sensibili ties and how these frameworks influence the ways in which critical theory attempts to canonize representational art.
Martin 62 Conclusion How can we begin to classify any of these tropes as either modernist or postmodernist? Even though Joyce has been increasingly read in a postmodern light, the other modernist writers n of an eye in The Sound and the Fury frequent ly interplay pictures with text (cf. Kurt Vonnegut), so unsurprisingly these types of meta experim ents have been gradually categorized as pos tmodern. Frequently clichs such as discussed vis vis Fredric Jameson, the postmodernists often this type of distinction usua lly segues into the supposed distinctions between the modernist and ed Joyce himself put it, was a innovative alternate histories and allegories, he himself owes much of his own experimental edge to novels like Ulysses. postmodernism the potential to be both moder nist and postmodernist simultaneously in terms of critical t heory and aesthetics. When aesthetic configurations are viewed from historical constructions, however, Procrustean binaries arise attempting to limit th ese dynamic spectrums Using historical and art are not always necessarily part of the same framework. Modernism and postmodernism are comprised of a huge spectrum of stylistic tropes and sensibilities that are far too abstract to force
Martin 63 into dichotomous relationships. Artistic modes of discourse are fluid in nature, often subject to the vicissitudes of cultural theory. Instead of highlighting the ways in which modernism and postmodernism are separate, we sho uld focus on how these complex terms, when used in conjunction and not in separation, underscore important aspects of constantly changing representational aesthetics.
Martin 64 Works Cited/Consulted Baudrillard, Jean. The Illusion of the End Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1994. Print. Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1994. Print. ." Williams Colleg e n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2013.
Martin 65 Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish Second Vintage Books. New York: Random House, 1995. Print. Frow, John. "What Was Postmodernism?" Time and Commodity Culture: Essays in Cultural Theory and Postmodernity Oxford: Clarendon, 1997. 13 63. Gifford, D on. Ulysses Annotated London: University of California Press, 1988. Print. Hasaan, Ihab. The Dismemberment of Orpheus London: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1982. Print. Joyce, James. Ulysses: The 1922 Text Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. Pri nt. Joyce, James. Ulysses Gabler. New York: First Vintage Books Edition, 1986. Print. Kellner, Douglas. "Globalization and the Postmodern Turn." Douglas Kellner, Ph.D., Philosophy, Columbia University. N.p.. Web. 13 Oct 2013.
Martin 66 Marriott, David. : Apocryphal History or Historical Apocrypha?." Journal of American Studies 19.1 (1985): 69 80. Web. 30 Nov. 2013.
Martin 67 ng+t he+System+of+Gravity%27s+Rainbow&rft.jtitle=Critique&rft.au=SIEGEL%2C+ ARK+R&rft.date=1977&rft.issn=0011 1619&rft.eissn=1939 9138&rft.volume=18&rft.issue=3&rft.spage=39&rft.externalDBID=n%2Fa&rft.extern DocID=f08300910004¶mdict=en US> Stonehill, Brian. "Pynchon's Prophecies of Cyberspace." N.p.. Web. 30 Nov 2013.