Joyce's modernist allegory : Ulysses and the history of the novel /
Stephen Sicari.
Columbia : University of South Carolina Press, c2001.
xv, 252 p. ; 24 cm.
1570033838 (cloth : alk. paper)
More Details
Columbia : University of South Carolina Press, c2001.
1570033838 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [241]-244) and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2001-09-01:
Sicari's disconcerting study might almost have been written 50 years ago. The author (St. John's Univ.) asserts that Joyce offered Ulysses as an inspirational antidote to the negativity of the 20th century. Sicari is very suspicious of contemporary theoretical, critical trends, and this reviewer empathizes heartily; however, the author oversimplifies a very complex work without the evidence of a strong argument. In Sicari's view, in the first six chapters of Ulysses Joyce rejects realism and naturalism and turns instead to Christian allegory. To summarize: Molly's "Yes I will Yes" speech is her pledge to Bloom never to be unfaithful again, Stephen is the Son who becomes the Artist who ultimately recognizes the second coming of the Lord, and Leopold Bloom is the actual Incarnate Christ who founds a new church at 7 Eccles Street in Dublin. The modernist reader can achieve salvation, can transcend the nihilism of the present moment, by embracing this Christian vision, and the world will be a hopeful place once again. This book may appeal to some readers looking to literature for answers to their problems, but it is not recommended for undergraduate academic collections. M. H. Begnal Pennsylvania State University, University Park Campus
Appeared in Library Journal on 2001-02-15:
This well-argued and thoroughly researched work adds a new facet to Ulysses scholarship. Building on his previous work (Pound's Epic Ambition: Dante and the Modern World), Sicari uses Dante's Divine Comedy to find a new method with which to analyze Joyce's complex work. By tracing Joyce's concept of Ulysses to Dante's Canto 26 rather than Homer's Odyssey, he argues that Joyce is distrustful of language's ability to depict truth and instead sees a need for allegory (theological, not poetical) to find the ideal. Sicari ably demonstrates how viewing the work as a modernist allegory provides the reading that resolves contradictions in plot and style. He also argues that Joyce uses the experimental episodes to transform Bloom's weakness into a heroic trait by changing how the reader views his passivity. In this modernist allegory, the reader is instructed to overcome cultural skepticism and find an ideal within Bloom's Christlike compassion and forgiveness. Intriguing but densely argued, this is recommended for academic libraries only. Paolina Taglienti, Long Island Univ .Lib., Brooklyn, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, February 2001
Choice, September 2001
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Table of Contents
Preface: "O, rocks! Tell us in plain words"
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: Rereading Ulysses: Naturalistic Novel Becomes Modernist Allegoryp. 1
The Novel as Death: The Limits of Naturalismp. 30
The Novel as Humanist: From Naturalism to Abstractionp. 64
The Novel as Truth: The Problem of Language in Ulyssesp. 96
The Novel as Nostos: Family Romance Becomes Epicp. 142
The Novel as Allegory: Bloom as Christian Herop. 165
Conclusion: Allegory and High Modernismp. 193
Notesp. 223
Works Citedp. 241
Indexp. 245
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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