Usurers and Usurpers:Race, Nation, and the Performance of Jewish Mercantilism in Ulysses
Cracked lookingglass of a servant! Tell that to the oxy chap downstairs and touch him for a guinea. He's stinking with money and thinks you're not a gentleman. His old fellow made his tin by selling jalap to Zulus or some bloody swindle or other. God, Kinch, if you and I could only work together we might do something for the island. Hellenise it.(U 1.154-58)
In the opening scene of Ulysses, Buck Mulligan marvels sardonically at Stephen's epigrammatic statement that the cracked lookingglass of a servant is a symbol of Irish art. Mulligan's suggestion that Stephen play up his Irish wit and exchange the quip for a tip from the Britisher Haines reinforces Stephen's lowly position as an impoverished Irishman. Haines's wealth "stinks" because it has been acquired by exploitive means, through selling the medicinal root "jalap" to Zulus. Mulligan implicitly Hebraizes the Britisher's patrimony by associating Haines's father's trade with a parasitic "bloody swindle." He suggests, in contrast, that the two young men "Hellenise" Ireland by laboring together to heal their people's ills through the honest means of Stephen's art and Mulligan's medicine. Mulligan describes the awful characteristics of the British as Jewish ones. The British, in his idiom, are rich Jewish swindlers and moneylenders who symbolically hold Ireland in hock (in "a pawnshop" as Stephen later muses—U 2.47).
Race is the primary means of categorizing and criminalizing people in this passage—differentiating Irish servant from British master, Zulu native from British swindler, and Jew from Greek (or Hebraized Briton from Hellenized Irishman). Demonstrating another dimension of Vincent Cheng's work on the Irish displacement of Britain's racialized depictions of Irish inferiority,1 this essay locates shifting racial and national identities in the satirical performance of intertwined economic and racial stereotypes of Jews and Britons. Joyce's Irishmen displace accusations of their racial difference from the British onto depictions of a racialized Jewish difference, which, in turn, come to represent the greed, dishonesty, and ruthlessness of the British colonizers. [End Page 39] Such verbal usury—borrowing racial Jewish stereotypes to pay for racial Irish stereotypes—is an implicit attack on the British. Hence, the question of racial difference unites the economic and colonialist issues underlying the representation of Irish struggles with Jewish usurers and British usurpers.
With his attention to the trope of race, Joyce attacks the British and also rebuts the popular work of scientists who conceived of race as the primary marker of human difference.2 Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, social scientists medicalized the question of human differences in an attempt to condemn immigrants, the poor, women, and racial minorities, as well as Africans and other colonized peoples, including the Irish Celts. Using a biological, cultural, and linguistic conception of race in order to establish markers of national identity, such theories of racial nationalism provided another means of asserting that Jews, as the largest non-Christian minority in Europe, remained irreconcilably different. These early ethnographers and psychologists paired Jewish nature and genius to produce an impure Jewish genus—a racial and pathological threat to non-Jewish nations. Physician and cultural critic Max Simon Nordau, the influential author of the widely translated Degeneration, connected these racialized ideas of deviancy with the producers and consumers of modern art and literature.3 In satirizing the racialized anti-moneylender rhetoric that was a central mode of Irish anti-Semitic expression, Joyce both rebuts the theory that experimental writing evinced a racial degeneracy and openly criticizes British imperialism in Ireland.
Though on a grand scale Ireland was in a kind of political debt to the British—"their land a pawnshop" (U 2.47)—the more immediate experience of many Irishmen with usury was with Jewish pawnbrokers, moneylenders, and peddlers who sold on installment plans or offered cash for old clothes, occupations that were typically considered to be held by Jews. In turn-of-the-century Ireland, the question of the Jewish role in Irish society was thus deemed inseparable from and often blamed for broader economic destitution.4 While Joyce sympathizes with the economic plight of the Irish under British occupation, he remains critical of the Irish who scapegoat Jews and Jewish usurers. The Irish in the novel express notions of Jewish-identified immorality in epithets (such as "ole clo," referring to the old clothes peddler—U 14.1443).5 Such epithets, Joyce implies, are a kind of shorthand for racial classification, which specifically link race to an economic role. Many of the most closely scrutinized characters attribute practices of moneylending, pawnbroking, peddling, trading, and financiering to a singular usurious Jewish nature and nationality personified by Leopold Bloom.6 Bloom's presence, then, serves as an opportunity for Dubliners to discuss the usurious nature of all Jews. Conversely, Joyce's Dubliners also treat certain non-Jewish characters [End Page 40] as Jewish because of their association with money, considering all money brokers or merchants to be Jews by profession, whose actions perform the outward manifestations of an inner nature cursed with stereotypical characteristics of greed, immorality, and untrustworthiness. Joyce demonstrates that these popular expressions of resentment toward typically Jewish occupations are, in fact, a displacement of blame for Irish discontent under British occupation. For the Irish in Ulysses, Jewish commerce is akin to national betrayal: Jewish usurers represent the immorality of British usurpers. Joyce, however, rejects the implicitly racial conflation of financiers and impoverished immigrants by satirizing the Irish use of such epithets and stereotypes in order to dismiss the essentialism of racialist anti-Semitism as unsophisticated readings of cultural performance.7
If, in Joyce's eyes, the Irish have racist delusions of Jewish economic grandeur, their suspicions of capitalism are nonetheless well-grounded. Indeed, the dissimulating immorality and greed of British imperialism were thought to be cousins of Jewish assimilation since both endeavors represent the techniques of the capitalist swindle: selling evils (useless commodities and their accompanying marketing pitches) rather than goods. Jewish huckstering, in the eyes of anti-Semites, emphasizes the oral manner of selling—the performance—rather than the product itself and rewards the peddler who possesses superior language skills by widening his audience of consumers. The advertising call of the hawker's voice also marks the distance, through exaggeration and falsehood, between the product and the pitch, signified and signifier. Just as the discerning consumer must try to read through the advertisement for the truth about the product, Joyce argues that the discerning reader must read through the performance of Jewish identity in Ireland (and modern identity more broadly) to identify the false representations of purportedly realist narrative.
Joyce realistically renders Jewish stereotypes by portraying Bloom and his Jewish forebears as examples of every type of perceived economic threat, from immigrant ragman and hawker to assimilated merchant and financier. By staging these figures of rumor and innuendo in the most proto-surrealist or unreal episode of the novel,8 Joyce demonstrates the dishonesty of purportedly realist narrative and similarly exposes the fiction of purportedly Jewish parasitism. For Joyce's Irishmen, usury was the performance of a Jewish identity, and Joyce therefore assiduously avoids casting moneylenders and pawnbrokers elsewhere in the novel as Jews.9 Instead, by explicitly staging "the Jew" in "Circe," he uses the economic, linguistic, and racial terms with which the Irish respond to the Jewish question to unveil the parasitism of the British Empire. Neil Levi argues that both Joyce and his novel resist the temptation to "anthropomorphize [End Page 41] capitalism" as Jewishness and instead "mime and imitate" abstract notions of capitalism and Jews, thereby criticizing modern anti-Semitism.10 Working with Levi's notions of mime and imitation, I turn to the concrete performances of Jewish nature in the "Circe" episode. Although Joyce anthropomorphizes capitalism in the bodies of Jewish entrepreneurs large and small, the episode nonetheless alerts readers to the construction of specifically racial and occupational anti-Semitic stereotypes. More broadly, in each of the novel's many stagings of the Jew as mercantilist, the text constantly tugs at the costumes to expose the construction of such racial performances.11
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The historical concentration of Jews in financial and mercantilist professions in England and Ireland resulted from familial, linguistic, and cultural familiarity: immigrants sought out landsmen and found work with already-established members of their community.12 Through the eighteenth century, Sephardi bankers were prominent in England and remained so even when, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Frankfurt-based Rothschild family became involved in the London money markets. The Rothschilds provided loans to the British government for the Crimean and Boer Wars and the building of the Suez Canal. These high-profile activities, many of them involving the Jewish-born Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, provided fodder for theories linking Jewish capital and British imperialism, as even Karl Marx and later Werner Sombart ascribed the creation and workings of the stock exchange to the capitalist "Jewish Spirit."13 At the other end of the social and economic spectrum, poor, untrained Jewish immigrants hawked wares that they obtained on credit and bought old clothes, rags, bones, and junk. These people made up the majority of the approximately 60,000 Jews in the British Isles before 1880. After 1880, following the mass exodus of Jews from Russia and eastern Europe, the number of Jews in England and Ireland grew to nearly 300,000, an increase slowed only by the passage of the 1905 Aliens Act that closed the ports of England. Popular and xenophobic theories linked this disempowered majority of poor immigrants to the small but established Jewish middle-class and to a powerful minority of Jewish financiers.
While most historians of British Jewry agree about this survey of occupations, they disagree over the extent of Jewish social mobility.14 What was the relationship, then, between immigrants and financiers, the latter of whom were celebrated yet atypical examples of Jewish wealth and power? To contemporary observers, Jews appeared to have enormous social mobility through racial kinship and contacts. "Native" residents of the British Isles (Jews and Gentiles alike) considered [End Page 42] immigrants and the "Jewish nobility" to be one race, despite differences in ancestry, language, class, and culture. Beatrice Potter Webb, for example, in her 1891 study of London's East End, perceived a link between petty traders and pithy capitalists; in Webb's view, Jews were "a race of brain-workers" whose peddling and street-vending would often springboard to small-scale shopkeeping, money-lending, and then to "commerce and finance."15 The purported racial link between the practice of international finance and petty trading provided a rationale for the xenophobia confronting the hundreds of thousands of working- and middle-class Jewish immigrants.
At the turn of the twentieth century, Ireland's colonized agricultural economy was exporting beef, linen, and other goods. Poverty, meanwhile, necessitated a reliance on moneylenders and peddlers selling items on installment. The Irish economy, then, was perceived to be beholden to the English usurpers on a large scale and dependent on Jewish usurers on a small scale.16 A direct dependence on Jewish moneylenders and traders led many Irishmen to accuse the Jews of being traitors to the Irish people. Virulent examples of this sentiment were the diatribes against the Jews by the minister John Creagh, who started a ruinous boycott of Jewish merchants and peddlers in Limerick in 1904.17 In his sermons, Creagh rewrote the mythical blood libel in contemporary economic terms, claiming that Jewish peddlers' usurious weekly payment plans formed a "longer and even more cruel martyrdom" than the slaying of a child.18 He alleged that Jewish peddlers' willingness to pay cash for "the clothes off [the] backs" of Christian children only exacerbated Irish poverty (28). Finally, inveighed Creagh, as leeches "sucking the blood of other nations," Jews threatened the economic health of Ireland by leeching it of its fiscal lifeblood (28).
The perception that aggressively parasitic Jewish usury posed a national danger was also the focus of two unsigned articles in The Lyceum, the monthly journal of University College Dublin, Joyce's alma mater. Appearing in the July and August 1893 issues, "The Jew in Ireland" and "The Jew Amongst Us" warn of a threatening "propensity" to usury that links Jews behaviorally and racially in a pseudo-evolutionary progression from old-clothes peddlers to financiers.19 Echoing and exaggerating Webb's observations, the writer of these pieces indicts Jewish finance, in particular, for maintaining an illicit control over national governments: the Jew "becomes a hawker and trader first, then a money-lender, and, finally, a lord of the Money Market and Stock Exchange, where he holds the destinies of nations in his hand" ("Ireland" 217). The Lyceum writer's antipathy to Jews is, at bottom, an aversion to the heartlessness of free-market capitalism. This image of the Jew holding national destinies "in his hand," in fact, coincides with the "invisible hand" Adam Smith uses to describe the [End Page 43] open competition and self-interest of the market.20 In the formation of his economic critique, however, the author of these editorials scapegoats the public performances of the majority of Jewish immigrants and petty tradesmen for the presumed (and private) trespasses of a tiny, wealthy financial elite.21 Although the Lyceum ceased publication in 1894, it is possible that Joyce read these articles during his attendance at University College between 1898 and 1902.22 In any case, the satirical depictions of Irishmen and Englishmen in Ulysses, who profess beliefs similar to those voiced in the Lyceum, form an implicit argument against such racism, anti-alienism, and anti-Semitism.
Foremost among these characters is the unionist schoolmaster Garrett Deasy, who echoes almost word-for-word Haines's fear that England will "fall into the hands of German jews" (U 1.667). Like Father Creagh and the editors of the Lyceum, Mr. Deasy subsumes his paranoid fears of "intrigues" and "backstairs influence" into a monolithic and intrinsic Jewish mercantilism (U 2.343, 343-44). He confides to Stephen that he believes the Jews are blocking his efforts to save the Irish cattle industry from a British embargo by preventing the arrival of cattle doctors from Austria to cure foot-and-mouth disease. Mr. Deasy imagines that this dangerous infiltration of Jewish mercantilism reaches to Britain's "highest places: her finance, her press. . . . As sure as we are standing here the jew merchants are already at their work of destruction" (U 2.347-50).
After Stephen argues with Mr. Deasy that mercantilism is not an inherently Jewish trait and is instead a role that may be performed by either gentile or Jew, he reflects inwardly on the roles people must play under the imperative of their communal past. He interprets the Jewish appetite for capital, in particular, as part of a role demanded of the Jews by history, recalling a scene of Jewish traders he saw in Paris:
On the steps of the Paris stock exchange the goldskinned men quoting prices on their gemmed fingers. Gabble of geese. They swarmed loud, uncouth, about the temple, their heads thickplotting under maladroit silk hats. Not theirs: these clothes, this speech, these gestures. Their full slow eyes belied the words, the gestures eager and unoffending, but knew the rancours massed about them and knew their zeal was vain. Vain patience to heap and hoard. Time surely would scatter all. A hoard heaped by the roadside: plundered and passing on. Their eyes knew their years of wandering and, patient, knew the dishonours of their flesh.(U 2.364-72)
Aptly replayed in Stephen's Jesuit-educated imagination as their New Testament forefathers—the moneychangers that Christ casts out of the Temple—the Jews' "speech" and "gestures" are tainted by money. They parasitically "swarm"; their behavior is "uncouth"; and they [End Page 44] wear "maladroit silk hats." For Stephen, the Jews seem to embody material worth as "goldskinned men" with "gemmed fingers" but only until he discerns their performance and unmasks this pseudo-Biblical scene. He notes that the Jews appear literally ill-suited to finery and figuratively ill-suited to the polish and sophistication of western civilization. In his memory, the Jews are undeniably and persistently alien to the ways of the West and give a poor performance with costumes, lines, and actions—"these clothes, this speech, these gestures"—that are borrowed and "[n]ot theirs." Stephen identifies a counter-narrative in their wisdom-laden eyes, akin to an actor peering from behind the mask, by observing that their "eyes belied" the money-tainted gestures of heaping and hoarding and that "their eyes knew" mercantilism was a "vain" attempt to counter their historically determined impermanence and exile.
Like the burnt-cork blackness of black-faced vaudevillians fulfilling the racial expectations of the audience, these "goldskinned" Jews, Stephen implies, fulfill the racial expectations of their history.23 In fact, Joyce might have been aware of vaudeville's racial history in America, where even African-Americans performed in blackface to reify the authenticity of skin color and racial identity and behavior.24 Similarly, these Jews have a skin color painted on them to make their (mythical) racial difference readable. Jewish history, he muses, is not one of stasis and solidity but one that "scatters all" over "years of wandering": they are not solid and pure capitalists literally or symbolically but merely painted to appear like gold, suffering in yet another way "the dishonours of their flesh." This gold mask is forcibly cast upon them, and Stephen makes the casting blatant by revealing that mercantilism is not an innate Jewish trait but a constraining role. He identifies the Jews' racial performance as a signal that they have been badly cast for their parts because the performance itself is visible, reflecting a racial difference that does not reflect an inner truth or reality. Indeed, their intention is quite the opposite.
Stephen also used the performance of Jewish mercantilism to describe the role of Irish subjugation to British colonization earlier in the episode. Unlike Mr. Deasy and Haines, who deflect discussion of British imperialism in Ireland by complaining that Britain, too, is in the hands of the Jews, Stephen turns around such anti-Semitic rhetoric to foreground Ireland's subordinate role as the joke-telling court "jester" to the British "master": "A jester at the court of his master, indulged and disesteemed, winning a clement master's praise. Why had they chosen all that part? Not wholly for the smooth caress. For them too history was a tale like any other too often heard, their land a pawnshop" (U 2.43-47). The performative reality of the colonial drama begins to unveil itself to Stephen. He considers his own participation in the drama, playing the "part" of a "jester" selling witty [End Page 45] Irishisms to his master Haines, the "oxy chap downstairs," for "disesteem" and "praise" (U 1.154). Stephen's very linguistic swords are turned against him, since, in the narrative of Irish history, language ceases to convey meaning in its repetition as a pawned, previously used, and devalued commodity. History becomes a valueless chorus of victimization to British aggression—an impoverished use of language in an impoverished land—and a play performed by stage Irishmen and other stock characters.25 He asks himself why the Irish (including Buck Mulligan and himself) have chosen to play the subordinate role, since it cannot be wholly for the condescending pat of an imperious hand that, like the one mentioned by Smith, holds an economic weapon poised against them.26 Stephen concludes that the Irish jesters have not chosen their part; it has been thrust upon them. Like the role that Stephen believes has been demanded of the Jews by history, an Irish jester performs on demand and is expected to fulfill the racial expectation of the imperial audience.
As Stephen's metaphor makes clear, however, the Jew and money are masters of Irish poverty, just as Britain is the master of Ireland—making all of Ireland an item in a British pawnshop. The British are Judaized by their colonizing practice, and, in this epigram, usurpers become usurers. The stereotype of the Jewish usurer or pawnbroker, however, is another tale that is "too often heard": the epithet becomes a trope used repeatedly in the novel to indict Jewish mercantilist practices as part of (or in place of) British imperialism. The oppressiveness of colonial rule, then, is a tired old tale demanding overwrought, stock performances that veil the reality of the situation while fulfilling the racial expectations of the audience. For Stephen though, the Jewish pawnshop is a thin disguise for British colonial power.
In his discussion of William Shakespeare in the national library, Stephen demonstrates that, by the turn of the century, British imperialism was cloaked in an anti-Semitic rhetoric that led the Irish to resent Jews and moneylenders because of the misdeeds of British royalty and Anglo-Irish landholders. Stephen argues that the bard himself was a greedy, anti-Semitic moneylender. His discussants make explicit and derogatory references to "Saxon" Shakespeare's British nature, and he rallies them by noting that Shakespeare's salary had been paid by the "gombeenwoman Eliza Tudor" (U 9.630). Stephen's epithetic reference to Queen Elizabeth as an Anglo-Irish usurer or "gombeenwoman" reminds his listeners that the wealth of the Tudor court was based in part on Irish land holdings, thus underscoring the anti-British origins of a term his contemporaries may perceive to be anti-Semitic.
Although Stephen presents some evidence that Shakespeare was an honest moneylender, his sources portray him, on the whole, as stingy and mean-spirited—confirming the popular association of exploitive [End Page 46] moneylending and Jewish nature. He finds the bard guilty of usuriously exploiting his less-fortunate "fellow[s]" (U 9.746) and using the stereotype of the Jewish moneylender for his own profit.27 Stephen frames the discussion around Shakespeare's miserly "sense of property" (U 9.741):
He drew Shylock out of his own long pocket. The son of a maltjobber and moneylender he was himself a cornjobber and moneylender, with ten tods of corn hoarded in the famine riots. His borrowers are no doubt those divers of worship mentioned by Chettle Falstaff who reported his uprightness of dealing. He sued a fellowplayer for the price of a few bags of malt and exacted his pound of flesh in interest for every money lent. How else could Aubrey's ostler and callboy get rich quick? All events brought grist to his mill. Shylock chimes with the jewbaiting that followed the hanging and quartering of the queen's leech Lopez, his jew's heart being plucked forth while the sheeny was yet alive.(U 9.741-51)
Following Stephen's exposition, his first respondent makes a demand: "Prove that he was a jew, John Eglinton dared, expectantly" (U 9.763). Eglinton's challenge is more than a rebuttal to Stephen's lecture: it is a confirmation of the legibility of the trope of Jew-as-greedy-usurer.28 Stephen has already "proven" that Shakespeare was a Jew by demonstrating the bard's miserly "sense of property," coldness of character, and exploitive professional practices. The bard's gross selfishness—hoarding grain during famine riots—recalls the heartlessness and greed of the British Empire during the Irish famine of 1848 and confirms Shakespeare's British and Jewish natures according to popular idiom and stereotype.
Stephen responds explicitly to Eglinton's dare, however, by arguing that inherent Jewish miserliness is a fallacy. He states that Christians have made "[a]ccusations . . . in anger" (U 9.784), scapegoating Jews by wrongly associating them with greed. The Christians call them greedy, he argues, while their own laws "built up the hoards of the jews" and encouraged a Jewish reliance on usurious lending for a livelihood (U 9.785). Shakespeare thus serves as Stephen's prime example of a non-Jewish, British greed that is miserly and traitorous. The bard betrays one of his own kind—a "fellowplayer"—by suing him for "the price of a few bags of malt" plus a "pound of flesh in interest." Shakespeare modeled Shylock on his own heartlessness and tightness with money, Stephen suggests, and used this (self-)portrait of Jewish greed to have "Shylock chime" with contemporary "jewbaiting."
Stephen argues that Shakespeare's whole livelihood—writing plays, selling grain, and lending money—centered around profit. The bard purposefully made Shylock a bloodthirsty Jew, creating a Jewish [End Page 47] character that would be "grist to his mill," in order to profit from the wave of anti-Semitism that followed the hanging of the Queen's Jewish physician, Roderigo Lopez. As a Jew of Spanish descent, Lopez was condemned because of allegations that he was a spy and potential assassin, during the nationalist paranoia accompanying the Spanish armada's attack on Britain.29 In addition to its nod to the almost-bloody finale of The Merchant of Venice, Stephen's pun, calling Lopez a "leech," derives from the common medieval medical practice of bleeding patients with leeches and echoes the blood-sucking imagery associated with Jewish usurers in Father Creagh's sermons and elsewhere.
With Stephen's stinging analysis of Shakespeare's mercenary de-piction of a Jew, why would Joyce create a character that "chimes" with the anti-Semitism in turn-of-the-nineteenth-century nationalism, economic theory, race science, and popular literature? Although various narrators and characters describe Bloom racially, sexually, and professionally as a stereotypical Jew, he is certainly no Shylock. He is more socialist than capitalist in his political ideals and extremely critical of the role money plays in furthering inequality, enmity, and anti-Semitism. Bloom only "chimes" with contemporary anti-Semitism when read outside the satirical context of the novel.30 Joyce's portrayals of Jews exploit the stereotypes but in a satirical and stylistic context that reduces their potency by criticizing those who deploy such types. In other words, Stephen's account of Shakespeare—as a usurer who exploits stereotypes about Jewish moneylenders by writing a role for a Jewish moneylender in a play about a merchant—provides a model of what Joyce himself aims to avoid. Instead, he satirizes the tendency of Dubliners to resort to racial clichés concerning Jews, clichés that obscure interrelated questions of immigration, poverty, and imperialism in Ireland. Hence, Ulysses includes every imaginable portrayal of mercantilist Jewish characters as roles assigned to them by racial stereotype and not as realistic depictions of Jewish traits.
It should come as no surprise then that Joyce's most direct presentation of Jewish stereotypes appears in the drama of "Circe." In this avant-garde nose-thumbing at Saxon Shakespeare, a veritable manifesto of modernist experimentation, Joyce's Jewish stereotypes do not play their roles straight: the absurdist nature of the episode—most notably in its fluid characterizations—dissolves the notion that such types contain any notion of truthfulness. The verity of these stereotypes—accusations of immorality and national betrayal that momentarily obscure the horror of British imperialism—become as absurd as the play in which they appear. The radical form of "Circe" lies in the degree of novelistic self-reflexivity or intratextuality that is stylistically new, generically innovative, and critical of the stereotypes about Jews that it casts and recasts from elsewhere in the book. In "Circe," [End Page 48] Joyce reinforces his point from both sides, showing the performative nature of identity in general as well as the gross inaccuracies that result in adhering to fixed notions about gender, class, race, history, and religion.
The disruption of narrative linearity in "Circe," furthermore, reflects a rejection of other linear narratives, such as the racialist teleological narrative of Jewish professional and social evolution. In contrast to, and in mockery of, the linearity of the theory that Jews had a racial aptitude for climbing a ladder of usurious occupations, Joyce stages them in the episode,31 assigning roles to every insinuation of immorality, delusion of grandeur, and nightmare of depravity surrounding typically Jewish professions. He sends Bloom, his forebears, and every Jewish occupational type to extreme heights and depths of social location. Rudolph Bloom appears costumed as a lowly ragman, a middle-class penny pincher, and an all-powerful "elder in Zion" (U 15.249), and Bloom's grandfather Lipoti Virag appears in the doubly performative roles of salesman and hawker.32 Joyce casts Bloom and his predecessors as Jews-by-profession in order to criticize the anti-Semitic belief that Jews were racially suited to a set of particular occupations. In other words, Bloom's extreme mutability in "Circe" demonstrates the fantastical and false nature of racial theories of Jewish professional mobility: the mythology about Jews manifests itself, in three generations of Virag-Blooms, as a xenophobic, anti-Semitic performance, not as reality. This deconstruction of the inherent Jewish nature of the mobile, mercantilist middle man is further evidence of Joyce's attempts to subordinate the command performance of imperialism and to desist from "winning a clement master's praise," like the Irish jesting as stage Irishmen.
At the opening of the episode, a ragman representing Bloom's literal and mythical heritage adorns the scenery: "On a step a gnome totting among a rubbishtip crouches to shoulder a sack of rags and bones" (U 15.28-29). The scenery comes to life as the gnome-like ragman mirrors Bloom's movements, encouraging comparison: "He steps forward. A sackshouldered ragman bars his path. He steps left, ragsackman left" (U 15.222-23). The ragman "bars his path" in a dance of middle- and lower-class Jewish types, which synecdochically represents the persistent dance of associations between assimilated Jews (like Bloom) and immigrants (like his father).
Like the changes in Bloom's family name (from Lipoti Virag to Rudolph Bloom, Leopold Bloom, and Henry Flower), the shifting of the Jewish gnome represents the literal and figurative shiftiness that others associate with Jews and their perceived economic adaptability. The stage directions identify the gnome as a "sackshouldered ragman" (because he "shoulders a sack of rags and bones") and a "ragsackman" (a name that combines the adjective "sackshouldered" with the noun [End Page 49] "ragman"). By name then, the gnome incarnates the epithetic "robbing bagman," which is how the narrator in "Cyclops" refers to Rudolph Bloom (U 12.1581). The "Circe" stage directions transmute Rudolph into a "ragsackman" "totting among a rubbishtip"—a dirty Jew inhabiting a trash heap. Joyce demonstrates and criticizes the dogged application of Jewish stereotypes with the dance of patronymics about the gnome. The fact that he presents this character as a "gnome" emphasizes the imaginative and fairytale nature of Jewish stereotype, just as the pantomime emphasizes the performative nature of these Jewish types.
In the extreme characterizations of "Circe," Joyce presents Bloom's dead father not just as an epithet but as a figure that echoes the performance of popular stereotype in name, comportment, and costume: "A stooped bearded figure appears garbed in the long caftan of an elder in Zion and a smokingcap with magenta tassels" (U 15.248-49). Bloom's father stoops like the "blackbearded figure" purported to be a moneylender like Reuben J. Dodd (U 6.252), thereby associating him bodily and gesturally with monstrous greed. Joyce also orientalizes Rudolph, costuming him in the dress of a typical stage Biblical Hebrew, "the long caftan of an elder in Zion," according to Herr (100), thereby casting him eponymously as an author of the infamous forgery, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.33 With this direct reference to the premier text of modern anti-Semitism, Joyce reminds his readers to be on guard against unreliable narrators and the propagandistic nature of anti-Semitic literature. Rudolph's costume also emphasizes the success of that forgery's ability to tap into an image of Jewishness that resonated with a public familiar with popular stereotypes and stock theatrical characters.
Implicit accusations of the Jewish sexual, financial, and treasonous immorality of Rudolph become explicit in this episode when Bloom himself is put on trial for plagiarism, non-whiteness, and indecency. The racial basis for the charges appears to be self-evident, since one of his defenders feels it necessary to declare Bloom "the whitest man I know" (U 15.980), thus suggesting the possibility that Bloom has not been performing whiteness successfully. The accused defends himself in a "long unintelligible speech" (U 15.899) that does not appear as scripted lines but is reported in the stage directions, a move in which Joyce challenges both the literal possibilities for performing the scene and the legal possibilities of exonerating Bloom.34 In this reported speech, Bloom makes further claims to whiteness by asserting that he is "[a]n acclimatised Britisher" (distinguishing himself from Irishman and Jew) and imagining a role for himself drawn from the Anglophilic middle-class ideals for imperial British subjects, in which a person would physiologically adapt, accept, and "acclimatise" to the British ruling environment (U 15.909). The report of Bloom's home [End Page 50] life, however, in a peacefully Anglicized Dublin comfortably conquered and (in)fused with Britishness, reveals the Irish middle-class complicity with British colonialism and Jewish commercialism.
The place of Bloom's testimony, inside a stage direction, also emphasizes the performative aspects of the home as a stage-set on which to furnish a national identity. He describes a romanticized scene of middle-class "loveful households in Dublin city," assimilated British spaces where young scholars have Latinate thoughts, "innocent Britishborn bairns" recite their prayers, and young ladies play dutifully at the piano (U 15.912-13, 915). Families maintain some sense of traditional Irishness in Bloom's narrative, however, through their Catholic "rosary" and Gaelic "colleens" (young maids) (U 15.918, 919). Only through the sinister strains of Jewish mercantilism does the danger of British usurpation infiltrate an otherwise peaceably conquered kingdom. The rosy picture of the Irish home, painted in "scenes truly rural of happiness of the better land," is revealed to be syrupy advertising copy for "Dockrell's wallpaper at one and ninepence a dozen" (U 15.913-14, 914-15). The hyperbole in the advertising points wryly to the consumer context of the empire's mobile subjects: fleeing rural poverty, the Irish migrate to cities where they can purchase a rose-tinted memory of "rural . . . happiness" to paper their urban walls. This physical displacement implies that the Irish have shifted responsibility for their plight onto Jewish usurers instead of British economic and cultural usurpers.35
Such displacement is encouraged, since, to the ears of the Irish, Jewish salesmen and British imperialists sing the same song. Bloom's pitch for "the strains of the organtoned melodeon," for example, sounds like the call of a Jewish huckster, promising the consumer that the melodeon is "Britanniametalbound with four acting stops and twelvefold bellows, a sacrifice, greatest bargain ever ...." (U 15.920, 920-22). The "organtoned" voice of the melodeon, furthermore, announces its organic connection to the vital and "acclimatised" organs of the national body, while the instrument's very construction betrays its Britishness. Bloom's testimony (construed as advertising copy) boasts that the instrument is held together with the pewter-like substance "Britanniametal," thus invoking British imperial anthems, such as "Hail Britannia," and echoing the metallic make-up of the "goldskinned" Jews of Stephen's Paris memory. Its parts appropriately "bellow" like a hawker, revealing the extent to which it and Bloom, as representative Britisher and huckstering Jew, betray Ireland.
Joyce contrasts this fantasy of pious, bourgeois, anglicized Dublin homes with Bella Cohen's brothel, an openly immoral and Jewish commercial space. Here, Bloom's mythical and immediate forebears—the prophet Elijah and his grandfather Lipoti Virag—ironically confirm the association between Jewish mercantilism and [End Page 51] immorality in the most ethereal and earthy domains by selling both salvation and sex. Whereas the prophet Elijah appears as an American evangelical in blackface hawking salvation to the prostitutes, Bloom's grandfather Virag plays a sexologist, the author of the "Fundamentals of Sexology or the Love Passion," who advertises the prostitutes as if he were a medicine man selling cures (U 15.2423-24).36 Virag pitches the attributes of each woman to Bloom, offering something for every taste: "We can do you all brands, mild, medium and strong. Pay your money, take your choice. How happy could you be with either" (U 15.2350-51). Virag's scientific expertise is exposed as pure peddling: he carries "all brands" and promises happiness as part of the purchase. This prostitute-peddling echoes Bloom's own sales pitch for the melodeon and thereby seems to confirm the racialist theories of an inherent and hereditary Jewish mercantilism.
Joyce undermines such theories, however, in the carnivalesque portrayal of Bloom's grandfather, who balances throughout the scene on pink stilts. In addition to Virag's absurd performance, his costume represents a mysterious assemblage of scientist, mercantilist, imperialist, Irishman, and Jew. His thinly veiled scientific swindles are characterized by an air of mystery and an Irish insanity since he holds a "roll of parchment" under the famously unidentified brown macintosh and he looks through the monocle of the dotty "Cashel Boyle O'Connor Fitzmaurice Tisdall Farrell" (U 15.2307, 2308-09). Virag's suspicious sales performance is topped off by an association with British imperialism. To this end, he sports the "pshent" of an Egyptian pharaoh (U 15.2309): the two-part helmet representing the united kingdoms of upper and lower Egypt that here parallels the unionist vision of England and Ireland. This ironically positions him, like the speech of the pharaoh chastising Moses in "Aeolus," as the mouthpiece for British imperialism and its disdain for Irish culture.
In order to demonstrate the racial and pseudo-biological logic that invests Jews with such immoral and ill-gotten powers, Joyce also parodies the rumored association of Bloom with illegitimate Jewish financial dynasties. Bloom is anointed, appointed, and lauded as lord mayor, "the world's greatest reformer" and messianic "emperor-president and king-chairman" of Ireland (U 15.1459, 1471). Blurring national, racial, and religious lines, he raises a "standard of Zion" and reads a proclamation in nonsensical Hebrew, as "His Most Catholic Majesty" (U 15.1619, 1629), thereby fulfilling the role assigned by the directives of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion that Jews should gain control of all churches, governments, and money markets. In an explicit comparison to Charles Stewart Parnell, Bloom is exposed as a sexual degenerate, quickly stripped of all prestige and power, and, before being lynched by the angry crowd, is called a "[s]tage Irishman!" (U 15.1729). The epithet demonstrates that the performative [End Page 52] nature of Bloom's role has been recognized by the crowd: his impersonation of Parnell is flawed in the realist sense. The epithet also indicates the success of Bloom's performance as a "[s]tage Irishman," expressing a nationalistic discontent by characterizing failed Irish leaders as stock characters. In any case, the meteoric rise and fall of Bloom's political career dramatizes Stephen's observation about the consistently plundered hoards of the Jews and ties this to an Irish populace consistently robbed of their leaders and independence by British usurpers.
In another link to Parnell's adulterous fall, several doctors attest to Bloom's sexual perversity, a diagnosis tainted by Jewish mercantilism. One of the physicians reads "a bill of health" that identifies Bloom as "a finished example of the new womanly man. . . . about to have a baby" (U 15.1798, 1798-1810), and this feminized Bloom indeed "mother[s]" a brood of "eight male yellow and white children. . . . with valuable metallic faces . . . speaking five modern languages fluently" (U 15.1817, 1821-25). The international spectrum of Bloom's offspring (whose names combine body parts and either gold or silver in Italian, English, Greek, French, and German) parodies the Rothschild dynasty that was spread out over England and the continent, spoke at least five different languages, and was the exemplum of international Jewish financial power. Indeed, the garish physicality of the gold and silver features on the children's "valuable metallic faces" literalizes Stephen's memory of the "goldskinned" Jewish merchants with "gemmed fingers" on the steps of the Paris Stock Exchange and satirizes racial explanations for Jewish financial expertise by equating racial Jewishness with a metallic mask. Joyce's satire thus appropriates the technique of American blackface to expose the racism of Jewish mercantilist stereotypes. The exaggerated metallic make-up, necessary to imagine the "valuable metallic faces" of Bloom's brood, emphasizes the racial mask donned to fulfill the expected performance of Jewishness in financial exchange.
In Time and Western Man, Wyndham Lewis criticizes the disappointing simplicity he finds beneath Ulysses's stylistic complexity, most notably in Joyce's use of a "stage Jew (Bloom), and stage Irishman (Mulligan), [and] a stage Anglo-Saxon (Haines)."37 Joyce might agree that his racial-national characters appear largely to be playing stock parts, but he aims to expose the human complexity that exists beneath these stock characters and to turn our attention to the casting process itself. The performances of the mercantilist Jew in "Circe" expose the exaggerated and monstrous logic by which the Irish throughout the novel cast Bloom as the key to all Jewish mythologies. Joyce's parodic presentation of these stereotypes focuses on the masks themselves and encourages one to notice the flawed performances. Whether a metallic-skinned Rothschild or a gnome-like "ole clo," those performing [End Page 53] a racialized Jewish profession are selling performance itself in an anti-materialist, anti-racialist gesture. Joyce thus displays and derides anti-alienism and anti-Semitism with a parodic literalization of Jewish stereotypes that exposes them as command performances. By casting Bloom comically and tragically as a flawed performer of religious, civic, imperial, and universal leadership, Joyce extends this question outward to criticize the ways in which all forms of cultural, religious, and national identity function performatively.
Amy Feinstein is Assistant Professor of English at Colgate University, where she has been teaching courses on Joyce, modernism, and modernity since 2002. Her work has appeared in PMLA, Modern Fiction Studies, and Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies. She is currently working on a book entitled Gertrude Stein and the Making of Jewish Modernism.
1. Vincent Cheng, Joyce, Race, and Empire (New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1995).
2. These early anthropologists, criminologists, ethnographers, and psychologists include Matthew Arnold, Francis Galton, Cesare Lombroso, Ernest Renan, and Otto Weininger. For critics reading Joyce through these lenses, see Robert Byrnes, “Weiningerian Sex Comedy: Jewish Sexual Types behind Molly and Leopold Bloom,” JJQ, 34 (Spring 1997), 267-81; Lori B. Harrison, “Bloodsucking Bloom: Vampirism as a Representation of Jewishness in Ulysses,” JJQ, 36 (Summer 1999), 781-97; and R. B. Kershner, “Genius, Degeneration, and the Panopticon,” “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”: Complete, Authoritative Text with Biographical and Historical Contexts, Critical History, and Essays from Five Contemporary Critical Perspectives, ed. Kershner (New York: Bedford Books, 1993), pp. 373-90.
3. Max Simon Nordau, Degeneration (London: W. Heineman, 1895).
4. Irish dependence on petty usurers and peddlers, Jewish or not, was a marker of the extreme poverty maintained by the long-standing system of land-based exploitation by the English and later the Anglo-Irish, which had its own usurious history. As Don Gifford and Robert J. Seidman note, in “Ulysses” Annotated: Notes for James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” rev. ed. (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1988), p. 229, since Queen Elizabeth’s establishment of the plantation system, Irish farmers were usuriously indebted to English and Anglo-Irish landlords, in the early sense of the word usurious, which applied to the lending of money to farmers at exploitative rates.
5. Given the wholly negative terms of this confluence of associations about Jews, there persists critical disagreement over Bloom’s Jewish nature: some critics claim that Joyce’s portrait of Bloom is evidence of the author’s anti-Semitism. Erwin Steinberg, in particular, has debated this question over the years and remains steadfast in his beliefs that Bloom is not a Jew and that Joyce is anti-Semitic—see Steinberg, “James Joyce and the Critics Notwithstanding, Leopold Bloom Is Not Jewish,” Journal of Modern Literature, 9 (1981-82), 27-49, “Reading Leopold Bloom/1904 in 1989,” JJQ, 26 (Spring 1989), 397-416, and, most recently, “The Source(s) of Joyce’s Anti-Semitism in Ulysses,” Joyce Studies Annual, ed. Thomas Staley, 10 (1999), 63-84. Whether or not Bloom is traditionally Jewish or identifies himself as a Jew, he is considered to be a Jew by the other characters in the novel, and their treatment of him reveals typical Irish anti-Semitism.
6. Joyce first presents this negative association in the character of the Jewish [End Page 54] money-lender Mr. Harford of “Grace” in Dubliners and, later in Finnegans Wake, refers to Shem with the epithetic descriptions of “Gambanman” (gombeen-man), “Ole Clo” peddler, pawnbroker, and “loanshark” (FW 344.06, 453.15, 192.11, 193.05). See Marilyn Reizbaum, James Joyce’s Judaic Other (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1999), pp. 48-49, and John Gordon, “The Convertshems of the Tchoose: Judaism and Jewishness in Finnegans Wake,” James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake”: A Casebook, ed. John Harty III (New York: Garland Press, 1991), pp. 85-98.
7. In Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (New York: Routledge Publishers, 1990), Judith Butler theorizes identity as performative, and Harley Erdman draws on Butler for his seminal work, Staging the Jew: The Performance of an American Ethnicity, 1860-1920 (New Brunswick: Rutgers Univ. Press, 1997).
8. A handful of critics have addressed the significance of the Jewish nature to Joyce’s style—see John Paul Riquelme, Teller and Tale in Joyce’s Fiction: Oscillating Perspectives (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1983); Karen Lawrence, The Odyssey of Style in “Ulysses” (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1981); and Steven Conner, “‘I … AM. A.’: Addressing the Jewish Question in Joyce’s Ulysses,” The Jew in the Text: Modernity and the Construction of Identity, ed. Linda Nochlin and Tamar Garb (London: Thames and Hudson, 1995). Conner, in particular, builds on Ira Nadel’s study of Joyce’s textual Jewishness, Joyce and the Jews: Culture and Texts (1989; Gainesville: Univ. Press of Florida, 1996), to detect “a preoccupation with Jewishness in the form and force of Joyce’s preoccupation with discourse itself in Ulysses” (p. 220).
9. The purported Jewishness of the money-lender Reuben J. Dodd exemplifies the fact that, to the Irish, usury was the performance of a Jewish occupation. For the evidence against Dodd’s Jewishness in the novel, see Patrick McCarthy, “The Case of Reuben J. Dodd,” JJQ, 21 (Winter 1984), 169-75.
10. Neil Levi, “‘See that Straw? That’s a Straw’: Anti-Semitism and Narrative Form in Ulysses,” Modernism/Modernity, 9 (2002), 377. This is in accord with Mary C. King’s observation that, while Bloom may be an “archetypal representation of the commodity world of capitalism, which, as an advertising man, he is employed to serve,” he also renounces this world for that of the human sense—see King, “Ulysses: The Dissolution of Identity and the Appropriation of the Human World,” James Joyce: The Augmented Ninth, ed. Bernard Benstock (Syracuse: Syracuse Univ. Press, 1988), p. 343. Gary Martin Levine, in The Merchant of Modernism: The Economic Jew in Anglo-American Literature, 1864-1939 (New York: Routledge Publishers, 2003), p. 164, meanwhile, provides a solid survey of the mercantilist Jews in the novel as evidence of Joyce’s advocacy of social democracy as an economic system, “making his mixed-race hero stand for a mixed economy.”
11. See also Enda Duffy’s analyses of the interdependence of capitalism and colonialism in The Subaltern “Ulysses” (Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1994), and Mark Osteen’s exploration of metaphoric usury in The Economy of “Ulysses” (Syracuse: Syracuse Univ. Press, 1995). While Osteen usefully addresses the Judaizing aspect of this metaphor, neither he nor Duffy tease out the implications of Jews and colonialism or the historical Jewish particularity inherent in European conceptions of usury. Indeed, Philip Leonard, in “Asymmetries and Obliterations: Derrida’s Joyce’s Judaism,” Renaissance and Modern Studies, 38 (1995), 80-95, argues that postcolonial theory has a blind [End Page 55] spot about Jewish-European contact, which, in his formulation, has been a history of cultural colonialism or colonialism from within.
12. See Harold Pollins, Economic History of the Jews in England (Teaneck, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Press, 1982), p. 142.
13. In his 1843 essay “On the Jewish Question,” The Marx-Engels Reader, 2nd ed., ed. Robert C. Tucker (New York: W. W. Norton, 1978), pp. 51, 49, Karl Marx equates Judaism with particular capitalist practices, imagining that the Jew’s “chimerical nationality” forms a racial and behavioral reality dependent on “the practical Jewish spirit.” Werner Sombart, in his 1911 treatise The Jews and Modern Capitalism, trans. M. Epstein (New York: Collier Publishers, 1962), attributes to the Jews the development of a capitalistic point of view. Joyce may have been acquainted with Sombart’s theories as summarized in Maurice Fishberg’s 1911 work The Jews: A Study of Race and Environment (London: Walter Scott, 1911), a work that Reizbaum includes in her list of “books with which Joyce is known to have been familiar” (p. 134).
14. For differing views on this debate, see Pollins (p. 150); Todd Endelman, in Radical Assimilation in English Jewish History 1656-1945 (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1990), p. 186; and Louis Hyman, in The Jews of Ireland from Earliest Times to the Year 1910 (Shannon: Irish Univ. Press, 1972), p. 161.
15. Beatrice Potter Webb, “The Jewish Community (East London),” Life and Labour of the People in London, ed. Charles Booth (London: Macmillan Publishers, 1892), 3:188-89.
16. The Irish census of 1901 listed a total Jewish population of 2,048, of which the Dublin immigrants (Jews of foreign birth) were listed as peddlers or petty traders, according to Pollins (p. 178).
17. For a more detailed account of the activities of John Creagh, see Dermot Keogh, Jews in Twentieth-Century Ireland: Refugees, Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust (Cork: Cork Univ. Press, 1998). Hyman notes that there were many Irish-Catholics critical of Creagh’s views (pp. 212-19).
18. This common anti-Semitic myth typically accused Jews of using the blood of Gentile children in the Passover matzos, an accusation that was often the pretext for an Easter pogrom. The quotation here is from a passage in Creagh’s sermon of 11 January 1904, which appeared in The Limerick Journal (13 January 1904), and is quoted in Keogh (p. 28). Further quotations of Creagh’s will be cited parenthetically in the text to Keogh.
19. The articles are unattributed but are believed to have been written by Father Thomas Finlay, a Jesuit minister: “The Jew in Ireland,” The Lyceum, 6 (July 1893), 215-18, and “The Jew Amongst Us,” The Lyceum, 6 (August 1893), 235-38. The quotation “propensity” appears on p. 217 of “The Jew in Ireland.” Further references to “The Jew in Ireland” will be cited parenthetically in the text as “Ireland.”
20. See Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776; New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991), p. 400.
21. The Irish nationalist Arthur Griffith echoed these sentiments in the United Irishman (23 April 1904), writing the following: “The Jew in Ireland is in every respect an economic evil”; Griffith is quoted in Reizbaum (p. 40).
22. For Joyce’s possible acquaintance with the Lyceum, see Bonnie Kime Scott, “Lyceum: An Early Resource for Joyce,” JJQ, 22 (Fall 1984), 77-81.
23. References to the blackface performer Eugene Stratton appear throughout the novel, and, as Cheryl Herr notes, in Joyce’s Anatomy of Culture (Urbana: [End Page 56] Univ. of Illinois Press, 1986), p. 156, Bloom’s mention of Stratton in “Circe” appears to merge notions of blackface and black minstrels. Further references to the Herr work will be cited parenthetically in the text.
24. See Eric Lott’s Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1993), pp. 35, 104, 112-15. Lott also notes that Irishmen in America were often both minstrel performers and members of their audiences.
25. Stephen Watt, in Joyce, O’Casey, and the Irish Popular Theatre (Syracuse: Syracuse Univ. Press, 1991), p. 52, associates Stephen’s jester with the stage Irishman, a dancing, clowning, swearing character with ridiculous language and gestures. Herr notes that the pantomimes, a popular stage genre, included a jester-like clown figure as part of the standard cast of characters (p. 104). In James Joyce and the Language of History (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1994), p. 103, Robert Spoo cites two references to Irish court jesters in Joyce’s critical writings: one identifies a tradition of Irish comedic writers who “became … court jester to the English,” and the other points to the role of “jester and … phrase-maker” in Irish politics, excepting Charles Stewart Parnell (CW 202, 226). Spoo also roots this quotation in a line by French writer Jules Laforgue that describes history as a nightmare in a jester suit whose jokes go on too long (p. 103)—see Laforgue, Mélanges Posthumes, Oeuvres Complètes (Paris: Mercure de France, 1903), 3:279.
26. Emer Nolan, in James Joyce and Nationalism (New York: Routledge Publishers, 1995), pp. 59, 60, argues that Mulligan and company represent a modernist parody of traditional plot narratives “eschewed” by Dedalus and that his parodic betrayal as court jester usurps Stephen’s “self-appointed role as Ireland’s very serious betrayer.”
27. For more on the verbal usury of Stephen, William Shakespeare, and Joyce, see Osteen (pp. 215-27).
28. In James Joyce, Authorized Reader (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1991), p. 170, Jean-Michel Rabaté adds that “Shakespeare, described as jealous and possessive, a capitalist and a usurer, becomes the Jew par excellence when he is shown to display the masochism of him who enjoys his own dispossession.”
29. For more on Roderigo Lopez, see David S. Katz, The Jews in the History of England 1485-1850 (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1994), pp. 49-64.
30. Joyce demonstrates the dangers of reading out of context, when, in the exchange with Mr. Deasy, Stephen ruefully notes that the headmaster quotes Shakespeare’s villainous Iago by way of instruction and admiration.
31. Many critics have addressed this kind of staging: Lawrence describes it as a “dramatic and literal presentation” (p. 146); Hugh Kenner, in “Circe,” James Joyce’s “Ulysses”: Critical Essays, ed. David Hayman and Clive Hart (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1977), p. 352, calls it “dramatized metaphors”; and, most recently, Martin Puchner, in Stage Fright: Modernism, Anti-Theatricality, and Drama (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2003), p. 84, has classified the entire episode as a “phantasmagoric or exuberant closet drama,” emphasizing the textual rather than theatrical nature of the work.
32. Joyce also casts Jewish mythical and historical figures as Jews-by-profession and vice versa. The prophet Elijah, for example, appears as a fast-talking hawker-preacher in blackface, and the moneylender Reuben J. Dodd appears as Judas and the Antichrist. The episode closes with the appearance [End Page 57] of Bloom’s son Rudy as a “fairy boy of eleven, a changeling, kidnapped, dressed in an Eton suit with glass shoes and a little bronze helmet,” a precocious child-scholar perusing a book that might contain Hebrew, read from right to left (U 15.4957-58).
33. See Sergiei Nilus and Victor E. Marsden, eds., The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion (London: Britons Publishing Society, 1933). Now considered a classic in forged and racist literature, the Protocols were supposedly the result of a meeting of Jewish elders who wished to promote a Zionist takeover of the world’s governments.
34. Puchner calls this “Joyce’s most cunning stage direction because it turns the division between direct speech and stage direction up-side down: while the stage direction is supposed to function as the space for the scenic depiction and prescription, through the technique of free indirect discourse it here presents Bloom’s direct speech veiled as narrative report” (pp. 89-90).
35. Duffy argues, in his analysis of colonialism and commodification in this passage, that “[t]he association of desired commodities and advertising underlines the sense that these products are part of the excess goods of the crisis of overproduction. This is a crisis of the home country, the imperial center” (p. 153). In other words, Duffy points out, using the theories of Rosa Luxemburg, the necessity of creating markets in the colonies for the goods produced by the empire. Dublin is a colonized capital and a source of capital for the colonizer; it is a source of raw materials for British products and a source of consumption of those materials. On Luxemburg’s political and economic theories, see her Politische Schriften, ed. Ossip K. Flechtheim, 3 vols. (Frankfurt am Main: Europaïsche Verlagsanstall, 1966).
36. The book’s title echoes Havelock Ellis’s series from 1900 entitled Studies in the Psychology of Sex (Philadelphia: F. A. Davis, 1900-1928), whose third volume is subtitled “Analysis of the Sexual Impulse.”
37. Wyndham Lewis, Time and Western Man (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1928), p. 96. [End Page 58]