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A Cripped Erotic: Gender and Disability in James Joyce's "Nausicaa"

From: James Joyce Quarterly
Volume 49, Number 1, Fall 2011
pp. 73-89 | 10.1353/jjq.2011.0115



"Nausicaa" produces what I call a "cripped erotic" through its counter-narrative to disabled asexuality (particularly through Gerty's limp and her gendered disabled subjectivity) and a more nuanced understanding of how gender, desire, and disability function. It also challenges ocularcentric constructions of desire and heteronormative constructions of sex itself. Considering this episode, along with the use of the blind stripling in "Lestrygonians" and the text's emphasis on the olfactory, I argue for the text's sensory schema as a way of intervening in conceptions of gender, sexuality, and ability (what constitutes ability in and of itself).