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Cannibal Joyce

Thomas Jackson Rice

Publication Year: 2008

Thomas Rice uses the concept of cannibalism (what he calls "dismemberment, ingestion, and reprocessing") to describe Joyce's incorporation of so many literary and cultural allusions, both "high" and "popular." Beginning with examples of actual and symbolic cannibalism that fascinated Joyce--the Donner party, the Catholic Eucharist--Rice moves on to the ways Joyce appropriated language and elements of material culture into his work.

In Cannibal Joyce, Rice deftly offers a wide range of surprising connections and fascinating insights. A look at Berlitz's approach to teaching language leads to an examination of Joyce's aesthetic of disjunction in language. He compares Joyce and Joseph Conrad in light of the difficulties of modernism for readers through a startling and convincing discussion of the condom. And by focusing attention on colonial tales of cannibalism and Britain's treatment of the Irish, he provides a unique perspective on Joyce's politics.

Published by: University Press of Florida

Title Page, Copyright

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List of Figures

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pp. ix

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pp. xi-xii

Ronald Reagan will be remembered for many things, but the one that sticks out in my mind is his fondness for jellybeans. Our fortieth president shared a sweet tooth with another world leader, King Edward VII: in “Lestrygonians” the latter is revealed on his throne, “sucking red jujubes white.” The comfits...

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Preface: From Cannibalism to Cannibalization

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pp. xiii-xxi

The verb “cannibalize” first entered the English language in 1943, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, as one of those neologisms, like “snafu,” that enriched our vocabulary as a result of World War II. The OED cites the Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society’s definition of the term (1947): “The necessity for...

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1. “Consumption, was it?”: Joyce and Cannibalism

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pp. 1-28

Priscilla Walton begins her Our Cannibals, Ourselves (2004) by remembering when she saw her “first ‘cannibal’” on the “TV program ‘Gilligan’s Island’” in the 1960s (1). I can place my own arrival at the age of awareness of cannibalism, also via television, both a little earlier and even more precisely. On Sunday evening...

Part I. Cannibalizing Language

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2. The Distant Music of the Spheres: Language as Axiomatic System

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pp. 31-44

Toward the end of his evening at the “Misses Morkan’s annual dance” (D 175) Gabriel Conroy, standing in the darkness at the foot of a staircase, gazes upward at “A woman,” his wife Gretta, “standing near the top of the first flight, in the shadow also.” Gretta, he quickly realizes, is “listening to something”— something...

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3. “Mr. Berlicche and Mr. Joyce”: Language as Comestible

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pp. 45-58

From the opening paragraph of “The Sisters,” the initial story in his first major work of fiction Dubliners, to the last page of Finnegans Wake, James Joyce, among many other concerns, trains his readers to converse in a foreign language. Joyce’s instructional methodology is intriguing and original for its time. From...

Part II. Cannibalizing Literature

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4. Consuming High Culture: Allusion and Structure in “The Dead”

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pp. 61-72

Readers familiar with Ulysses will instantly recognize this paragraph from the Nestor episode as the text of the first half of Mr. Garrett Deasy’s letter on the foot-and-mouth disease, although it is quite clearly not the text as written by Deasy. Deasy assures Stephen Dedalus “I don’t mince words, do I?” (U 2.331), immediately...

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5. A Taste for/of “inferior literary style”: The (Tom) Swiftian Comedy of Scylla and Charybdis

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pp. 73-85

In the late spring of 1963 two new forms of verbal humor, sampled above, were making the rounds at suburban cocktail parties: elephant jokes and another more literate and witty kind of wordplay called the “Tom Swiftie.” Both of these joke fads became so popular that they gained the notice of the national press. While the...

Part III. Cannibalizing Material Culture

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6. Condoms, Conrad, and Joyce

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pp. 89-105

Early in Lady Chatterley’s Lover, a novel that earned its notoriety by speaking frankly and graphically about sex, Lawrence’s spokesperson of the moment Tommy Dukes contends “that sex is just another form of talk, where you act the words instead of saying them”—“sex is a sort of communication like...

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7. His Master’s Voice and Joyce

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pp. 106-126

Rare is the essay on the intersections of modern art and technology that doesn’t begin by invoking “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1936), as I have in my first epigraph, but rarer yet is the critic who, while adducing Walter Benjamin, does full justice to the equivocal nature of Benjamin’s...

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8. The Cultural Transfer of Film, Radio, and Television

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pp. 127-164

The advent of commercial radio broadcasting in the 1920s initiated a fundamental change in the consumers’ relation to communication technology, a change that effectively reduced the users’ autonomy in the communicative relationship, thus heightening the phenomenon of passive consumption in contemporary...


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pp. 165-185


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pp. 187-201


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pp. 203-208

E-ISBN-13: 9780813045276
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813032191
Print-ISBN-10: 0813032199

Page Count: 232
Illustrations: 21 b&w illustrations
Publication Year: 2008