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Garryowen and the Bloody Mangy Mongrel of Irish Modernity

From: James Joyce Quarterly
Volume 46, Number 3-4, Spring-Summer 2009
pp. 545-557 | 10.1353/jjq.2008.0040



In this essay, I look at Garryowen—the dog known to all men and a "bloody mangy mongrel" (U 12.119-20)—in terms of hybridity and then examine how such an issue redounds to the question of the construction of national identity in the "Cyclops" episode of Ulysses. I begin by looking at Dr. James W. Redfield's Comparative Physiognomy or Resemblances between Man and Animals, which considers national identity from an animalistic perspective. Ignoring any possibility of hybridity, Redfield unequivocally identifies the Irish with dogs. While Joyce was apparently ignorant of this work, his treatment of dogs in Ulysses functions as a corrective, of sorts, to Redfield's bizarre assertions in that it champions the hybrid and even the mongrel.

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