Race, sex, and species in Joyce's Ulysses form what Claire Jean Kim calls "taxonomies of power" that are culturally co-constituted and mutually reinforced, as animalized speech and the famous emasculation scene of the Circe episode make clear. Alternately approached with longing, pain, grief, and fear, the text's domestic space is an over-determined cipher that that reveals the limits of pure freedom from systemic and psychological constraint. Instead, feral movements in the Circe episode mark neither a flight from categorization, nor a capitulation to it. Leopold Bloom's identity, while outside of standard classification (as an amalgamation of racial, sexual, and animal others), is used to reinscribe the norms such identities can potentially upend. Though the text fails to subvert power structures, several feral movements in the Circe episode present Leopold Bloom as performing multiple unstable identifications at once, offering small but potent ruptures in the text's regulatory forces.


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pp. 41-59
Launched on MUSE
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