Artworks and brain-works find their mediated space of connection in the mind—in how the mind imagines. Neuroaesthetics is its disciplinary practice. For us, as narrative theorists, neuroaesthetics helps uncover how the novel, the great verbal art form of the verbal mind, is the aesthetic of consciousness, the aesthetic that tells the mind’s story. James Joyce’s Ulysses, that rarest of novels, unparalleled in its experiments with giving verbal form to consciousness, models how. My claim is that the mind-work of Ulysses throws a spotlight on the “illusions of consciousness.” Drawing on the mind-brain research of Semir Zeki, Antonio Damasio, Jaak Panksepp, J. Allan Hobson, and, most of all, Daniel N. Stern, I analyze Ulysses for its revelations and verbal formalizations of consciousness through Joyce’s “yes” and what I’m calling the “‘yes’ mental states” of Ulysses—the synthetic concept generation of Stephen’s mind, the SEEKING system of Bloom’s mind, and the “yes I said yes I will Yes” of Molly’s mind.


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pp. 269-288
Launched on MUSE
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