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The Death of the BookModernist Novels and the Time of Reading$
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John Lurz

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823270972

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823270972.001.0001

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The Reader of Ulysses

The Reader of Ulysses

(p.55) Chapter 2 The Reader of Ulysses
The Death of the Book

John Lurz

Fordham University Press

This chapter plots how Ulysses progressively draws attention to the mediating agency of the reader’s sensory relationship with his reading material. Revolving around the “Sirens” episode, it examines Stephen Dedalus’ and Leopold Bloom’s respective over-emphases on the operation of the intellectual and physical in the act of reading. Sirens illustrates an intersection of these two poles and reveals how Joyce’s most famous novel calls out to the perceptual openings of the reader’s body that allow for access to its text. More than this, Ulysses hints at the way these holes in the body act as figures for its fundamental finitude, a condition of physical fragmentation shared by the form of the novel itself.

Keywords:   body, James Joyce, perception, Sirens, Ulysses

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