The meta-Utopian metatext: the deconstructive dreams of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10547/297124
Title:
The meta-Utopian metatext: the deconstructive dreams of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake
Authors:
Charles, Alec
Abstract:
Ulysses is a novel of immense and endless structuration, but one that resists structure itself, which eschews the closure and determinism of stereotypically Utopian mythologization. Joyce's work acknowledges that we continue to cling to our Utopian dreams, despite all the material evidence. Yet Joyce advances a mode of Utopianism that, in recognizing the tensions inherent to its relationship with the real, not only self-consciously deconstructs but also therefore sustains itself. If the Utopian breaks down upon its contact with material history, then perhaps by inscribing—and, more importantly, integrating—its antithesis and its own absurdity within itself, it might achieve a balance and a self-awareness sufficient to sustain it beyond the moment of its conception, the revolutionary or revelatory moment, and to translate its abstraction into the very materiality that had originally threatened to extinguish it. Joyce reveals Utopian literature's potential for self-deconstruction while at the same time rehearsing the hypocrisy and tyranny of literalist political interpretations of that discourse. Ulysses explores this process at a literary-political level; but it is Finnegans Wake that, in its dissolution of the dictatorship of the aesthetic, enacts the innate failure of the project of perfectibility at the level of language itself.
Citation:
Charles, A. (2012) 'The meta-Utopian metatext: the deconstructive dreams of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake', Utopian Studies, 23 (2), pp. 472-503.
Publisher:
Penn State University Press
Journal:
Utopian Studies
Issue Date:
2012
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10547/297124
DOI:
10.1353/utp.2012.0017
Additional Links:
http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/utopian_studies/v023/23.2.charles.html
Type:
Article
Language:
en
ISSN:
1045-991X
Appears in Collections:
Journalism

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorCharles, Alecen_GB
dc.date.accessioned2013-07-29T08:21:52Z-
dc.date.available2013-07-29T08:21:52Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationCharles, A. (2012) 'The meta-Utopian metatext: the deconstructive dreams of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake', Utopian Studies, 23 (2), pp. 472-503.en_GB
dc.identifier.issn1045-991X-
dc.identifier.doi10.1353/utp.2012.0017-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10547/297124-
dc.description.abstractUlysses is a novel of immense and endless structuration, but one that resists structure itself, which eschews the closure and determinism of stereotypically Utopian mythologization. Joyce's work acknowledges that we continue to cling to our Utopian dreams, despite all the material evidence. Yet Joyce advances a mode of Utopianism that, in recognizing the tensions inherent to its relationship with the real, not only self-consciously deconstructs but also therefore sustains itself. If the Utopian breaks down upon its contact with material history, then perhaps by inscribing—and, more importantly, integrating—its antithesis and its own absurdity within itself, it might achieve a balance and a self-awareness sufficient to sustain it beyond the moment of its conception, the revolutionary or revelatory moment, and to translate its abstraction into the very materiality that had originally threatened to extinguish it. Joyce reveals Utopian literature's potential for self-deconstruction while at the same time rehearsing the hypocrisy and tyranny of literalist political interpretations of that discourse. Ulysses explores this process at a literary-political level; but it is Finnegans Wake that, in its dissolution of the dictatorship of the aesthetic, enacts the innate failure of the project of perfectibility at the level of language itself.en_GB
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherPenn State University Pressen_GB
dc.relation.urlhttp://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/utopian_studies/v023/23.2.charles.htmlen_GB
dc.titleThe meta-Utopian metatext: the deconstructive dreams of Ulysses and Finnegans Wakeen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalUtopian Studiesen_GB
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