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'up out of this' Metatextuality in Joyce's "Ulysses"

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Description: This thesis examines the concept of metatextuality within (and without) James Joyce's Ulysses. Metatextuality refers to a persistent self-reflexiveness which the book evinces, a quality which emphasizes the fact that it is a book, was written, is read. Moreover, the self-referentiality of "this chaffering allincluding most farraginous chronicle" reveals themes and tensions which center on its own examination of its status as artificial construct, most notably in an anxiety of arrangement and desire for escape ( U 14.1412). We find that Ulysses enacts a strange form of dualism against its representational backdrop, as it seems to both simultaneously form and disintegrate. This is due to the text's avowed mistrust of authoritative meaning-making systems which, paradoxically, is exactly what Joyce's book is. Thus, the ultimate dilemma that we see playing out within the text is whether or not it can effect release, can get "up out," from its own constraints.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work