Joyce’s Ulysses displays one of the most complex textualizations of a spatially connoted idea of modernity based on early twentieth-century Dublin (then to become one of the capitals of modernist literature), as connoted by a position of economic and industrial peripherality. The chapter appraises the fancy, hypermodern fantasy of Bloom’s “Flowerville”, a Dublin utopian residential suburb embedded in the seventeenth episode of Ulysses, “Ithaca”, as a parodic representation and critique of Irish modernity qua peripheral modernity, in light of the ambivalence of both Irish modernism and Irish nationalism’s attitude towards modernization. As an imaginative projection included in the most overtly materialist and expository of all the episodes, this digressive fantasy relates to the nexus between modernism and utopianism and engages with different aspects of a peripheral, suburban, capitalistic modernity, on the mutually exclusive, incompatible planes of subjective and private desires and social and political realities. The architectural absurdism of Flowerville thus reveals a parodic and ironic critique of the nineteenth-century bourgeois conception of the residence as an expression and container of the subject. Flowerville is then much more than a parenthesis in a complex chapter, but rather an important signifier of Joyce’s inventive and provocative reflection on the modernity of Ireland as metrocolonial and peripheral.

“From the Periphery of the Metropolis”: On Joyce’s Modern/ist Irish Peripherealities

Roberta Gefter Wondrich
2024-01-01

Abstract

Joyce’s Ulysses displays one of the most complex textualizations of a spatially connoted idea of modernity based on early twentieth-century Dublin (then to become one of the capitals of modernist literature), as connoted by a position of economic and industrial peripherality. The chapter appraises the fancy, hypermodern fantasy of Bloom’s “Flowerville”, a Dublin utopian residential suburb embedded in the seventeenth episode of Ulysses, “Ithaca”, as a parodic representation and critique of Irish modernity qua peripheral modernity, in light of the ambivalence of both Irish modernism and Irish nationalism’s attitude towards modernization. As an imaginative projection included in the most overtly materialist and expository of all the episodes, this digressive fantasy relates to the nexus between modernism and utopianism and engages with different aspects of a peripheral, suburban, capitalistic modernity, on the mutually exclusive, incompatible planes of subjective and private desires and social and political realities. The architectural absurdism of Flowerville thus reveals a parodic and ironic critique of the nineteenth-century bourgeois conception of the residence as an expression and container of the subject. Flowerville is then much more than a parenthesis in a complex chapter, but rather an important signifier of Joyce’s inventive and provocative reflection on the modernity of Ireland as metrocolonial and peripheral.
2024
978-3-031-35545-5
978-3-031-35546-2
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3067640
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