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Module code: EN6111
Credits: 10
Semester: Year-Long
Department: ENGLISH
International: No
Overview Overview

The critic Fredric Jameson has asserted that Ulysses ends twice. He argues that the penultimate chapter, “Ithaca”, represents the culmination (or perhaps the exhaustion) of mainly “masculine” discourses (concerning religion, politics, science, the public world) while the final chapter, “Penelope”, has been interpreted as introducing a new kind of “feminine” style (affirming individual desire and consumption or even consumerism). Jameson himself prefers the account of reification, of the commodity and of the destruction of “nature” in modernity in Chapter 17 to what he calls the “vitalist ideology” of Molly Bloom’s celebration of the sexual body and of the beautiful landscapes of North County Dublin or Gibraltar in Chapter 18. Certainly both strands in Joyce have had a huge influence on later Irish modernist writing and on contemporary writing that arguably renews or extends Irish modernist experiment. Later writers to be considered on this module include Beckett, Flann O’Brien and Edna O’Brien and we will conclude with two key novels representative of the current wave of Irish literary innovation: McCormack’s Solar Bones and McBride’s A Girl is a Half-formed Thing.

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