Dubliners' Dozen: The Games Narrators Play

Synopsis

"Traditional readings of Dubliners have entrapped themselves in easy identifications with the narrator in the stories, who acts as the mouthpiece of what "Joyce" wanted to say about the Irish and about Ireland. With "paralysis" as the key term in his diagnosis, the narrator draws the reader into harshly judgmental stances toward the stories' characters. Recent critics of Dubliners, however, have distanced themselves from such facile identifications, viewing the stories as "writerly" rather than "readerly" texts. Using strong overarching theories, such as Lacan's, they explore the techniques through which the narrator produces these reductive effects. Instead of settling for a single theory, Dubliners' Dozen by contrast, applies a different contemporary theoretical lens to each of the stories. In opting for an array of theoretical vantage points, Dubliners' Dozen employs "microtheories," which are small knots or junctures in larger theoretical structures: Foucault of confession and power-knowledge, Barthes on Italian opera and on narrative contracts, Freud on identification, Lacan on metaphor, Derrida on mimesis, Genette on narrative embedding, and Ricoeur on bound and wild images." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved