James Joyce's Judaic Other

James Joyce's Judaic Other

James Joyce's Judaic Other

James Joyce's Judaic Other


How can recent work on ethnicity and race speak to the Jewish dimension in the writings of James Joyce? The concept of the other is significant for Joyce's work, and Reizbaum shows that this must be informed by the history of anti-semitism.


Stephen Dedalus's standard-bearing line from Ulysses--"History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake"--seems a lament even more appropriate to Leopold Bloom. and indeed, Stephen says it in response to Mr. Deasy's anti-Semitic pronouncements in Nestor:

He raised his forefinger and beat the air oldly before his voice spoke. --Mark my words, Mr Dedalus, he said. England is in the hands of the jews. in all the highest places: her finance, her press. and they are the signs of a nation's decay. Wherever they gather they eat up the nation's vital strength. I have seen it coming these years. As sure as we are standing here the jew merchants are already at their work of destruction. Old England is dying. . . .

--A merchant, Stephen said, is one who buys cheap and sells dear, jew or gentile, is he not?

--They sinned against the light, Mr Deasy said gravely. and you can see the darkness in their eyes. and that is why they are wanderers on the earth to this day.

On the steps of the Paris stock exchange the goldskinned men quoting prices on their gemmed fingers. Gabble of geese. They swarmed loud, uncouth, about the temple, their heads thickplotting under maladroit silk hats. Not theirs: these clothes, this speech, these gestures.

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