The Secret of Ulysses: An Analysis of James Joyce's Ulysses

By Rolf R. Loehrich | Go to book overview

10. CETTE FICHUE POSITION

Mr. Deasy asks Stephen to have a letter about foot-andmouth disease printed in the Evening Telegraph. In this letter it is told how to eliminate the disease. It is Stephen's and Bloom's disease; the loss of the leg (foot disease), and the loss of the teeth (mouth disease). Stephen is called "Toothless Kinch." The foot-and-mouth disease finds its expression in Bloom's and in Stephen's character. Bloom has become Henry Flower, the unmanned poet with his romantic yearnings for beauty, and the little boy with his naughty perverted play with the sentimental Martha Clifford.76 Stephen has become the mournful mummer, pretending that he is Hamlet,48 living in the tower of loneliness and repeating the sentimentality of "to be or not to be".

Bloom's and Stephen's sexual impotence only mirrors their emotional impotence to love and create. How do they find substitutes? It is made clear when Bloom watches Gerty MacDowell on the beach -- she is 'lame' -- exhibiting her charms, while he engages in the rites of Onan.360 Virag says it in the words, "I'm a tiny thing . . . long ago I was a king. . . . Now I do this kind of thing on the wing . . ."506 And Stephen? Mulligan laughs about it in his mocking remark, "Everyman his own wife or a Honeymoon in the Hand (a national immorality in three orgasms). . . . Characters: Toby Tostoff ( Stephen). Crab (the mother transfigured). Medical Dick and Medical Davy ( Philip drunk and Philip sober). Mother Grogan (a watercarrier) (water the power of destruction instead of milk the power of the ETERNAL MOTHER). Fresh Nelly (the one whose drake was killed) and Rosalie (the one representing Nell Flaherty)".214 Here is "cette fichue position" which Stephen laments on the beach.

Do they rationalize their predicament? Bloom does not think about it, he lives his carnal concupiscence with the bad conscience of the little bourgeois. Stephen thinks about it, he lives his pride with the tortured conscience of one who knows

-94-

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The Secret of Ulysses: An Analysis of James Joyce's Ulysses
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Table of Contents vii
  • List of Tables ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1. the Secret 1
  • 2. the Intent 4
  • I - The Interpretation 7
  • 3. the Action 9
  • 4. the Continuity of the Story 13
  • 5. Episode 15 24
  • 6. the Contending Power Groups 55
  • 7. the Lex Eterna 61
  • 8. the Other Dimension 73
  • II- The Code with Joyce 83
  • 9. the Riddles 86
  • 10. Cette Fichue Position 94
  • 11- the Eternal Parents Misjudged As Unfaithful 98
  • 12. the Unfaithfulness of Man 104
  • 13. the Riches of Life 110
  • 14. the Manifestation of God 115
  • III- The Aesthetic Form Of Ulysses 123
  • 15. the Artistic Intent 125
  • 16- the Aesthetic Media: The First Framework 128
  • 17. the Hidden Plot 129
  • 18- Deflections from the Hidden Plot To the Aesthetic Media 132
  • 19. the Changing Viewpoints 136
  • IV- Existence for Joyce 139
  • 20. Fiction or Discovery? 141
  • 21- Bona Fide Dream-Reports And Secondary Thought Elaborations 143
  • 22- Psycho Therapeutics -- the Way Of Atonement 167
  • 23. Guilt -- Infantile and Existential 176
  • 24. Man's Status in Existence 184
  • Index 189
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