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

By Rolf R. Loehrich | Go to book overview

16. THE AESTHETIC MEDIA: THE FIRST FRAMEWORK

Joyce knew Aristotle well. The normative rules of Aristotle's aesthetics of the drama could be made useful and applied for a novel like Ulysses. Joyce observed unity of action ( Bloom and Stephen as the central characters), unity of time (the story tells the events of one day and night, following the hours of the day closely), unity of place ( Dublin). As the requirements of the novel are different from those of the drama, these rules were applied in a loose way, and in a broad sense. It did however provide a first principle for the synthesis of materials.

It was also meant to be meaningful. The sun rises in the morning and stands at its zenith at noon and again falls to the horizon to begin the night journey; so man, so Bloom and Stephen lived this day, Thursday June 16, 1904, the climax of which was reached during their night journey, at midnight. This is the time of their spiritual deaths and rebirths, thought in analogy to the final death on this earth and the (hoped for) rebirth. So we read: "( Stephen) What went forth to the ends of the world to traverse not itself. God, the sun, Shakespeare, a commercial traveller, having itself traversed in reality itself, becomes that self."494 The one day is thought as corresponding to one year (morning-spring, noon-summer, eveningautumn, night-winter), and corresponding to the compass (morning-east, noon-south, evening-west, night-north), and again corresponding to the life of man, his birth and death.

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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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