Joyce's Dublin: the non-appearance of the city

Gough, Tim (2008) Joyce's Dublin: the non-appearance of the city. In: Architexture; 15 - 17 Apr 2008, Glasgow, U.K.. (Unpublished)


Joyce's Ulysses is commonly regarded as an exemplary description of the urban space of Dublin - concrete, site-specific, poetic, intertwining the public and the private and, at the same time, instaurating the genre of a post-Nietzchean literary modernism which revalued all values in its attention to the question of the everyday. And yet, on reading the novel, we would be forgiven for thinking that the city "itself" never appears. Of architecture, it could be said that we read little or nothing. This paper will explore whether or not this literature does indeed talk of space, the city, architecture; and if so what the ontological status of such space and architecture would be. It will take as its clue the stoic disjunctive logic presented by Gilles Deleuze at the start of his 1967 book, Logic of Sense - a book in which Deleuze uses the novels of Joyce as key and admired examples. How does this stoic logic, referring on the one hand to the states of affairs of bodies and, on the other, to the entirely other order of "events", which hover over states of affair as "the battle hovers over its own field" (section 15), dispose an ontology of space and place? Does this ontology relate only to the representation of space in literature, or on the contrary must we, with Deleuze, call into question the structure of representation and thereby propose an other idea of space? It will be shown in conclusion that the creation of a place must, like literature, stay true to Deleuze's words in Difference and Repetition: [it] opens on to the difference of Being by taking its own difference as object - in other works, by posing the question of its own difference (p195)

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