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Essay on Hunt for Meaning at James Joyce's Dubliners

Assignment id 1000736
Discipline Writing
Assignment type Essay
Words 1082
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Search for Meaning in James Joyce's Dubliners During Dubliners James Joyce intentionally effaces the standard markers of this short story: causality, closure, etc.. In doing so, "the book continually provides up texts that indicate their own elegance by highlighting the very thing which traditional realism seeks to conceal: the artifice and insufficiency inherent in an author's attempt to represent facts. (Seidel 31)." By refusing to have a reductive approach to the planet(s) he presents to the page - to provide up "meaning" or "end" - Joyce moves the reader into complex and unsettling epistemological and ontological lands. Meaning is no more unitary and prescriptive, the author won't reveal (read inflict) what exactly the narrative "implies" at its near and therefore we can't definitively "know" anything about it. Rather, meaning, like modernism, engenders its own multiplicity from Joyce's works, diffuses into some thing inevitably plural: significance. An ontological crisis is inextricable from the crisis of meaning and representation. In Joyce's stories the reader is displaced from her/his traditionally passive role as receptor of this understanding an author seeks to impart, and "placed as both reader and author of text, in some ways playing as essential a part in building the job as the author does. (Benstock 17)" In the book's opening story, "The Sisters," Joyce simplifies this issue with writing "fact" out of sub-theme to subject: the narrative is an elongated meditation on textuality just as much as it's the narrative of a boy and a priest. By beginning with a metatext Joyce closely opens up the entire collection for a different type of reading, one predicated on noticing instead of touching literature's limitations. With...

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