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Title:Moving Bodies: James Joyce and the "New Physics"
Author(s):Goldberg, Michael Emanuel
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):James Hurt
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Modern
Abstract:James Joyce was an innovator in modern literature, and many of his resources and approaches have been examined thoroughly. Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, however, is an under-explored influence on Joyce's later fiction. As he wrote Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, Joyce culled from the Einsteinian ideas that were "in the air" the inspiration for a cluster of radical narrative techniques. Because Einstein's theories appear to hold equally true for animate and inanimate matter, they coincide smoothly with Joyce's search for a "soft" modernism that favors humanism. Joyce's human-centered aesthetic can be called "Einsteinian narrative," and it includes bodies in motion, cinematic style, and multiple perspectives (including mythic ones). The final result is a novelistic form in which the subject (both storyteller and reader) and the object (the story) are all in motion with respect to each other. The result of this form is a full, objective, thorough representation of modern Dublin and modern humanity. My project climaxes by arguing that pieces of Finnegans Wake consist of Joyce setting up a dichotomy. On the one side, Joyce suggests Wyndham Lewis as representative of the Fascistic, "hard" modernist whose vision of art draws from out-dated Newtonian absolute reference frames. Contrary to this, Joyce represents himself as a "soft," Einsteinian modernist, who (though flawed) privileges an intuitive, subjective, humanist agenda.
Issue Date:1999
Description:222 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1999.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9944863
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1999

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