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Dante ...... Joyce. Derrida

Dick, Maria-Daniella (2010) Dante ...... Joyce. Derrida. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.

Abstract

James Joyce remains a logocentric figure, a position confirmed in his perceived relation to Dante within a patriarchal canonical lineage and its philosophical implications. Joyce also occupies this position within the writing and thought of Jacques Derrida, for whom his work then represents both the logos and its own deconstruction. In contrast, this thesis proposes that Joyce in fact is not a logocentric author, and that his writing is explicitly directed towards a deconstruction of the idea of the logos. This claim is advanced through the suggestion that there is in Joyce a deconstruction rather than a validation of the phonocentric linguistic theory and practice of Dante, and concomitantly of a patriarchal Joyce construed through that Dante. In this interrogation of the Dantean logos by Joyce’s writing the thesis then reads the Derridean view on Joyce and examines its investments, proposing that in it there are wider implications for a critical reading of Derrida’s work and for an understanding of his grammatology. It does so in three imagined papers on Joyce and Dante, an insert, a lecture and an essay. They constitute phantom artefacts in which to read deconstructively, and to read deconstruction, by unbinding Derrida’s Joyce. The first chapter is an imagined insert from Joyce and Dante into Of Grammatology and its first chapter, ‘The End of the Book and the Beginning of Writing’. In the folds of the insert it is proposed that Derrida cleaves to the idea of the book and is bound to it in Joyce. This binding initiates a retrospective reading of ‘The End of the Book and the Beginning of Writing’ and of the wider grammatological opening; its implications are unfolded in the insert. By then unbinding the thread of a logocentric Dante in Joyce, the insert unbinds Joyce from the Derridean idea of the book and furthermore suggests that Joyce, read in the deconstruction of Dante, represents the closure of the book as imagined in that essay. Building upon the proposal of a Joycean closure of the book as unfolded in chapter one, the second chapter advances and outlines the shape of that closure in an imagined lecture by Joyce. The chapter follows the displaced letter a in Ulysses as it interrogates mimesis, tracing the development of a subject in différance. The lecture performs that deconstruction of mimesis and, in doing so, announces not the apotheosis but the death of the realist novel in Ulysses. The final chapter draws together the conclusions of the previous two chapters in an imagined essay that arche-writes ‘Two Words for Joyce’ as an example of its own thesis. It does so in a previously untraced Dantean connection, through a conversation between Joyce and Beckett on Dante that finds its way into Finnegans Wake and is archived in the two words Derrida extracts as the spur for his essay. The imagined essay brings together Derrida, Beckett and Joyce in Dante as a concatenation of pairs within the pair of essays; it also shadows another pair, the Derridean Joyce and his other from whom the imagined essay comes. It both performs a deconstructive reading of Derrida in ‘Two Words for Joyce’ and then, through that reading, more widely affirms a Derridean grammatology. The argument of the thesis as it has advanced through the three chapters is here brought to a conclusion, suggesting that in Joyce’s writing it can be proposed that the relationship of deconstructive reading to its own practice is mediated through literature; it also proposes what might be a relationship between deconstructive reading and literature beyond those consequences.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available once any embargo periods have expired.
Keywords: Modernism, Continental Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Supervisor's Name: Coyle, Dr. John and Kolocotroni, Dr. Vassiliki
Date of Award: 2010
Embargo Date: 11 April 2014
Depositing User: Dr Maria-Daniella Dick
Unique ID: glathesis:2010-2494
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2011
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2013 15:37
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/2494

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