Mourning to Death: Love, Altruism, and Stephen Dedalus's Poetry of Grief
AbstractJoyce writes Ulysses during the first two decades of the 20th century, first in Trieste and then in Paris. In this period two distinct concerns about the psychology of mourning flourish in Paris. The gradual publication of Proust's In Search of Lost Time promotes an interconnection between voluntary and involuntary memory on the one hand, and the psychology of mourning on the other. In turn, the anthropologists guided by Émile Durkheim devote several coordinated studies to the funerary rites prevalent among the aboriginal tribes in Australia. Joyce contributes to this cultural climate with the representation of Stephen Dedalus's sense of loss after the death of his mother. This essay discusses the relationship between Stephen's mourning and his poetic agenda, aimed at the poetic expression of inconsolable grief.