``All that the hand says when you touch'' Intercorporeal Ethics in Joyce's Ulysses ETHAN KING For a novel obsessed with depicting a dense profusion of bodies moving through a chaotic urban space, Ulysses has surprisingly few moments of physical contact. When bodies do come into contact, it usually occurs in the form of collisions, the violent and concussive encounters of physical and ideological opposites that signal not only the Dubliners' fears and suspicions of the Other, but also the interpellative crash of both Irish nationalism and British colonialism. Leopold Bloom, however, transcends the tactile violence of his community by imbuing his contact with the Other with a recognition of their untraversable alterity and of their bodily or circumstantial vulnerability, establishing a new mode of living through intercorporeal generosity. By engaging in empathetic contact within the realm of touch with the blind stripling, Gerty MacDowell, and Stephen Dedalus, Bloom rejuvenates and is rejuvenated by the Other, each maintaining his or her radical alterity, and each attaining a more liberated subjectivity. By practicing an intercorporeal ethics formulated out of love, he subverts the physical and ethical limitations of Irish nationalism and British colonialism. I argue that to touch the Other,
Joyce Studies Annual – Fordham University Press
Published: Dec 30, 2015
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