Interrupted Masculinity in Dubliners Anxiety, Shame, and Shontological Ethics SUSAN MOONEY In Joyce’s Dubliners, as well as in his subsequent prose works, Joyce ironi- cally revises heroic conceptions of Irish masculinity from youth to middle and old age. Joyce’s turn-of-the-century Irish men are characterized by their anxiety and interrupted or disconnected circuits of desire. Joyce maintains narrative structures of heroic mastery, while at the same time examining the discursive, affective, and ethical exigencies of these mod- els. The title of his unpublished novel, Stephen Hero, emphasizes this split by labeling the protagonist with the proscription he fails to attain by classical standards of the heroic. Joyce portrays the men of Dubliners in intersections of affect and blunted or deferred ethical action. He distinctly rejects programmatic treatments of the Irish Gaelic hero, distancing him- self from the Irish Literary Revival, while at the same time imbricating his characters in the socio-economic realities of Dublin of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The demands of performing as a gentleman, in keeping with English standards of muscular Christianity, are repeatedly shown as too steep for his middling, middle-class Irish men. Their colo- nial status and Catholic subservience impede fulﬁlling expectations of
Joyce Studies Annual – Fordham University Press
Published: Jan 4, 2018
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