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Quotidian micro-spectacles: Ulysses and fashion

Ku, P; (2014) Quotidian micro-spectacles: Ulysses and fashion. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Quotidian Micro-Spectacles: Ulysses and Fashion wishes to make a contribution to Joycean studies in the research area that has been known as cultural studies. Over nearly three decades, there have been seminal works in this research area, such as Cheryl Herr’s Joyce’s Anatomy of Culture, R. Brandon Kershner’s The Culture of Joyce’s Ulysses, Garry Leonard’s Advertising and Commodity Culture in Joyce, and articles featured in James Joyce Quarterly Volume 30 (Fall 1992-Summer/Fall 1993); this thesis focuses on one specific aspect of commodity culture––that is, fashion items––in Ulysses, believing that a microscopic scrutiny at the details of these fashion items would reveal how Joyce’s innovative language and narrative in Ulysses are rooted in and interlaced with technologies that have inconspicuously yet greatly changed people’s daily life during the period of time when Joyce was writing Ulysses. Through the microscopic gaze, this thesis identifies a colonial phenomenon that is ubiquitous amongst Ulysses’s mist of language-game, that is, the omnipresence of English fashion: Stephen Dedalus’s adherence to mourning dress, Leopold Bloom’s meticulousness about dress codes, Gerty MacDowell’s obsession with dame fashion, the Circean mise-en-scène of millinery spectacles, and Molly Bloom’s desire for Edwardian lingerie. Whereas many of Joyce’s Dubliners demonstrate a non-serviam stance against the British Empire, they seem pretty much unconscious of the fact that they are hopelessly colonised by miscellaneous English commodities. Therefore, the ultimate aim of this thesis is to read Ulysses into a testimony to the modern life trapped in the global capitalism: once subaltern Dubliners become assimilated into this Anglicising spectacle, there is no way out. They cannot help but exploit themselves to be fashionable

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Quotidian micro-spectacles: Ulysses and fashion
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: James Joyce, Ulysses, fashion, spectacle, everyday
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1458872
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