Adultery and Sympathy in <i>Ulysses</i> and <i>Exiles</i>

Scarlett Baron

in ‘Strandentwining Cable’

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199693788
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732157 | DOI:

Series: Oxford English Monographs

Adultery and Sympathy in Ulysses and Exiles

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Chapter 4 explores the significance of a jotting made by Joyce in the notebook he kept in preparation for the composition of Exiles (1918), his only play. It considers the implications of Joyce’s view of Madame Bovary as a watershed literary event – a tale of adultery in which ‘the centre of sympathy appears to have been shifted from the lover or fancyman to the husband or cuckold’, and the accuracy of his sense that ‘[t]his change is utilized in Exiles’. The chapter investigates the relationship Joyce sought to establish between Richard Rowan and the theatre-going public, contrasting his unsteady control of audience sympathy in the play with his masterful orchestration of such responses in Ulysses. Noting the absence in Exiles, and presence in Ulysses, of legally contracted marriage as a frame for the study of adultery, the chapter analyzes Joyce’s interrogation of that pivotal nineteenth- and early twentieth-century bourgeois institution.

Keywords: marriage; adultery; cuckoldry; sympathy; morality; obscenity; trial

Chapter.  11760 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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