Mixing Memory and Desire

Richard P. Lynch

in Bloomsday 100

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780813034027
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038162 | DOI:
Mixing Memory and Desire

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This chapter focuses on the problematic operations of memory. It differentiates between active memory and passive memory and the modes of storytelling that they generate and argues that symbolic narratives which reorder the past or sidestep facticity may act as a palliative to the dead weight of history. Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses, however, is caught between two modes of recall: a radical refutation of the past, on the one hand, and a passive surrender to its enervating effects, on the other. He persistently fights against forms of memory that induce stagnation but ultimately cannot escape the traumatic vestiges of his own familial past, especially the enduring psychic damage caused by the death of his mother.

Keywords: Ulysses; memory; active memory; passive memory; storytelling; symbolic narratives; past; history; Stephen Dedalus

Chapter.  5704 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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