Inventing Identity in <i>Ulysses</i>

Tracey Teets Schwarze

in Bloomsday 100

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780813034027
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038162 | DOI:
Inventing Identity in Ulysses

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Charles Stewart Parnell, leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party throughout the 1880s, was vilified in both the English and Irish press after being named co-respondent in the Katharine O'Shea divorce trial in November 1890. He was subsequently ousted as head of the party and was labeled a “serpent” in the O'Sheas' Eden of (dubitable) domestic bliss, a defamer of morals and hospitality, and an arrogant, blinded Samson. Yet among many of his followers, these epithets also morphed into a resurrection mythology, with Parnell serving as its Christ figure that would one day return and deliver Ireland from its subservience to the British Crown. This chapter casts a dramatic new light on the much-aired topic of James Joyce's Parnellism by purposefully shifting attention from Parnell to his consort, Katharine O'Shea. It notes the degree to which Molly Bloom's chronicling of the divorce case and the death of Parnell in “Eumaeus” is informed by O'Shea's viewpoint and skewed in favor of the perspective of the aggrieved but adulterous wife.

Keywords: Charles Stewart Parnell; Katharine O'Shea; divorce; James Joyce; Ireland; Molly Bloom; Eumaeus; Parnellism

Chapter.  8279 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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