The Narrative Norm

Karen R. Lawrence

in Who's Afraid of James Joyce?

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034775
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038612 | DOI:
The Narrative Norm

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As the reader encounters Ulysses, a series of stylistic masks replace what is called “the narrative norm” established in the early chapters of the novel, the narrative voice that begins to build the fictional world one inhabits. With the writing of Ulysses, the idea of style changes from style as the identifiable “signature” of the writer (a Jamesian sentence, a Hemingwayesque narrator) to style as what Roland Barthes called “a citational” process, a body of formulae, a memory, a cultural and not an expressive inheritance. With the entrance of the journalistic headings of “Aeolus” in the next few chapters, the Victorian ladies' magazine prose of “Nausicaa,” and the clichés of “Eumaeus,” to name some examples, style goes “public.” The “subliterary” intrudes on the more literary language of the narrative; language is flooded by its prior quotidian uses.

Keywords: Ulysses; Roland Barthes; Aeolus; Victorian ladies; Nausicaa; Eumaeus

Chapter.  5221 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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