Chapter

“Twenty Pockets Arent Enough For Their Lies”

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813034775.003.0009
“Twenty Pockets Arent Enough For Their Lies”

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“Twenty Pockets,” delivered at the International James Joyce Symposium in Rome in 1998, “picks” Bloom's pockets: it analyzes the way the male suit helps Bloom consolidate his bourgeois masculine image of self-possession and restraint, allowing him to compartmentalize his desires in the various pockets of his attire. Again in ritualized performances, Bloom hoards, exchanges, fondles and protects objects of desire in the repositories of privacy provided by the pockets of his suit as he circulates through the streets of Dublin. Pockets are temporary havens for the characters' private property as they navigate their way through the city streets. In a way, all the small objects that Bloom carries in his pockets are amulets, for pockets in Ulysses are reservoirs of possessions and self-possession, the daily arsenals with which the male characters leave their houses, armed for circulation in society.

Keywords: Twenty Pockets; James Joyce Symposium; Rome; Bloom; Dublin streets

Chapter.  3349 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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