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Occult Joyce: The Hidden in "Ulysses"
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Occult Joyce: The Hidden in "Ulysses" (Hardback)

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Ulysses is in many ways an occult text, in that it deliberately hides meanings and significances from sight, and compels the reader to unveil its secrets by reading it backwards, from deceiving surfaces to underlying truths. To discuss the occult in Joyce is to analyse "the hidden" in the text. Ulysses is a "human" book. Its most profound meanings are encrypted beneath the surface of its "body." To discover what's concealed behind it implies an effort of anthropological archaeology. Accordingly, readers become really interpreters of the occult. Only by following the traces and signs left on the textual surface will they eventually dig out what lies dormant beneath. Joyce was extremely well-read in the occult. The variety of texts on the subject he possessed shows that his position was very eclectic, as if the occult were a kind of amalgam of different traditions, all marked by the signature of secrecy. In his own view, theosophy, mysticism, magic, spiritism, and the so-called occult science blend together to form a cluster of obscure erudition where he finds provocative ideas, helpful in building up his own cryptic system.

To read Ulysses hermetically is also a way to show that the act of reading itself is always an experiment. The good thing about readings is that they are always provisional. Reading as a creative process implies the awareness that one will always be quite uncertain as to what lies hidden behind those concatenations of syllables and words we call texts. Interpretation is in fact a mark of our freedom, and all original readings are always subversive and provocative. Criticism to some extent implies often some kind of a subversive attitude, and the game of literature is a useful working ground for attempting to change its possible worlds. To see through surface inanity, in Ulysses, helps us understand that to read is often an act of revolt and resistance to past authoritative interpretations. Excavating the occult in Joyce's masterpiece is a way to face more canonical readings that preferred not to acknowledge fully the author's fondness for, and deep knowledge of, the subject. "This is a book which has the gift of explanation rather than simplification - and it will help to move Joyce Studies into new and exciting areas of investigation." Prof.

Declan Kiberd, UCD Dublin School of English and Drama "Dr. Terrinoni's work is a very well researched and penetrating study of the occult and hidden in 'Ulysses' finding connections and meanings ignored or misunderstood by other scholars. It is a real contribution to Joyce Studies." Prof. Clive Bloom, Middlesex University

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: generalLiterary studies: from c 1900 -Fiction & PoetryFiction in translationFiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945Fiction & PoetryShort stories Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing Publication Date: 01/06/2007 ISBN-13: 9781847182104  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Enrico Terrinoni is a graduate of the University of Rome 3, and holds a doctorate from University College Dublin. He has been "Government of Ireland Research Scholar in the Humanities and Social Sciences" at UCD, and "Research Scholar in Comparative Literatures" at the University of Rome 3. He has written mainly on English and Anglo-Irish Literature, and Journalism. He has translated books by Brendan Behan, Muriel Spark, and Gerard Mannix Flynn into Italian. He is currently co-editor of the Internationalist Review of Irish Culture. He lectures in English at the University of Rome 3 and the University for Foreigners, Perugia.

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