Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Sounding Dismodernism in James Joyce’s Ulysses

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2018), 12, (4), 459–475.

Abstract

The article argues that James Joyce’s use of a wide variety of methods to read and write (including audiobooks, dictation, and enlarged print) provides a new way to understand the representation of disability in Ulysses. Focusing in particular on the role of dictation in versions of Ulysses (both by Joyce and later readers), the article recuperates the novel’s various challenges to a culture of silent reading. Written texts and audiobooks supposedly serve separate audiences, deserve different levels of cultural prestige, and create divergent means of consuming literature. This article connects this false binary with that between the disabled and normate body to demonstrate how both combine to enforce a culture of compulsory able-bodiedness. Joining the methods and insights of textual criticism and disability studies, the article makes the case for a more capacious account of the novel’s writing that could serve as a model for research on other writers with disabilities and non-print versions of books.

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Morse, Daniel Ryan