“mangiD. kcirtaP.”: The Printed Word in “Aeolus”

Reed Clements


Novels are printed. They use a series of typographical conventions so effortlessly comprehended that we tend to read right past them, enjoying the considerable pleasures of immersing ourselves in the realism typography can bring. Reed Clements explores how in the “Aeolus” episode of Ulysses Joyce breaks that effortless pleasure, bringing new pleasures into the reading experience, pleasures both odd and significant. As Clements argues, the episode highlights the difference “between language and . . . lived experience,” and it gets its central effects from a series of typographical/linguistic interruptions which are central to exploring how, in fiction, “language itself must be represented.” Realism, for novelists, had rarely been unproblematic, but in “Aeolus” Joyce explores a whole new way of understanding what those problems might be, and how those problems might be a source of vertiginous pleasure.

Dr. Leonard Diepeveen

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