This powerful and unusual study examines the relations between the textual organization of Ulysses and the notions of time, language, and poetics implicit in the novel. Making use of recent developments in philosophy and literary theory, Udaya Kumar takes issue with those who, like Richard Ellmann, see Ulysses as a fully coherent text. Instead, he argues that the novel is a complex transitional text involving various degrees of mediation between opposing impulses such as naturalism and schematism, unification and detotalization.The book begins with an examination of the pervasive use of repetition in Ulysses and shows that this results in a disruption of linear time and creates a `textual memory'. This argument is further
developed in relation to the question of time and the sign, where Ulysses is shown to display a differentiated and heterogeneous temporal experience. Finally, examining Joyce's early theories, it is argued that Ulysses implies a radical notion of tradition as the site of difference and of the work of art as the reperformance of elements from tradition. The concluding chapter clarifies this idea in relation to other strands in modernism and postmodernism.
Readership: Researchers and students studying Joyce, narrative theory, early modernism; also some interested in literary theory and philosophy.
Udaya Kumar, Reader in English, the University of Poona
"'Kumar's observations on Ulysses are at times clever and original ... The Joycean Labyrinth is an ambitious and unusual look at some of the complexities of reading Joyce.'
John S. Rickard, Bucknell University, James Joyce Quarterly"
"'elegantly organized book ... The discussion has the scope and limitations of an extended essay. Theoretical distinctions are nicely stated and illustrative material is kept within strict bounds. The result could be admired for its air of bracing stringency.'
J.C.C. Mays, University of York, Review of English Studies, Vol. 44, May 1993"
"Kumar's study holds answers to the critical challenge of the synoptic text, which is indeed the challenge of reading Ulysses." - Archiv
"this is a seriouys, always intelligent, and sometimes brilliant study. It stands alongside those few major works of criticism - Lawrence's, Rique;me's - that have the power to transform our readings of Ulysses." - James Joyce Broadsheet