Ulysses in Toontown: 'Vision animated to bursting point' in Joyce's 'Circe'

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    Abstract

    Not only did James Joyce become professionally involved with early film in his ill-starred venture to set up Ireland’s first regular cinema in 1909–10, but his own formative movie-going took place when the industry was still all but shunned as vulgar catchpenny entertainment of scant aesthetic worth, by most ‘serious’ writers and cultural pundits.1 In this sense, Joyce was prescient, as well as democratic, in embracing this popular medium for the groundbreaking possibilities it helped fertilise in his work. Indeed, what seems most remarkable about the manifold parallels with early movies in Joyce’s texts is the sheer catholicity of his taste. The paradox is that Joyce was just as interested in the medium, for its ‘lowbrow’ appeal, as for its avant-garde potentials, and his work was all the more innovative, formally and philosophically, for that.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLiterature and Visual Technologies
    Subtitle of host publicationWriting After Cinema
    EditorsJulian Murphet , Lydia Rainford
    Place of PublicationBasingstoke
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Pages96-121
    Number of pages26
    ISBN (Electronic)9780230389991
    ISBN (Print)9781349511709
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003

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