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Lawrence, Karen / The odyssey of style in Ulysses

"Cyclops," "Nausicaa," and "Oxen of the sun": borrowed styles,   pp. 101-145 PDF (2.7 MB)

Page 101

 V I0I 
"Cyclops," "Nausicaa," and 
"Oxen of the Sun": 
Borrowed Styles 
In "Cyclops," the initial style of narration disappears. Replacing the norm
are two stylistic "masks": a narrative persona, a bard-cum-banfly who speaks
in a low Dublin idiom, and a series of parodies that interrupt the narrator's
verbal monologue. The first "mask" can be naturalized according to novelistic
conventions and, in a book that has increasingly divorced itself from a narrator,
the sudden appearance of this person is, for the most part, reassuring. No
matter how "limited" a point of view he represents, the presence of a definitive
narrative self is comforting. Despite the inevitable questions about the
reliability and temporality of his narrative,' which do provide some discomfiture,
the narrator provides relief after the fragmentation of "Sirens." For the
first time in Ulysses we encounter an actual narrative persona. 
But the parodies provide a much greater obstacle to the naturalizing process,
for like the headings in "Aeolus" on the narrative excunsus in "Sirens,"
these ballooning passages seem to anise out of nowhere. Like the language
of the headings, the parodies in "Cyclops" are "written," anonySee David
Hayman's discussion of the discomforting effect of the narrator 
in "Cyclops," in James Joyce's Ulysses: Critical Essays, ed. Chive Hart and
David Hayman (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974), pp. 244-265.

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