(Disclaimer: James Joyce has been just about exhausted in terms of literary criticism. What I say here is nothing new. I try to mix it up a bit, but ultimately someone has said what I’ve said here much better and in fewer words. It is what it is. All I can say at this point is that Joyce would fart in your face, laugh, and then loudly chomp on the innards of the fowl at you. He was that kind of guy.)
In the early pages of his book Weapons of the Weak, James C. Scott calls upon the metaphor of a coral reef to describe the way that the numerous activities of insubordination and evasion on the everyday level of lower class life work towards creating what he refers to as political and economic “barrier reefs.” Continuing with this metaphor, he goes on to state that “whenever […] the ship of the state runs aground on such reefs, attention is usually directed to the shipwreck itself and not to the vast aggregation of petty acts that made it possible” (Scott, xvii). To illuminate this idea a step further, Colin Gordin in an afterword on Michel Foucault, explains that the presence of those who do not necessarily appear to be actively rebelling is rather an inflection of the myriad different ways that people can and do resist on the local level. It is instead their “minute, individual, autonomous tactics and strategies which counter […] the visible facts of overall domination” (Foucault, 257) and whose desires and choices resist any fundamental means of dividing and placing them into a specific political schema.
With this initial starting point in mind, one can easily turn to the different methods of decolonization and the ways in which resistance finds itself not as a vanguard of politicization, rather, as an opening to different strategies, language in particular for the purposes of this essay, that hinge upon evasion or defense. Furthermore, it also begs the question of subjectivity, in that it is no longer who is resisting but how each localized resistance acts on behalf of the singular and the plural. It is here that my argument finds its register. First, I will demonstrate that in James Joyce’s Ulysses there is a distinct and manipulative usage of language that attempts to decolonize or breakdown the structural integrities of the novel. While this particular approach will draw on scholarly chartings of the decolonization of language, I will argue that when finding particular resonances with these chartings, Joyce’s prose takes on new properties and values that penetrate the precarious space of colonization, using this space to its advantage. Though, my argument will not be purely post-structuralist in its analysis, for I will show that what remains after such a complex opening is the residual elements of an ethical foundation—or in this case, and this is my second point, an ontological crisis. This, in turn, establishes Joyce’s transvaluation of the methodological aspects of decolonization through the language. That is to say, by manipulating the genre of the novel via the language of the colonizer, Joyce can re-valuate and thus re-map its activity and usage in order to traverse the colonized space while simultaneously creating new spaces of narration that resist colonization. Additionally, and as a result, this re-valuation of language finds new ways of resisting commodification on a geopolitical scale through decolonization, in that Ulysses consistently calls upon interpretation via a re-valuated ethical trajectory rather than through representation or reification.
To begin, we must first ask: What does a resistant literature look like? More specifically, what is a minor literature? The latter question is presented in the third chapter of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s book Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature and is a key ingredient when talking about the problems of expression that arise in literatures that can be defined minor as such. For Deleuze and Guattari, there is an essential principle and three characteristics in what determines a minor literature. First, a minor literature does not come from or emerge from a minor language. The minor literature is that which is constructed inside a major language (Deleuze and Guattari, 16). This is, above all, the most important aspect about what gives a literature its minority in that this principle immediately puts it at odds and resistant to the overarching structures that occur within a major language. Second are the three characteristics: (1) That in any case, language is affected with a high coefficient of deterritorialization. (2) Everything in a minor literature is political. (3) Everything in it takes on a collective value (16-17). Each of these require some explanation in order to enforce the clarification of my upcoming point that Joyce’s Ulysses can, indeed, be defined as a minor literature within a colonialized context.
In regards to the first of these characteristics, to affect language with a high coefficient of deterritorialization is to have a multiplicative result on the disruption of the established order. In other words, it is to take the formalized or normative methods of use in a particular language and undo them. It is to reassign them new meanings and new symbolic affectations that, as a result, problematize the major language in that it can no longer account for such a breakdown by its own accord or defining principles; barring access, it turns the language into something impossible (16). The second characteristic, the politicizing of everything within a minor language, is more complex. It becomes such because of its immediate connection of the individual to politics. The concern that arises with the individual is not displayed as a servile means of fitting into other individual concerns that only contribute to a greater social milieu or act merely as a background or foundation, as it is with major literatures. Instead, the minor literature is already a “cramped space [that] forces each individual intrigue to connect immediately to politics” (17). What this means is that the individual is brought to the forefront of its interactions with other individuals rather than acting as a supplemental foundation in order to determine its values. The political aspect of this individualized activity is the first boundary or resistance encountered and as such calls attention to the rigidity of structures in place between them. Lastly, the third characteristic, in that everything in a minor literature takes on a collective value, explains how it is not necessarily a matter of talent. There is no “master” involved to designate by way of authority or agreement that one literature is any better than the next. This “scarcity of talent,” as Deleuze and Guattari put it, is actually beneficial because it “allows the conception of something other than a literature of masters” (17). The writer who dwells in marginality is already better equipped to express new possibilities, sensibilities and consciousness. In turn, the literature that the writer produces is determined to provide the conditions for enunciating collectivity that would be paid little attention otherwise. Essentially, “literature is the people’s concern” (18). All three of these characteristics, including the essential principle, ultimately point to the revolutionary potential of a minor literature. Moreover, as we will see, this potential has the ability to act as a means of resistance in the case of intersecting decolonization strategies especially within Joyce’s Ulysses.
Anti-colonial struggles, specifically anti-colonial agitation with specific concerns of language, provide a suitable starting point for just such an intersection. Most notably in this case with the writings of Frantz Fanon and how he represents a prominent historical figure within anti-colonial struggle, Fanon provides a precondition for postcolonial theory in that his dissidence can be viewed as an extension of his intervention (Kirkland, 54). In the opening chapter of The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon pushes the rhetoric of resistance through the uncertainty of violence and argues how decolonization is fundamentally necessary in order to begin undoing the psychological oppression of the colonialized man. Richard Kirkland explains this as “The importance of a psychological resistance to colonialism beginning at the level of the individual subject, a resistance which will transform the subject from the status of the barely recognizable to a full individuation” (55). Resistance to what though exactly? Here we turn to Fanon’s idea of how language itself is the precursory form of colonial oppression. “To speak means to be in a position to use a certain syntax, to grasp the morphology of this or that language, but it means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization” (Fanon, 8. Italics are mine.). He goes on to explain that as a matter of consequence the man who utilizes a language possesses the world he lives in that is implied by that language. The power of mastery of a language also yields power oppressively in that it creates an inferiority complex of the colonized based on the destruction of the local cultural originality (9). In turn, the colonized is reduced or dehumanized to mere mechanism; they are made to admit defeat by way of their being. They are marginalized to the point of bare life or mere existence, on par with that of the animal that is ultimately “nothing” in the eyes of the colonizer. “This amounts to nothing more or less than man’s surrender” (12).
For Fanon, the way to counter such a reduction of being is to engage colonialism on its own terms. In this case, language itself becomes the weapon by which the colonized resists; a subsumption into the very structures of dominance that consequently refigure the individual as a “pure colonial subject” (Kirkland, 55). This repositioning of the colonized moves them from formlessness to artifice and creates a space in which they may begin progressive resistances. Or, as Kirkland explains, it sets up the preconditions necessary for transformation and anti-colonial violence (55). Although here it must be remembered that resistance itself takes on many different forms that incorporate different degrees of violence and that the utilization of these forms and degrees produce different displays of functionality in terms of strategies and tactics, similar to how Scott describes his “coral reef” of localized resistance.
So now the question becomes: what can we do with an intersection of minor literature and decolonization and how can we apply this intersection to Joyce’s Ulysses? We can first look at the episode “Oxen of the Sun” as an example. At this point, Bloom has gone to visit Mrs. Purefoy at the Holles Street maternity hospital who has been in labor for the last three days. He is led in by the nurse and is met by a medical student, Dixon, and invited into a noisy room that is filled with, among others, Stephen, Lenehan, Costello and Crotthers. They are eating and drinking; conversing loudly enough for nurse Quigley to shush them for quiet. The discussion at hand traverses many avenues of the body of the woman and her ability to bear child. For instance, the choice between the mother’s or child’s life during a difficult birth, different uses of contraception, rape, fratricide and artificial insemination are obnoxiously discussed by the men with no regard to the woman whose body they are actually critiquing. As this scene plays out, Joyce utilizes several different writing styles of English canon and the advancement of the language itself. The styles are overly exaggerated in order to announce their respective creators, which also makes them parodic in nature. When we start to tie together the activity of the narration with what is happening in the scene some interesting parallels come to light.
For instance, the blatant disregard for the Other, in this case the body of the woman, and how the men casually discuss it is patriarchal. The woman is ultimately objectified and considered nothing more than a machine with which to make babies; they talk about her body in several different ways noted above that completely efface the subjectivity of woman. “The aged sisters draw us into life: we wail, batten, sport, clip, clasp, sunder, dwindle, die: over us dead they bend” (14.392). The woman’s body as object is easily combined with other women’s bodies and exists for the man, for him to be taken care of and nurtured while the woman toils because it is, in a sense, her duty to do so. The conversation is mockingly scientific in that most of these claims made by the men are grounded in a sort of biological empiricism. This too stems from a patriarchal methodology of thought on the part of the men and as a result a dualistic representation of science and religion emerges. For example, this relationship can be found when Bloom unsuccessfully attempts to calm Stephen with scientific explanations after thunder claps loudly during his boastings. “By no means would he though he must nor would he make more shows according as men do with wives which Phenomenon has commanded them to do by the book Law” (14.441). The domination of the woman’s body parallels the domination of the colonized in that the same methods of establishing hierarchies are applied. If we are to follow this representation to its logical conclusion, the woman is reduced to a mere body in the same way that the colonizer reduces and dehumanizes the colonized. Patriarchal hierarchies are established and fortified in the same way that colonial oppression and exploitation of resources takes from the dehumanized body of the object.
The mimicking of the progression of English language and canon speaks to this same exploitative colonial relationship. Though what is interesting about this is the way the episode ends. After Purefoy’s baby is born and the narrative runs its course through the chronology of famous English writers, Joyce finalizes it with a seemingly chaotic slew of modern 20th century slangs, dialects and euphemisms. “S’elp me, honest injun” (14.1524). “Vyfor you no me tell?” (14.1525). The structural integrities of the language’s manifold begin to come apart as the narration continues and each line becomes more and more individualized as the sentences progress. The language, in a sense, can no longer be contained by canonical history and seemingly begins to revolt against itself. Another way to describe this activity is that it begins to overlap itself (Garnier, 97) and eventually effaces the once rigid structures of the prior English writers by adding more and more layers. The progression of the canon can no longer contain the resistance of the colonialized language and begins to resist the logic of the ‘order-word’ in order to flow freely without representation in that of the ‘pass-word’ (98). It follows from this that there is a dismantling or decolonizing of built-in ideologies with the birth of a new and nomadically resistant way of telling a story or relaying information. This particular account of the decolonization of language at the end of “Oxen of the Sun” is also an excellent example of how the language demonstrates itself as minor and how the episode is re-mapped in order to satisfy the methods of resistance that a minor literature would display. Joyce metaphorically “shelves” the canonical texts because it has become apparent that they do not produce colonial dominance as such. They must be broken or manipulated into a minor literature which is nomadic and in constant production as a means of resistance. Just like Purefoy’s baby, a minor language is “born” from the oppression of the major English canonical language.
We find another example of nomadic narration, or the smoothing out of narrative structures in the episode “Wandering Rocks.” Joyce disassembles the properties of the narrative in order to portray a sense of immanence that attempts to survey and capture the entirety of Dublin. In addition to this, he intermeshes the characterized styles of consciousness or activity of each person’s progress and uses them as tools for this surveyance. Thus, Joyce allows the reader to “follow” the different lines of thought, motion and desire; we jump and zigzag rhizomatically throughout the city. There is not a necessary beginning or end. Rather, we set out immediately from the middle with Reverend John Conmee S. J. and his leisurely yet pointless roaming (10.1). Concepts of surveyance and rhizomatic mapping are important for two reasons: (1) To survey the city of Dublin is, in a sense, to map and capture it. (2) Rhizomatic or nomadic narration of the city disrupts this capture by announcing each individual’s subjectivity of Dublin and thereby re-maps it. On the one hand, Joyce uses the geographical tactics of colonialization which work in order to dehumanize the city, rendering it as a mappable yet material representation. On the other hand, he uses these same tactics to distribute subjectivity back into Dublin by jumping from one perspectival consciousness to the next. Each character’s thoughts, motions and desires are given center stage as we get a re-mapping of the city that incorporates and is incorporated on a globalized scale. Macroscopically, events from halfway around the world in America come into play and are shown as points on a now more fully realized topographical charting of Dublin (10.90, 151, 725). In microscopic contrast, even the daisies, “wild [and] nodding” are given a sense of agency via anthropomorphic qualification in that they have “heads” with which to acknowledge the canoodling of a young couple (10.200). At the closing of the episode, when William Humble, earl of Dudley and his cavalcade pass through, all the characters, environment and experiences recognize their presence. With the exception of two: Stephen and Bloom. While their absence could be interpreted in many different ways, the most obvious in this case is to consider them as Deleuze and Guattari would consider them: as lines of flight. As characters in which the reader has personal investment in, so too does the radical subjectivity of each of these characters retain its expectancy. That is to say, they are unaccountable. They proceed as a body does, without a pure sense of expectation. Stephen and Bloom are still present but they are as the Other is expected to be. This makes them the definition of resistance with regards to a colonizing language. The novel cannot account for their whereabouts even when the city itself calls role in the presence of the colonizer. It is in this sense that they become lines of flight. Stephen and Bloom flee or disappear from the immanence of not only Dublin but the narrative as well. In addition, Joyce allows their absence to call attention to the consistency or exteriority of the environment’s materiality by showing how they are precisely not there, or how they are a “dark precursor” that is able to transcend or separate from the real and become virtual in the mind of the reader (Deleuze, 1994a, 119). Essentially, Joyce has allowed them to escape from the colonized text entirely. Even as resistances, such as the “unseen coldness” of John Wise Nolan’s smile (10.1212) at the military presence of the lord lieutenantgeneral and general governor of Ireland, exist defiantly against the royalty procession they are still caught up in the materiality of a surveilled environment and therefore are unable to escape like Stephen and Bloom. Joyce decolonizes the tactic of mapping and makes it work against itself. He turns the cartography of Dublin back onto the subjectivities of the colonized citizens, re-mapping it and opening up spatial opportunity for the language to let the two men slip away.
A third example which brings to fruition this radicalizing of the language in order to dismantle it can be found in the episode “Ithaca.” Stephen and Bloom have arrived at Bloom’s house. Bloom has forgotten his key and has to jump the fence and come around through the kitchen in order to get access to his house and let in Stephen. As the two sit and drink cocoa, they talk candidly about a number of different topics. Later, after Stephen eventually leaves, Bloom heads up to bed and to Molly. The narrative dedicates the episode to a question and answer format of 309 different inquiries. It is methodically rigid in how it is structured yet the answers seem curiously distant from the questions to which they are responding. That is to say, the answers do not necessarily answer to the questions in that they are richly detailed yet at the same time vague.
There are two set of questions and answers that we should examine here. The first question is when Bloom turns on the water faucet to fill up the iron kettle: “Did it flow?” (17.163). The beginning of the answer is simple: Yes. But the answer continues from there to describe a myriad of intricacies and inner workings of where the water came from, how it got to Bloom’s faucet; what reservoir and aqueduct it traveled through; how many miles it traveled, what systems and tanks it worked or sat in; how many gallons had overflowed and what was done to counter this by the surveyor and the engineer; and how the consumption of the water had the potential to be exploited, corporatized and eventually sectioned off and commodified by a solicitor because of the wasting of surplus. There are questions as to the actuality of what exactly Joyce is describing with the part of people wasting the water for their own benefit or whether certain pipes existed at the time or not. But that is not what should be focused on necessarily. What should be noted here are two things: (1) The water is being guided, restricted and distributed by the water system. (2) The water, in this system, is exploitable as a commodity. If we can first consider the water itself as being vital to life, we can then consider it in a certain context. This context being, that if it is necessary to life, then there are certain inalienable rights that accompany it. One needs water to survive and thus, one has a right to this survival because of water’s fundamental necessity. Yet the water that Joyce describes must first pass through a system. This system is rife with different ways and methods and passages that ultimately harness it and the life that it necessitates. This system is what also allows it to be distributed, exploited and commodified, even wasted. Joyce calls attention to the fact that it is not just a matter of whether or not the water did flow, rather, it is how the life that the water provides is able to be restricted and maintained by the structures in place. To place these restrictions on water is, by the same degree, to place restrictions on life. From this we can venture the idea that the question “Did it flow?” is indeed as complex as the answer provided. Furthermore, we can also ask whether or not the answer can actually be contained by not only the form of the narrative style, but also the pipes and inner workings that strive to turn it, and life, into capital. The answers to these questions are arguably addressed by the following question and answer that Joyce provides.
“What in water did Bloom, waterlover, drawer of water, watercarrier, returning to the range, admire?” (17.183). If we maintain the idea that the necessity of water is an inalienable right to life, then undoubtedly we are able to also maintain that Bloom, for all intents and purposes, loves and admires life. In addition to this, Joyce’s “answer” of “Its universality” (17.185) and all the different ways water is to be admired for this universality demonstrates a flourishing of life beyond the structures that strive to bind and control it. Water, language and thus life, as described and utilized by Joyce is unbound, unstructured, uncontainable, uncommodified and above all resistant to limitations and thus, decolonizing. All the little and meaningful ways that he interprets water, and all the little and meaningful ways that water can, in fact, act minorly are a testament to the equal amounts of significance of each way that over time can produce vast differences. Thomas Jackson Rice calls this “sensitive dependence” in his book Joyce, Chaos, and Complexity. In it he makes the claim that important features of chaos theory and the poststructuralist reading of the novel “have fundamentally altered the study of natural phenomena and offer intriguing applications for the reading and criticism of an orderly chaotic literary work like Joyce’s Ulysses [and] move…in the same direction Joyce pursued…toward a more accurate picture of the world in all its complexity and apparent randomness” (Rice, 92). In this sense, the water and language are able to instill change and breakdown or erode the colonized structure of the major language that aspires to dominate it. Moreover, the “significance of trivial things” (Gifford, xvi) with which Joyce was so fascinated adds to the complexities of the water in that every detail has its own intention and is not just a mere list of the things water can do.
These three examples and how I have laid them out point to something very specific in Ulysses. While my argument and the analysis that accompanies it has been poststructuralist thus far, it is important to note exactly what the results are from this type of analysis. Namely, that the breakdown, erosion or resistance that occurs from Joyce’s prose that advantageously allow his novel to take on new properties that penetrate and dismantle the space of colonization leave behind residual elements that must be accounted for. Insofar as it is not enough for a revolutionary text to utilize disseminating tactics in order to decolonize the language and prove itself as a postcolonial text. Ulysses can very well be “the book of Irish postcolonial independence” (Duffy, 3), but I believe that in order to show this we must explore a much deeper ethical concern that strives towards a richer account of why hurl this “literary-bomb” more so than how and what the possible historical and political consequences are of such an action. Therefore, we must find a stake in what remains in the aftermath of a complex opening of the text: that of an ontological crisis. In order for Joyce to manipulate the novel via the language of the colonizer and re-map its activity and usage, he must simultaneously re-valuate it as well. This transvaluation of the methodological aspects of decolonization through the language is what identifies Ulysses as resistant to representation. In order to examine this ethical avenue properly an examination of the principles of moral anti-representationalism are first necessary.
Todd May, in his book The Moral Theory of Poststructuralism, analyzes the implications of what a moral discourse as a result of a poststructuralist critique would look like and how it is applicable. “People ought not, other things being equal, to engage in practices whose effect, among others, is the representation or commendation of certain intentional lives as either intrinsically superior or intrinsically inferior to others” (May, 48). He continues by saying that what is necessary to understanding this principle is understanding its practice (49). Practice, in this case, can be defined as social patterns of behaviors that lead towards a socially recognized goal. He adds that “a practice usually involves its own language game, which works…to justify acts within that practice” (49). Ultimately he finds that the principle of anti-representationalism, while being articulated nowhere in terms of poststructuralism and its resistance to moral theorizing, remains everywhere within poststructuralism in that it informs its political theory. “The targets of poststructuralist critique are often practices that represent to people not what their intentional lives ought to be but what they in fact are” (50). Thus, the power of representing people to themselves is inherently oppressive. Also, representing people to themselves assists in reinforcing other oppressive social relations (51). This is not necessarily news to anyone familiar with poststructuralist critique or genealogical methods. In fact, Joyce, in his deliberate blurring of the margins pre-inscribes a poststructuralist strategy (Van Boheeman-Saaf, 34). More importantly, it is arguable, as Colin MacCabe claims, that his text seemingly resists critical discourse so that no one discourse can actually make sense of the other, rendering any sense of a dominant position unobtainable (MacCabe, 14). This aligns with a poststructuralist critique but what it also does is align within an anti-representationalist ethical framework. What can be asked at this point is: How, within a poststructuralist critique, does Joyce make Ulysses un-representable?
First, if we remember all the different ways that Joyce is able to call attention to the trivial in order to singularize moments and localize events, we see how the meaningfulness of these singularized experiences have new values assigned to them. That is to say, the subjectivity of each experience is an integral part of the multiplicitous complexity of the whole. Second, these new values are placed in opposition to the dominant structures insofar as it is no longer a matter of subject and object, rather, subject and subject and subject and so on. Third, all this subjectivity springs upon the reader or the critic like how Richard Begam describes Joyce’s work as a “Trojan horse,” because he is pursuing decolonization on the level of aesthetics somewhere in-between a textual autonomy and political commitment. He employs “formal methods of modernism…indirectly [or] obliquely (Begam, 186). Instead of using the methods of subjective transcendence as vehicles for mere escape, he is actually using them “precisely to subvert and invert that transcendence” (186). As a result, Joyce affirms the singularized event, thus making it along with all the other singularized events, “active.” In turn, this means that Joyce re-valuates the text to the limit of its consequences (Deleuze, 1983b, 66) and is able to make this subversion of transcendence occur. He pushes each singular event’s experience to the maximum potential of what it can do by showing the meaningfulness within those moments. He does not negate the potential of Scott’s “coral reef”. Instead, Joyce reverses the values of difference and affirms them for what they can do. Thus, his text as a minor literature is able to run the English colonial “ship” aground by way of utilizing these amassed anti-representational subjectivities. Also, remembering Fanon, Joyce re-constitutes value back into the dehumanized body making each of them suddenly, distinctly and decidedly human again via the affirmation of transcendent subjectivity.
It is important to clarify at this point just how it can be argued that Joyce is sufficiently re-valuating the ethical activity of decolonization and anti-colonial struggle. For his text to be categorized as “active” in the way that Deleuze and Nietzsche explain, Joyce must take it up as a Nietzschean project, which he undoubtedly does. “Joyce is Nietzschean in his courage, shattering the sick world and flinging his words, dancing signs, onto the void…[He] judge[s] from a cosmic expansion of style that pushed the traditional novel beyond the breaking point” (Oser, 75). He denies an artistic dead-end and this is, indeed, an inversion or resistance to representation and the ethical implications of re-valuation that go with it. Another way to approach this is to look at how in “Wandering Rocks” Joyce is able to create a multitude of different textual planes that are “superimposed, slip behind and within each other, plane intersecting narrative plane in bewildering reflexive interchange” (Isaak, 36). What first appears as confusion on the narrative plane is actually “the logical result of multiplying the points of view” (37). The reader must be constantly aware or present in order to keep up with all the different perspectival ways that Joyce is presenting Dublin. This means that no one perspective can possibly represent another perspective without being ethically devoid of Joyce’s overall project. We can also conclude from this that when he was quoted as saying, “I want to give a picture of Dublin so complete that if the city at once suddenly disappeared from the earth it could be reconstructed out of my book” (33), it is not necessarily the paradox that it appears to be. By re-valuating each individual perspectival event, Joyce temporalizes and resists the notions of fixed and absolute, replacing them with indeterminate and relative. He re-valuates the idea of triviality or the singularized event by “treating [them] with the same care and detail as the more dramatic events” (49). It is not, as many have complained, that nothing happens. Rather, Joyce is showing us how everything is happening. In other words, to reconstruct Dublin, according to Joyce, is much more complex because it is not solely a matter of painting a picture or taking a snapshot with which to re-present. It is actually a matter of re-distributing affirmed life back into the city that has been taken away by colonial oppression and representation. It is not whether one can represent the city to a certain degree of perfection (canonizing it), rather, it is whether one should and the ethical complexities of such a moral dilemma. An ontological crisis emerges when something or someone is represented and this is how it becomes a question of ethics which then alludes to a necessity for the principle of anti-representationalism to accompany a poststructurist analysis. Joyce puts this to task in Ulysses by springing upon the reader within his methods and writing that one should not succumb to a colonialized representation. It seems, at the very least, plausible that Joyce was aware of this in how he wrote Ulysses and what we as readers or critics can deduce from the paradoxical essence of his claim.
Although it may be possible that this analysis seems to put Joyce and Ulysses back into the very position of postcolonial precariousness that he and it might have intended to avoid, it has been my goal to demonstrate what is truly at stake when taking a poststructuralist stance to this kind of modernist text. Namely, that the language itself can act as an oppressive force that hinders the colonialized subject in ways that places the sense of being at risk; a risk that also comes with the greatest potential for decolonization. When a text attempts to respond to this oppression it must be careful not to fall into the same contextually representational pitfalls. I believe that Joyce was far beyond clever enough to maneuver the in between spaces of these pitfalls in order to run the very way we read Ulysses aground. Or, perhaps, if he is as Nietzschean in his methods as I think he is, he has successfully shouted his proclamation in the street as we stand side by side with bitter Stephen in Mr. Deasy’s office, surrounded by a museum of appropriated, exploited and above all, representative currencies.
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Narrative and Postcolonialism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
 See Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak or Antonio Gramsci for further explanation of “strategic essentialism.”
 See Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life.
 See Andrea Smith’s Conquest for further explanations on colonial/patriarchal violence.
 Garnier uses Deleuze and Guattari’s terms ‘order-word’ and ‘pass-word’ to describe how in normative speech acts the ‘command’ of the order-word has the capacity to be redeemed via indirect discourse and act as a pass-word, something that sets language back in motion and can re-arrange things in new and creative ways.
 See “Introduction: Rhizome.” In Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus.