Event—Scholarly Seminars

Matthew Fogarty, Maynooth University


‘Goodbye now, naughty darling’: Henry Flower Esq and the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life in James Joyce’s Ulysses, Matthew Fogarty

Focusing on Ulysses in relation to some lesser-discussed aspects of Nietzsche’s philosophy, namely ‘transnationalism’, ‘cultural paralysis’, and his controversial ‘suprahistorical approach’, which proposes that the nation state can benefit from selective historical remembrance, this paper draws parallels between the trauma experienced by Joyce’s protagonists and the imperial legacy that haunts the Irish State. Referring to the sexual exploits of Leopold Bloom’s alter-ego, Henry Flower, I argue that these activities allow Bloom to re-interpret the paralysing memories of his infant son’s death in a way that highlights the productive potential that resides in even the most disconcerting depths of Nietzsche’s philosophy.

Respondent: Jean-Michel Rabaté, University of Pennsylvania