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    Henry Flower Esq. and the Uses of History for Life in Ulysses

    Fogarty, Matthew (2023) Henry Flower Esq. and the Uses of History for Life in Ulysses. James Joyce Quarterly, 60 (3). pp. 357-377. ISSN 1938-6036

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    This essay brings two under-discussed aspects of Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy, including his reflections on "cultural paralysis" and what he calls the "suprahistorical approach," into a productive philosophical dialogue with a comparably under-discussed aspect of Ulysses, that is, the significance of the role performed by Leopold Bloom's alter ego, Henry Flower. I argue that Bloom creates this alter ego using a process that is reminiscent of Nietzsche's suprahistorical approach, which proposes that an individual, or a body politic, might benefit from selective historical remembrance, with a view to overcoming the paralyzing trauma triggered by the death of his infant son, Rudy. Mindful of the temporal vantage point from which Joyce reflects upon the fictionalized events of 16 June 1904, this essay further demonstrates that the creation of Henry Flower completes the kaleidoscopic mode of narration through which Joyce refracts the stifling legacy of Irish history: first through Stephen Dedalus, then through Leopold Bloom, and ultimately through Henry Flower. When viewed from this perspective, it becomes apparent that the creation of Henry Flower allows Bloom to recognize the restorative potential of a surrogate father-son relationship with Stephen. In this way, Henry Flower performs a conciliatory function that establishes a philosophical blueprint for postcolonial nation-building, thereby underscoring the productive potential that resides in even the most disconcerting depths of Nietzsche's philosophical vision.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Henry Flower Esq.; Uses of History for Life; Ulysses;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 18498
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Matthew Fogarty
    Date Deposited: 13 May 2024 10:53
    Journal or Publication Title: James Joyce Quarterly
    Publisher: The University of Tulsa
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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