"Once you are dead you are dead". James Joyce e Leopold Bloom: ovvero del macabro e del comico
Many critics consider "Ulysses" a long and articulated confrontation with the theme of death, indeed the text features preoccupation with death, reflection on the material destination of bodies, contemplation of physical decay, and fascination of the living towards the dissolution of their own corporeal self. The novel appears then to share several elements with the tradition of the Danse Macabre, particularly the interest on the body and on its destiny after death. The novel touches different genres, amongst them katabasis, Danse Macabre, and Gothic can be named. These representative modalities have an important feature in common: all three offer the possibility to elaborate figurative and textual strategies through which the encounter between living and death can be imagined. These three genres challenge the separation existing between the realm of the living and that of the dead. The article examines the elements which link "Ulysses" to the themes of the Danse Macabre and it also touches upon the fact that in Bloom’s stream of consciousness, the macabre elements experience a process of comic restyle, a practice which leads to moments blending macabre and comic.
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Laura Pelaschiar, “"Once you are dead you are dead". James Joyce e Leopold Bloom: ovvero del macabro e del comico", in: Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali, XV (2009), pp. 135-145