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James Joyce and the Phenomenology of Film$
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Cleo Hanaway-Oakley

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198768913

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198768913.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2021

Machine–Humans and Body-Subjects

Machine–Humans and Body-Subjects

(p.57) 3 Machine–Humans and Body-Subjects
James Joyce and the Phenomenology of Film

Cleo Hanaway-Oakley

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an alternative to the popular critical vein that sees Joyce’s Ulysses and early cinema as conveying a mechanical, impersonal view of the world. It is argued that Ulysses and certain genres of early cinema were engaged—naively or otherwise—in a revaluation of Cartesian dualism, involving the reappraisal of mind/body and human/machine binaries. The physical comedy of Bloom and Charlie Chaplin is analysed with reference to phenomenological ideas on prosthesis and the machine–human interface, while other genres of early cinema, such as Irish melodrama and trick films, are considered in the light of phenomenological theories of gesture and embodiment. By comically mocking mind/body separation and depicting the inseparability of subjectivity and corporeality, Joyce and the early film-makers go beyond the ideas of Bergson and anticipate Merleau-Ponty’s later notion of the ‘body-subject’.

Keywords:   dualism, René Descartes, Charlie Chaplin, comedy, gesture, embodiment, prosthetic, body-subject, trick films, melodrama

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