Chaos Theory and James Joyce's Everyman (Florida James Joyce)

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9780813017082: Chaos Theory and James Joyce's Everyman (Florida James Joyce)

Applies chaos theory to James Joyce's Ulysses, & specifically to the course of Leopold Bloom's day, ultimately showing how and why chaos theory offers the best model yet for understanding daily human life and a fresh, humanistic understanding of Joyce.

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From the Publisher:

"An original contribution to Joyce studies because it takes an important scientific conceptual framework and allies it not to the stylistic, technical level of the text but to the cognitive, psychological level."—Roy Gottfried, Vanderbilt University

"Mackey gets the physics right and makes an important contribution to the debate between the sciences and humanities."--Yakir Aharonov, member, National Academy of Sciences and recipient, the Wolf Prize in Physics and the Elliott Cresson Medal

Peter Francis Mackey examines how Leopold Bloom’s behavior relates to such human matters as fate, free will, chance, and courage. Unraveling some of Ulysses’ most challenging passages, he reveals the heroism of the novel’s main character while also demonstrating the utility of chaos theory for literary analysis.

In one of the most detailed assessments of Bloom’s thoughts, behavior, and character yet advanced, Mackey examines the philosophy of life apparent in Bloom’s persistence amidst the day’s--and the novel’s--dramatic shifts. He demonstrates specific ways in which the stream-of-consciousness technique conveys personality, how Bloom’s contingent relationship with his world reveals his fears and hopes, and how he finally pursues his desires despite the sad life that fate seems to have prepared for him.

More than this, Mackey provides one of the most thorough applications of chaos theory to literature yet rendered. He demonstrates how chaos theory expands our understanding of literature and how cross-disciplinary exchange between science and the arts can inform our judgment of the ontological value of both. In the process, Mackey also shows how and why chaos theory offers the best model yet for understanding daily human life and a fresh, humanistic understanding of Joyce.

Review:

"...remarkably intelligent, full of a deep understanding of 'Ulysses' and reflecting a passion for both scientific and humanistic inquiry." -- Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts, Fall 2001

"...sharpens the effect of finishing 'Ulysses' again, a significant achievement eighty years after the novel's first publication." -- Modern Literature Review, 96.2, 2001

"A refreshingly human Leopold Bloom" -- Studies in the Novel, Fall 2002

"The science chapters are extremely lucid and informative....The readings of 'Ulysses' are likewise richly detailed and persuasive." -- James Joyce Quarterly, Spring and Summer 2000

Mackey's "analysis of the 'Ithaca' chapter...is particularly notable." -- The Review of English Studies, Vol. 52, No. 205, 2001

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