Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Justine Van Meter
While there has been a considerable effort to contextualize James Joyce’s Ulysses in a hypertext format for the internet and its users, this paper explores how the novel itself presents a prototypical form of hypertext for its readers.
Instead of using hypertext to elaborate the novel’s many references and difficult sections towards a coherent understanding of its plot, this paper argues that Ulysses suggests an early form of hypertext through the written presentation of the interior mind and described interactions with the physical world. Specifically, within Stephen Dedalus’ chapters, a physical or visual interaction with an object pushes him away from his immediate place in Dublin and further towards his mind so the reader may untangle and interpret its meaning. For Stephen, Dublin becomes a text to navigate and read as his mind becomes a hypertext, a removed entity looming above the physical world, influencing his every step. Likewise, the reader is also pushed away from the text in a similar way after interacting with Stephen’s inner thoughts written as text, allowing the mind to become a removed hypertext space untangling Stephen and his thoughts apart from Dublin.
This paper derives from the hypertext theories pioneered by theorists such as Jay David Bolter and George P. Landow, who were very much influenced by Joyce’s writing and the revolution of the written word in the early 20th century.
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Banayan, Ariel. Stephen Dedalus and the Mind as Hypertext in Ulysses. 2020. Chapman University, MA Thesis. Chapman University Digital Commons, https://doi.org/10.36837/chapman.000178