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Title: 'See ourselves as others see us' : a phenomenological study of James Joyce's Ulysses and early cinema
Author: Hanaway-Oakley, Cleo Alexandra
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis examines James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922) and early cinema (c. 1895-1920) through Merleau-Pontian phenomenology. Instead of arguing for lines of direct influence between specific films and particular parts of Ulysses, I show that Joyce’s text and selected early films and film genres exhibit parallel philosophies. Ulysses and early cinema share similar ideas on the embodied nature of perception, the close relationship between mind and body, the intermingling of the human and the mechanical, intersubjectivity, and the subject’s inherence in the world. All of these shared ideas are inherently phenomenological. My phenomenological position on the Joyce-and-cinema relationship is at odds with a popular strain of scholarship which cites impersonality, neutrality, and automatism as the key linking factors between early cinema and modernist literature (including Joyce). ‘Joyce-and-cinema’ studies is a relatively large, and growing, field; as is ‘modernism-and-cinema’ studies. As well as ploughing my own path through an already crowded area, I analyse the different trends present (both historically and currently) in each area of study. I also add to the scholarship on phenomenological film theory by analysing the work of phenomenologically inflected film-philosophers and suggesting some new ways in which Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology might be used in the analysis of films and literature. I provide close analyses of several episodes of Ulysses and pay particular attention to ‘Ithaca’, ‘Circe’, ‘Nausicaa’, and ‘Wandering Rocks’. Several of Charlie Chaplin’s Mutual films are analysed, as are a select number of films by George Méliès. I also look at other trick-films, Irish melodrama, panoramas, ‘phantom rides’, and local actuality films (especially Mitchell and Kenyon’s Living Dublin series). Proto-cinematic devices – the Mutoscope and stereoscope – are also included in my analyses.
Supervisor: Johnson, Jeri; Marcus, Laura Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English Language and Literature ; Specific philosophical schools ; Joyce ; James ; 1882-1941. Ulysses ; Merleau-Ponty ; Maurice ; film criticism ; motion pictures and literature ; English literature - 20th century - history and criticism ; modernism (literature) ; phenomenology and literature ; motion pictures - philosophy