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Title: The well-disposed mind : Joyce, Loyola, and the psychoanalysis of ambivalence
Author: Mayo, Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 0137
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis examines the relationship between the fiction of James Joyce and the theological practices outlined by Ignatius of Loyola. By deliberately foregoing claims of direct or simple influence, the thesis illustrates the way in which Loyola's concepts of belief, irony, discernment, and indifference illuminate the operations of the Joycean text. These operations in both Loyola and Joyce are themselves best explicated through the use of Kleinian psychoanalytic theory. Klein and her followers analyze dynamics of belief, representation, and meaning as products of frustration. Loyola and Joyce both force the reader into symmetrical situations of frustration, and Kleinian analysis helps us see how Joyce uses his texts as a kind of exercise for the reader-an exercise of productive frustration, disappointment, and loss. I trace the way this loss can turn reading into a reparative act, one that moves through the Kleinian 'paranoid-schizoid' position into a more productive, contingent, depressive position. I thus address Eve Kosovsky Sedgwick's proposal for reparative reading. By examining both Loyola's and Joyce's engagement with (and invitations into) frustrating, paranoid reading, I show how this engagement might become reparative. The thesis begins with an analysis of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises, finding there a specific structure of 'earnest irony.' It continues with a close reading of 'The Dead,' discerning how this structure operates in the Joycean text at the levels of both content and narration. It then takes up Kleinian theory directly to see precisely what paranoid reading-of the kind both Joyce and Loyola demand-accomplishes, and what its failure achieves. Its final two chapters consider A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, where it finds the narrative apparatus forcing the reader into a particular form of productive frustration, and Ulysses, which requires the greatest form of 'earnest irony' from the reader.
Supervisor: Johnson, Jeri Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Loyola ; Ignatius ; Spiritual Exercises ; Klein ; Melanie ; Sedgwick ; Eve Kosofsky ; Joyce ; James ; 1882-1941 ; Psychoanalysis ; Paranoid Reading ; Modernism and Religion