Using John Bowlby's Attachment Theory as a frame of reference, Attachment and Loss in the Works of James Joyce critically analyzes James Joyce's representation of grief. Based on cognitive, emotional and behavioral elements, Attachment Theory allows for new and innovative readings to emerge which differ from those offered by Freudian, Lacanian, and Jungian paradigms. Acknowledging the importance of the Theory of Mind and Reader Response, this book uses the concept of internal working models to elucidate how the childhood experiences with which Joyce has endowed his protagonists ultimately leads to how they respond to loss. The texts of Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist and Ulysses, show how central separation and loss were to Joyce’s work. It provides examples of such experiences in different age groups, under differing circumstances and at different stages in the grief process. Attachment Theory highlights the complexity of human relationships throughout the life cycle, not only how they can affect the grief process but how grief affects them.
Linda Horsnell is a visiting researcher at the University of East Anglia.
Part 1: Theory
Chapter 1: The Development of Attachment Theory
Chapter 2: Attachment Theory: A Universal Theory
Chapter 3: The Representation of Character and Reader Response
Chapter 4: Attachment Theory and Literary Interpretation
Part 2: The Portrayal of the Emotional Impact of Bereavement and Ensuing Grief
Part 2 Introduction
Chapter 5: “The Sisters”: Anticipatory Grief in a Securely Attached Individual
Chapter 6: Master Dignam: Sudden Bereavement and Anxious/Ambivalent. Attachment
Chapter 7: “Eveline”: Unresolved Grief and the Pull of the Dead
Chapter 8: The Dead”: Disenfranchised Grief, Idealisation of the Deceased and the Effect of Living
Part 3: Character Traits and Individual Expression of Grief: Stephen Dedalus, Leopold Bloom and Molly Bloom
Part 3 Introduction
Chapter 9: Stephen Dedalus
Chapter 10: Leopold and Molly Bloom
Part 4: Joyce, Religion and the Portrayal of the Grief of Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom
Part 4 Introduction
Chapter 11: Joyce, Catholicism and Family
Chapter 12: Stephen Dedalus: Grief, Guilt and Remorse of Conscience
Chapter 13: Leopold Bloom: Grieving in Isolation
Attachment theory as developed by John Bowlby in the 1970s and 1980s is an influential conceptual umbrella used in developmental psychology but rarely employed in literary analysis and never before in Joyce studies, as have theories of Freud, Jung, and Lacan. Horsnell uses the work of Bowlby and related psychologists to explore Joyce’s portrayal of grief and bereavement as experienced by characters in Dubliners and Ulysses…. [T]he book's perspective on Joyce’s rich characterizations has value. Recommended… Graduate students, researchers, faculty.
This wonderful and unputdownable book unveils a key facet of Joyce’s work that has remained in the shadows for too long. Linda Horsnell’s study draws on Attachment Theory (John Bowlby, Jeremy Holmes et al) to lay bare the inner emotions of loss in all the characters we have grown to love, without ever being able to pierce through their mesmerising opacity, including figures that have been neglected until now, from Master Dignam to Eveline Hill. Horsnell subtly changes our ways of reading what we came to know as too familiar, perhaps blinded by too many adventitious – detached – insights. At last, Stephen, May, Molly and Leopold are brought back to our living, (extra)ordinary earth, deep into the multitudinous networks of emotional and social pressures that fuel the achingly refined mechanism of their grieving minds. This study is as grounded as it is grounding, carefully taking stock of all the previous Freudian, Jungian and Lacanian theorisations, but bringing something that has been lacking for too long: a granular attention to what Joyce is actually telling us about real loss and mourning; about raw emotions, attachments, grief, and love. In Horsnell’s precise words, Joyce ’s work “ does not involve internal fantasy but rather the affective interaction of one person with another”. This is the book that Modernist scholars and students have been waiting for a long time, one that will be introduce them to a new Joyce, the infinitely delicate poet of the mind, close to our daily lives, struggles and sufferings, and one whom, like Woolf, Kafka, Toomer, Hurston, Proust and many other global Modernists, we need to read again.