THE ELLIPTICAL ADULTERY OF ULYSSES: A FLAUBERTIAN RECIPE FOR SUCCÈS DE SCANDALE

in James Joyce and the Nineteenth-Century French Novel
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This essay examines the elliptic narrative strategy surrounding the adulterous encounter between Molly Bloom and Blazes Boylan in Ulysses. While the event lies at the centre of Bloomsday, it is not reliably narrated at the moment when it takes place and seems calculated to trigger the readers’ obsession and curiosity. As my argument will show, Joyce’s narrative and commercial strategies are complementary, and I identify his inspiration in the presentation of adultery and sexual intercourse in Flaubert’s work, with particular emphasis on the legal and critical history of Madame Bovary.

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