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National dress and the problem of authenticity in Ulysses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
JournalIrish Studies Review
Early online date7 Jun 2019
Accepted/In press14 Sep 2017
E-pub ahead of print7 Jun 2019


King's Authors

Research Groups

  • English Language & Literature


This article considers James Joyce’s representation of Irish dress, arguing that his ambivalent treatment of it accurately reflects his fractious relationship with the Irish Revival movement. The article begins with a discussion of the metaphor of performance and relates this to issues around “authenticity”. From here, it discusses Douglas Hyde’s thoughts on dress, as presented in “The Necessity for de-Anglicising Ireland”, contextualising these within a brief history of nineteenth and early-twentieth-century Irish dress history, and recognising the important work of women in this. Assessing Joyce’s depictions of Irish dress, especially in “Scylla and Charybdis”, “Cyclops” and “Circe”, this article argues that Joyce sees Irish dress as a contingent and fragile cultural performance.

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