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Apr 1, 2019 05:38

Virginia Woolf`s ideas on self and 'otherness' has surely more popularity than Joyce`s ones. Listening other people is generally seen as a conscious effort that requires the development of several skills. In Joyce, we 'are' the others; communication among characters is possible apart from any effort of listening to each other. We all understand others effortlessly though our desires.
Of course, there are different ways through which we relate to each other; but, as human beings, we are fundamentally connected by love. Virginia Woolf`s consideration implies a 'metaphysical loneliness' that does not apply to Joyce`s works. It is well explained in chapter 9.
At a first glance, it would seems that in life we all go through and meet only ourselves; therefore it should be Joyce`s prospective that one implying a lack of communication. However, there is another point of view to be examined and concerns our desire of being with others. Stephen analyzes Shakespeare`s marriage
reaching the conclusion that our desire, often frustrated, make us either bawds or cuckolds. He paraphrases the Bible with the intent of showing the interconnection among men: "An original sin and, like original sin, committed by another in whose sin he too has sinned".
Lines before Stephen, talking about Shakespeare and his wife, suggested that there cannot be reconciliation without having been a sundering. Love is "the words known by all men" he says; love forces us out of ourselves and makes of us either a bawd or a cuckold.
Furthermore, he reflects on love by recalling the words of Aquinas "Amor vero aliquid...". Such a speculation implies that there are two kinds of love, one more passion driven, and another deeper and selfless.
Taken by itself, the idea that we meet only ourselves in life, can be misleading.
The reason is that we are also other people to the extant that we desire to be with them. We are always cuckolds or bawd; our desire, badly designed, place us inside any sort of emotional triangle.
In Circe, the childless Bloom meets the 'child' Stephen, thanks to his pain of having lost a child. The final scene is quite emblematic. The pain of having and not having a child get unified in a both comic and touching finale.
Bloom meets Stephen through his own desire of projecting himself in a child. Through a painful loss, he finds someone who makes him suffer painfully.