city montage – dublin. joyce.


in ulysses, joyce constructs a montaged life of the city over the course of 24 hours. this process of decomposition and reconstruction relates it the cinematic montage of eisenstein and vertov that embraces the city’s discontinuity, conflict and contradiction. but he further differentiates his approach to montage as (re)construction in that he eliminates the role of the narrator.

the meta-language of the authorial voice- which hitherto made up the main stay of the novel is dissolved. in so doing it places the readers imagination in an active creative role in the productive ‘completion’ of the work. but a work capable of being completed in many ways. what was the result of the process of the alienation of thought from the world now is stood on its head.

re-functioned and delivered back as reality fragments into a constructive montage. the double effect of decomposition and reconstruction leaves the synthesis unresolved and allows the reader to move in all directions along any plane of discourse set up by the initial constellation of material. rather than the traditional dialogue conferring an imaginary unity, there is a continuous disruption of any such discourse.

think you’re escaping and run into yourself. longest way round is the shortest way home. 

― james joyceulysses