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Narration under a Blindfold: Reading Joyce's "Clay"
Vol. 102, No. 2 (Mar., 1987), pp. 206-215
Published by: Modern Language Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/462549
Page Count: 10
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Traditional allegorical readings of Joyce's Dubliners story "Clay" have tended to collude with the story's rhetorical aim of aggrandizing the figure of Maria. The estimation of the "old maid" is indeed the story's crux, and the exigencies of desire compel the manipulative textual strategies that render the story ambiguous and produce conflicting interpretations. The story thereby achieves a fine dramatization of the precarious ontology of the old maid, a dramatization in which the fragmented reader (whose ear and eye are in conflict) participates as a principal actor.
PMLA © 1987 Modern Language Association