"Nobody Owns": Ulysses, Tenancy and Property Law

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


“Rattle his bones. Over the stones. Only a pauper. Nobody owns” (U 6.332-3). Bloom thinks of these words in “Hades”, as he watches a carriage bearing a small child’s coffin (U 6. 322-3). They come from Thomas Noel’s then well-known “The Pauper’s Drive”. For Joyce, the last two words surely have different tones, with different implications: the pauper child belongs to no-one, no-one owns to it (Noel’s song emphasizes this, and it is the only meaning we can be certain is in Bloom’s thoughts); the pauper child owns nothing, but then no-one much in Joyce’s Dublin owns anything anyway (what Joyce meant when, speaking of Marxist criticisms of his work, he told Eugene Jolas that “I don’t know why they attack me. Nobody in any of my books is worth more than a thousand pounds”); and no-one really owns anything anyway, proprietorship is in the end a fiction. All these tones and meanings will all be at stake in what follows.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJoyce and the Law
EditorsJonathan Goldman
Place of PublicationGainesville
PublisherUniversity Press of Florida
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9780813054742
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2017

Publication series

NameFlorida James Joyce Series
PublisherUniversity of Florida Press


  • James Joyce Law Property Law

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