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Humanities 2017, 6(3), 45; doi:10.3390/h6030045

Joyce’s “Force” and His Tuskers as Modern Animals

Graduate School of Language and Society, Hitotsubashi University, 2-1 Naka, Kunitachi, Tokyo 186-8601, Japan
Received: 1 June 2017 / Revised: 27 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 3 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Joyce, Animals and the Nonhuman)
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Focusing on those animals that have been overlooked in reading Joyce’s work opens up new perspectives for understanding his writing. One of his earliest essays, “Force” (1898), written at the age of sixteen, shows his so far unexplored concern about the domestication of animals and extinction of species, and develops a theory of subjugation. The essay provides a useful mainstay for considering the “tuskers,” (the mammoth and mastodon, the elephants, their tusks, and ivory) in the context of the cultural discourses of modern society. The game-changer discovery of the notion of extinction; representation of mammoths and mastodons as fearful creatures; the novelty of elephants exposed to curious gaze on exhibition; the sculpture of Elvery’s Elephant House in Sackville street; a circus elephant and “terrible queer creature” episode in Stephen Hero; the forced labor perpetrated in the Congo Free State to exploit rubber and the ivory of wild elephants. These seemingly disparate topics deeply wedded to modernity will be interrelated with each other in “Force,” shaping a constellation of “Joyce’s tuskers.” View Full-Text
Keywords: James Joyce; Irish studies; animal studies; zoology; modernity; subjugation; extinction; Anthropocene; mammoths; mastodons; elephants; ivory James Joyce; Irish studies; animal studies; zoology; modernity; subjugation; extinction; Anthropocene; mammoths; mastodons; elephants; ivory

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Minamitani, Y. Joyce’s “Force” and His Tuskers as Modern Animals. Humanities 2017, 6, 45.

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