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Wilson, E., Jr. (1990). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984: Identity and Identification in James Joyce's Short Story, "A Little Cloud." Frosso Carapanos. Pp. 581-599.. Psychoanal Q., 59:165-166.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984: Identity and Identification in James Joyce's Short Story, "A Little Cloud." Frosso Carapanos. Pp. 581-599.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:165-166

Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984: Identity and Identification in James Joyce's Short Story, "A Little Cloud." Frosso Carapanos. Pp. 581-599.

Emmett Wilson, Jr.

Carapanos analyzes this story, written by Joyce in 1906 for the Dubliners collection published in 1914. She reviews Joyce's peculiarly paranoid stance toward his publishers

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about delays and difficulties, and his avowed pleasure in this particular story. It deals with the identity crisis evoked in the constricted and timid hero, Little Chandler, whose life is upset by the return to Dublin of his friend, Gallaher. Gallaher's travels, fast life, and contempt for Chandler's domesticity have their effect, and Chandler undergoes a severe identity crisis, as is shown in the text, in his thoughts, reminiscences, and observations. An appropriation of Gallaher's identity comes about, as Chandler becomes envious of his friend's life and his bachelor freedom. At home a domestic scene develops, as Chandler ineptly attempts to care for his infant son. The cries of the infant disturb him, and he is unable to calm the child. Chandler screams at his son, terrifying him and then becomes frightened himself that the child is going to die. Chandler's wife, who had been cold, angry, and indifferent to Chandler, is able to calm the child. Chandler's remorse and his fear that the child might die are suggestive, Carapanos thinks, of Chandler's own slow death in the life situation from which he cannot flee. That Joyce identified himself with Chandler has already been noted by some critics, but previous discussions have not explored the extent or nature of this identification. Carapanos discusses the circumstances of Joyce's life at the time when "A Little Cloud" was written. His life with Nora Barnacle was a melancholy and impoverished exile in Trieste, and his son, Giorgio, was only one year old, a source of pride for his father but also a source of practical difficulties for Joyce's creativity. In the unconscious background elements to the story, Carapanos sees a reflection of Joyce's relationship with his own parents; Chandler's cold and indifferent wife may represent Joyce's mother, while homosexual yearnings for the father are portrayed in Chandler's relationship to Gallaher.

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Article Citation

Wilson, E., Jr. (1990). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984. Psychoanal. Q., 59:165-166

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