Scribbledehobbles: Writing Jewish-Irish Feet

Scribbledehobbles: Writing Jewish-Irish Feet

Steven Connor

The first version of this essay was given as a paper at a conference entitled ‘Culture Modernity and “the Jew” ‘, held at the Institute of English Studies in, oh, about 1995. I then expanded it into the following form for Modernity, Culture and ‘the Jew’, ed. Bryan Cheyette and Laura Marcus (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1998). In the end, my essay was not required for the volume. Pity, I think.

i. Pedagogic

I propose in this essay to describe the relations between Jewishness and cultural modernism in terms of an insistent thematics within both of the foot. Accordingly, my concern is with the modernist concern, both within Jewish writing and writing, both antisemitic and philosemitic, on the question of Jewishness, with feet, toes, soles and heels, and, by extension legs; by further extension, with shoes, boots and other forms of footwear; and by yet further extension, with the modes and meanings of walking. Such a focus may seem arbitrary, banal, and even abusive, given the reach and solemnity of the philosophical questions which remain for us today regarding the fate and the function of the Jew within the modern world, and the responsibilities of modernity with regard to Jewishness. And of course, in a way, this essay will not be able to help trying to exculpate itself from this charge, by showing that the thematics of the foot are indeed a central and recurring part of the self-understandings of both Jewishness and modernity, and that the foot may be read as a synecdoche for themes of historical being, belonging and displacement. But I wish also to curb the sublimating soar of the foot into airier, less ignoble regions. For perhaps the most important point about the foot will turn out to be that it is debasement itself, the botching of sublation, the hideous hilarity of the unrisen body. The foot means — is — death, banality, ugliness and laughter. Despite everything, I will have wanted to avoid reading the foot into philosophical seriousness, and to have remained close to the graceless literality of feet; will have wanted to write, as some of those with whom I am concerned attempted to write, as the French expression has it, `au pied de la lettre’, of a subject which remains, as its etymology tells us, `sub-jacent’ — thrown down, beneath notice.

ii. Footnotes

Nobody has done more than Sander Gilman to show that the centrality of the imagined weakness of the Jewish foot to what, in The Jew’s Body, he calls `the general representation of the pathophysiology of the Jew’ from the late nineteenth century onwards in Europe (1991, 39). In the course of his account, Gilman reproduces, but does not discuss in detail, a cartoon strip by the Nazi caricaturist Walter Hofmann, which illustrates the following story of the creation of the Jew:

When the dear God made the Jew, he made him, like Adam, out of damp clay. Then he told him to remain lying in the sun to dry. But since from the beginning the Jew has shunned the light and been drawn to the darkness, he disobeyed the command of the true God and rose prematurely. Since the clay was still damp and soft, the know-all developed not only bandy legs but also flat feet after the first few steps. When the Creator saw this disobedience of his first creation, he grew angry and hurled a meteor at the runaway, which knocked him flat on his face. The Jew got up. Now the sign was on his face as well. No wonder that he still flees today and tries to revenge himself by godlessness? (Hofmann n.d., repr. in Gilman 1991, 46; my translation)

The Jew is here represented in terms not just of the collapse of uprightness, but in terms of an interchange of the intellectual and physical portions of the body. As a punishment for his disobedience, and his abhorrence of the light, the Jew is made to bear the mark of his prostration on his face, as well as in his flat feet and sagging legs; his flattened nose must here be understood as a grotesque transformation of the face into a kind of foot.

This association of the Jew with the incapacity to retain an upright posture is dramatised fully in Oskar Panizza’s nauseating fable `The Operated Jew’ of 1893. The Jew who is the subject of this story, Itzig Faitel Stern, walks with a posture that threatens collapse at every point. Implicit here is an ideal model of walking as a cooperation of earth and sky, in which man is the principle of uprightness which connects the two dimensions. Stern’s manner of walking is a dramatisation of the failure of uprightness, which extends all the way up to Itzig’s head which must be firmly braced to prevent it sinking to the earth:

When he walked, Itzig always raised both thighs almost to his midriff so that he bore some resemblance to a stork. At the same time, he lowered his head deeply into his breast-plated tie and stared at the ground. One had to assume that he could not gauge the strength needed for lifting his legs as he went head over heels…When I asked him one time why he moved so extravagantly, he said, `So I can moof ahead!’ — Faitel also had trouble keeping his balance, and when he walked, there were often beads of sweat streaming from the curly locks of hair around his temple. The collar wrapped around my friend’s neck was fastened tightly and firmly. I assume that this was due to the difficulty and work Itzig needed to keep his head pointed upright toward God’s heavens. In its natural position, Itzig’s head was always pointed toward earth, the chin drilled solidly into the silk breast-plated tie. (Panizza 1991, 49)

Gilman’s evidence makes it clear that the Jew is subject to strikingly contradictory explanations for his impaired gait. On the one hand, it is the mark of his incapacity for higher mental functions, and failure of spiritual awareness (the Jew ends up, like Lucifer, crawling on his belly, because he turns away from the light). But the physical incapacity of the Jew is also explained by his hypertrophied mental functions; for the Jew is said to be neurasthenic, hysterical, out of touch with his natural being. So the weakness of the Jew’s feet is the mark both corporeality and intellectualism, of baseness and over-refinement, earthliness and ethereality.

Klaus Theweleit’s investigations (1987) of the psychopathology of fascist representations of the body suggest a further role for the foot. Theweleit argues that, in Nazi fantasy, the male body must be preserved intact against all the forms of threatening, engulfing fluidity identified as female degeneration. This preservation can involve the ideal either of continence or of transcendence; either the control of a turbulent bodily interior of formless flows by a fiercely constrictive exterior, or the rigidity, detachment and verticality of the erect penis, which stands clear of the threatening swamp of indistinction. The strict, but inadequate corsetry provided by Stern’s collar in the passage from `The Operated Jew’ just quoted appears to be a conflation of these two modes.

Although Theweleit has no explicit discussion of the foot, it clearly has a vital importance in the symbolic conversion of earth into air, of what lies basely underfoot into what resists engulfment. In homo erectus, after all, the foot is the only part of the body the natural condition of which is horizontal, redoubling the flatness of the ground against which erection, in all of its senses, sexual, architectural, spiritual and so on, is defined. The ideal, integrated, vertical body of the Western imagination holds out through its feet against a feared collapse into the condition of the foot. As Richard M. Griffith has put it, in the course of a rhapsodic attempt to reinstate the phenomenological dignity of the foot:

The ground is not only what I take my stand on (the underground of me) but the background against which as human I may be perceived the most sharply. I am earth: from dust becometh, to dust returneth. But only against the earth, in opposition to it, do I exist as human. I must maintain my separation from the earth. (Griffith 1970,277)

Itzig Faitel Stern’s crazy disequilibrium, which becomes an actual collapse at the end of `The Operated Jew’, when his carefully constructed Aryan body and manner fall apart under the influence of alcohol at his wedding, betrays the nature of a body which fails sufficiently to distinguish itself from the earth, fails, in the Heideggerean reading of the etymology of the word, to ex-ist, to stand out or stand forth, to `build’ where it `dwells’. Stern’s is therefore another body which is written through by the foot. The story ends with a grotesque reversion of Stern’s synthesised Aryan body to an Asiatic or Semitic formlessness, precipitated at the point at which Stern has become nothing more than the autonomous uncontrolled motion of his feet:

Everyone looked with dread at the crazy, circular motions of the Jew. The ignominious fate, which is the fate of all drunkards, befell Faitel, too. A terrible smell spread in the room, forcing those people who were still hesitating at the exit, to flee while holding their noses. Only Klotz remained behind. And finally, when even the feet of the drunkard were too tired to continue their movements, Klotz’s work of art lay before him crumpled and quivering, a convoluted Asiatic image in wedding dress, a counterfeit of human flesh, Itzig Faitel Stern. (Panizza 1991, 74)

If the foot has a kind of theological function in terms of the vertical reading of the body and its postures, then it also has a geopolitical significance. Modernity is associated on the one hand with the establishment of nations, the assertion of a range of ways of belonging to particular places and spaces; on the other, of course, a systematic territorial and political displacement also began to be a defining experience of modernity, with the increased movement of peoples across national boundaries, facilitated both by technology and the artifices of civilisation, and, increasingly during the twentieth century, by the effects of war. For the nineteenth century, Sander Gilman suggests, the form of the Jewish foot is the mark of the effect of modern civilisation, and especially city life, since `the Jew is both the city dweller par excellence as well as the most evident victim of the city’ (1991, 49). The metropolitan foot is a foot that has no traditional relation to the ground it treads. The revulsion against the alienations of city life had its left-wing pastoralist forms in the 1920s as well as its more well-known right-wing forms in the fascist promotion of the authentic relation between the people and the earth underfoot; the Jew was defined as the creature and embodiment of modernity because of a lack of grounding, condemned to wander over the surface of the earth without ever being able to establish a relation to any one portion of it. The abjectness of the foot will prove to have a significant relationship to its modern rootlessness.
iii. Pedestrian Researches: Freud’s Feet

Freudian psychoanalysis provides an embodiment of this medicopolitical association between Jewishness and the foot. Not that the foot appears to have interest or significant function in itself, unlike the oral, anal or genital regions; its interest for Freud lies wholly in the displacements it allows. Freud’s later remarks on fetishism, in his essay of that name in 1927 (SE, XXI, 147-57), implicate the foot in the process whereby the penis which has been lost or mutilated in the little boy’s castration fantasy is restored. The foot, and its substitutes, the shoe or the boot, are a substitute for the penis, even though the very necessity of substitution remains the awkward evidence of the absence of the `real’ penis. It is usually as just such a fetishised penis-substitute that the foot is explicated in Freud’s work. Oddly, despite the centrality of the Oedipus myth in his work, Freud never commented in print on the significance of the reference to the swollen foot in the name of Oedipus.

But this absence of sustained attention to the foot as psychoanalytic subject in the work of Freud contrasts with a remarkably strong metaphorical association between feet and the psychoanalytic process itself. In 1907, Freud published his Delusions and Dreams in Jensen’s `Gradiva’, a study of a story by William Jensen published in 1903, which describes the obsession of Dr. Norbert Hanold, an archaeologist, with a marble figure depicting a woman with a characteristically lifted gait. Hanold names this figure `Gradiva’, the `girl who steps along’. Looking in vain for her style of walking among real women in the city, he becomes convinced that he has found her as a revenant in the city of Pompeii, of which he believes she has been an inhabitant in AD 94, the year of the catastrophic eruption which buried the city. Gradually it is revealed that his ghost is in fact a childhood friend, Zoe Bertgang, whose German name (`bright walker’) is almost identical to the name Hanold has given the sculpture. She has recognised Hanold, and resolved to play the part of Gradiva in order to cure him both of his forgetfulness of her and of his lifelong repression of erotic feelings.

Freud associates Hanold’s `pedestrian researches’ with his own psychoanalytic enquiry; but much more important for Freud than the association between Hanold and himself is the far-reaching similarity — no, ‘a complete agreement in its essence’ between Zoe Bertgang’s method of lifting repression and the `therapeutic method which was introduced into medical practice in 1895 by Dr. Josef Breuer and myself’ (SE, IX, 88-9). Indeed, Zoe Bertgang can go further even than psychoanalysis, since `Gradiva was able to return the love which was making its way from the unconscious into consciousness, but the doctor cannot’ (SE, IX, 90). Zoe, as her name suggests, is life-giving. While her therapy is archaeological in broadly the same way as psychoanalytic therapy, it is also associated with the zoology (the scientific occupation of her father), which sets her work against the more morbid kinds of disinterral involved in the psychoanalytic `work of spades (Arbeit des Spatens)’ (SE, IX, 40; GS, 9, 307). Zoe steps athletically into the shoes of Gradiva, identifying herself with Hanold’s unconscious delusions in order to free him from them. Psychoanalysis is condemned to the melancholy pursuit of traces, like the Hanold who comes to Pompeii to look for the distinctive imprint of Gradiva’s passing in footprints left in the ash (SE, IX, 17).

It appears that there are in fact two kinds of walking, or `pedestrian researches’ in Gradiva. This is literally the case, for, as Rachel Bowlby points out, the phrase `pedestrian researches’, which Strachey uses twice, translates two slightly different phrases in Freud’s German, pedestrischen Prüfungen and pedestrischen Untersuchungen (Bowlby 1992, 181-2; GS 9, 326); Prüfung sometimes has more the sense of a specific test or examination than Untersuchung, which can refer to a more generalised investigation.), and that they are concentrated together in the description of the bas-relief of Gradiva (Freud himself owned a cast of this bas-relief, like Hanold):

The sculpture represented a fully-grown girl stepping along, with her flowing dress a little pulled up so as to reveal her sandalled feet. One foot rested squarely on the ground; the other, lifted from the ground in the act of following after, touched it only with the tips of the toes, while the sole and heel rose almost perpendicularly. (SE, IX, 10)

Gradiva is here caught as it were photographically between standing and walking. She both acknowledges and spurns what is underfoot, at once standing her ground, and standing clear of it. Compared with the elastic spring and poise of Gradiva’s step, psychoanalysis appears to be a creeping and ignoble procedure, always unsure of its footing. Throughout Freud’s account of the story, Hanold’s growing understanding is represented in terms of feet, walking and steady progress: `It could not be disputed that this clear insight into his delusion was an essential step forward on his road back to a sound understanding (einen wesentlichen Fortschritt auf dem Rückung zur gesunden Vernunft)’ (SE, IX, 28; GS, 9, 296); `The young man, who had earlier been obliged to play the pitiable part of a person in urgent need of treatment, advanced still further (weiter schreitet) on the road to recovery’ (SE, IX, 38; GS, 9, 305); `The journey, which was undertaken in defiance of the latent dream-thoughts, was nevertheless following the path (folgt doch der Weisung) to Pompeii’ (SE, IX, 67; GS, 336-7). Even Hanold’s delusions appear more direct and purposive than the cautious, repetitious movement of psychoanalysis: `Norbert Hanold’s delusion…was carried a step further (erfahre eine weitere Entwicklung)’ (SE, IX, 54; GS, 9, 323). Associated not with life, but with death, not with zoology, but with the `roundabout path by way of archaeology’ disdained by Zoe (SE, IX, 37), psychoanalysis must accordingly accept slow progress, and frequent loss of bearings. `No, we must try another path (einem anderen Wege)’ (SE, IX, 56; GS, 9, 325); `Here again there seems no path to an understanding (kein Weg zur Aufklärung)’ (SE, IX, 57; GS, 9, 326).

Not the least of the disadvantages of psychoanalytic reading is the fact that it must go over the ground twice, where Zoe is able to effect her cure miraculously, `by taking up the same ground as the delusional structure (auf dem Boden des Wahngebäudes stellen) SE, IX, 22; GS, 9, 288), from within Hanold’s delusions. Late in his essay, Freud devotes some admiring pages to the ambiguous language which is given to Zoe by the author of the story, a language which enables her `to express the delusion and the truth in the same turn of words’ (SE, IX, 84). Freud, on the other hand,is condemned to a much more laborious procedure, in which the telling of the story must be separated from the analysis of it:

Now that we have finished telling the story and satisfied our own suspense, we can get a better view of it, and we shall now reproduce it with the technical terminology of our science, and in doing so we shall not feel disconcerted at the necessity for repeating what we have said before. (SE, IX, 44)

The limited nature of the cure effected by psychoanalysis is suggested, as we have seen, by the fact that the doctor cannot return or complete the love that he brings to consciousness in his patient. Freud expresses the distinction between Bertgang’s intimate `cure by love’ and the distance of his own in a rather distinctive way. `The doctor’, he writes, `has been a stranger (ein Fremder), and must endeavour to become a stranger once more after the cure’ (SE, IX, 90; GS, 9 361). These words betray the larger sense in which Freud appears to see psychoanalysis as an alien intrusion. The rivalry between clinical and romantic psychoanalytic cure, each with its distinctive Gang, gait, or way of proceeding, is also an ethnic rivalry. On two occasions, Freud characterises the relationship between Hanold and Gradiva/Bertgang in terms that emphasise their racial homogeneity. When Hanold speaks to Zoe first in Greek and then in Latin, she replies ` “If you want to speak to me…you must do it in German’ ‘ (SE, IX, 18). Freud’s interpolated response, `What a humiliation for us readers!’ (SE, IX, 18), assumes that we have been identifying with Hanold’s delusion and share his discomfiture. But there may be another humiliation lurking behind this one, in Freud’s sense of not being included in the closed circle of reciprocity established between author, addressor, addressee and reader. The succession of wes that follow in Freud’s text seems to underline this sense of anxiety at the capacity of the German girl to effect her own version of the `talking cure’ with her German patient, one which relies upon enactment rather than dissective analysis, and on shared ethnic intuition and experience rather than painstaking explication. Compared with this, what was already being thought of as the Jewish science of psychoanalysis appears vulgarly intrusive.

More strikingly, there is the passage in which Freud allows the play of his own phantasy to produce a possible justification for the implausibility on which Gradiva is based, namely the coincidence of the exact correspondence between the gait of Gradiva depicted in Hanold’s bas-relief and the gait of the living Zoe.

The name of `Bertgang’ might point to the fact that the women of that family had already been distinguished in ancient days by the peculiarity of their graceful gait; and we might suppose that the Germanic Bertgangs were descended from a Roman family one member of which was the woman who had led the artist to perpetuate the peculiarity of her gait in the sculpture. Since, however, the different variations of the human form are not independent of one another, and since in fact even among ourselves the ancient types re-appear again and again (as we can see in art collections), it would not be totally impossible that a modern Bertgang might reproduce the shape of her ancient ancestress in all the other features of her bodily structure as well. (SE, IX, 42)

In rescuing the psychoanalytic tale of Jensen from implausibility, and making it consistent with itself, Freud allows a vision of closed, renewing racial homogeneity which appears worryingly superior to the psychoanalytic intervention of the `stranger’. Sander Gilman suggests that we need to read Jensen’s tale, which he describes unequivocally as the tale of `a Germanic foot in all its glory’ (1993, 146), independently of and against the grain of Freud’s identification with it, to reveal it as `the family romance of a race, the northern Germans, who find themselves in the classical world, which is itself German’ (1993, 147). But this passage suggests that Freud may also be intimating a complex challenge to the model of closed ethnic recurrence suggested in Jensen’s Gradiva. For, after allowing the play of his own phantasy of hereditary persistence, Freud then, somewhat abruptly, withdraws it:

But it would no doubt be wiser, instead of such speculations, to enquire from the author himself what were the sources from which this part of his creation was derived; we should then have a good prospect of showing once again how what was ostensibly an arbitrary decision rested in fact upon law. But since access to the sources in the author’s mind is not open to us we will leave him with an undiminished right to construct a development that is wholly true to life upon an improbable premiss. (SE, IX, 42-3)

With this, Freud opens the possibility that the whole of the allegedly self-grounding analytic technique for reading delusions may itself be founded upon an extravagant delusion, and that, far from being hermeneutically self-sufficient or spontaneously self-knowing, it would rely upon outside help, the help of an outsider, for the repair and maintenance of its truth.

The metaphor of feet and the associated figural repertoire of terms suggesting grounding and progress continue to be important in Freud’s work. What is more, it operates in attacks upon it, such as those mounted in later years by Jung, who features in Freud’s essay as the unnamed intermediary between the German and the Jewish worlds, since it was he who brought Freud’s attention to Jensen’s Gradiva. In his essay `The Role of the Unconscious’ of 1918, Jung argues that the categories of `Jewish’ psychoanalysis are inadequate for the understanding of the German or Aryan psyche. This is because of a fundamental difference between the two races in terms of their relation to the earth. The German is characterised by the intensity of his sense of rootedness in the earth. Although the Jew has a history of cultural achievement to sustain him, he is, by contrast, `badly at a loss for that quality in man which roots him to the earth and draws new strength from below’ (Jung 1970, 13). It is the anachthonic nature of the Jew — `where has he his own earth underfoot?’ Jung demands (1970, 13) — which produces in him a compensating desire to reduce psychical experiences to their material beginnings, and yet also protects him against the dangerous effects of exposure to unconscious forces. Psychoanalysis supplies the homeless Jew with a fantasised over-investment in materiality which the Aryan neither needs nor could tolerate. Thus, though Jung does not subscribe to Freud’s theory of fetishism, he here explains Freudian explanations according to terms which seem to borrow from that theory. Deprived of any authentic relation to the ground, the Jew produces its fetishistic substitute; the substitute however only continues to testify to the fact of dispossession, and the lack of grounded being. The double-bind in which the Jew is accused both of reducing everything to the body, and of having an inadequate relationship to it, reproduces the structure of double accusation to which I drew attention earlier in this essay.

iv. It Is No Sin To Limp: Joyce’s Abject Foot

One can see signs of a response to this climate of denigration in Freud’s later work. Most particularly, as Jacques Derrida has shown, Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920) contrives an intricate choreography out of the metaphorical value of legs, feet and the forms of progression associated with them. Where the essay on Gradiva aspired to identification with the ideal cooperation of earth and air as enacted in the spring of the Germanic foot, the puzzled unearthing of the death drive in Beyond the Pleasure Principle involves the abandonment of the model of secure grounding and steady, uninterrupted cultural and intellectual progress which had still operated in Delusions and Dreams in Jensen’s `Gradiva’. Beyond the Pleasure Principle ends with an evocation of the limping movement which Sander Gilman has shown to be characteristic of the pathologised body of the Jew, in the lines from Rückert’s `Die beiden Gulden’ which Freud quotes: `Was man nicht erfliegen kann muß man erhinken…/Die Schrift sagt, es ist keine Sünde zu hinken (What we cannot reach by flying we must reach by limping…The Book says that it is no sin to limp)’ (SE, XVIII, 64). Derrida outlines the positive meaning accorded to the limp, as the enactment of a method of what he calls `démarche’ in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, or thinking as nonworking/nonwalking:

The most normal step has to bear disequilibrium, within itself, in order to carry itself forward, in order to have itself followed by another one, the same again, that is a step, and so that the other comes back, amounts to the same, but as other. Before all else limping has to be the very rhythm of the march, unterwegs. Before any accidental aggravation which could make limping itself falter. This is rhythm. (Derrida 1987a, 406).

(I have commented myself on the significance of this final quotation in Beyond the Pleasure Principle: Connor 1992, 70-1.) Sander Gilman sees anxiety and apologetic self-abasement in Freud’s acknowledgement of the limping nature of so-called Jewish science (1993, 137-8); but I think it is also possible to see this as a more confident introjection of negativity, which leads Freud positively to promote the acceptance of the limping nature of all cultural endeavour, maimed as it is by its compromises with the death drive. In this, Freud seems to be in touch with a current within avant-garde and modernist culture which had begun to embrace and even as it were promote the degenerate body of the fin-de-siècle imagination. In the work of the surrealists, and perhaps especially Magritte, Bunuel and Bataille, there is a strikingly insistent attention paid to the foot. In his essay on `The Big Toe’, which appeared in the renegade surrealist journal Documents in 1929, accompanied by some remarkable photographs of toes by Jacques-André Boiffard, Bataille insisted that the foot was simultaneously `the most human part of the human body, in the sense that no other element of this body is as differentiated from the corresponding element of the anthropoid ape’ and yet that part of the body which is closest to the base element of mud, which human culture wishes to disavow in itself: `whatever the role played in the erection by his foot, man, who has a light head, in other words a head raised to the heavens and heavenly things, sees it as spit [crachet], on the pretext that he has this foot in the mud’ (1985, 20). Bataille’s comments help me to make the transition between Freud’s responses to the alleged degeneracy of the Jewish foot, to the fortunes of the Irish foot, as they are insisted on in the work of Joyce and Beckett, both writers in whose work, the question of Jewishness also bulks large.

In the work of Joyce in particular, feet, and various forms of footwear, are conspicuous bearers of cultural belonging and difference. Just as Freud begins by attempting to distance himself from the degenerate Jewish foot and its associations, Joyce defines his own deracinated, cosmopolitan avant-gardism against the counter-image of the Irish boot. More than any other item of footwear, the boot testifies to the slovenly indistinction of the subject and the subjacent ground it occupies. One early counter-image to the boot is found in the goloshes worn by Gabriel and Gretta Conroy to the Morkans’ Christmas party in `The Dead’ in Dubliners. The goloshes stand for Gabriel’s cultural aloofness, and refusal of assimilation to the nationalist cause and sensibility (Joyce 1993, 341). Gabriel’s fastidiousness with regard to the relation between his feet and the ground seems to have been shared by his author, who is known himself to have taken pride in the daintiness of his own feet and smart footwear. Richard Ellmann reproduces in his biography of Joyce a story told by Wyndham Lewis which, whether or not it is true in every detail, seems to provide a strikingly particularised commentary on the cultural-political meanings of feet, footwear and bodily posture in the Joyce circle. The story concerns a meeting in Paris in 1920 between Lewis, T.S. Eliot and Joyce. Eliot has been entrusted with a parcel for Joyce by Ezra Pound.

Joyce lay back in the stiff chair he had taken from behind him, crossed his leg, the lifted leg laid out horizontally upon the one in support like an artificial limb, an arm flung back over the summit of his sumptuous chair. He dangled negligently his straw hat, a regulation `boater’. We were on either side of the table, the visitors and ourselves, upon which stood the enigmatical parcel…James Joyce was by now attempting to untie the crafty housewifely knots of the cunning old Ezra…At last the strings were cut. A little gingerly Joyce unrolled the slovenly swaddlings of damp British brown paper in which the good-hearted American had packed up what he had put inside.

Thereupon…a fairly presentable pair of old brown shoes stood revealed, in the centre of the bourgeois French table…

James Joyce, exclaiming very faintly `Oh!’ looked up, and we all gazed at the old shoes for a moment. `Oh!’ I echoed and laughed, and Joyce left the shoes where they were, disclosed as the matrix of the disturbed leaves of the parcel. He turned away and sat down again, placing his left ankle upon his right knee, and squeezing, and then releasing, the horizontal limb. (quoted, Ellmann 1982, 493)

This narrative neatly condenses the repertoire of attitudes and postures relating to the foot with its miniature drama of offered and refused national origin. Lewis suspends Joyce awkwardly in mid-air, embarrassed by the grotesque vulgarity of the gift sent to him by Pound — himself, of course, like all the other figures present at the scene, a cultural exile — , which seems to embody all the feminine, maternal, vegetable claims of Ireland over Joyce. A curious verification of the chthonophobia, or distaste for the ground, revealed in this story is the peculiar, high-kicking dance — he calls it a pas de seul — which Joyce liked to perform on his birthday. The dance is alluded to in a letter to Viscount Carlo of 28 January 1939, a couple of days before what would prove to be Joyce’s last birthday (Joyce 1975, 395).

The claims of nation appear in a similar way in the `Proteus’ chapter of Ulysses, which shows Stephen Dedalus walking on Sandymount Strand and reflecting on the protean nature of perception, materiality and art. In `Proteus’, what is underfoot is the formless, clinging, female world of matter, which is to be transformed by the artist into meaning: `Signatures of all things I am here to read, seaspawn and seawrack, the nearing tide, that rusty boot’ (U, 31; 3:2-3). The boot is associated both with the insidious mutability of the sea and shifting sand, and with the philosophical and psychological bulwarks Stephen erects against mutability:

The grainy sand had gone from under his feet. His boots trod again a damp crackling mast, razorshells, squeaking pebbles, that on the unnumbered pebbles beats, wood sieved by the shipworm, lost Armada. Unwholesome sandflats waited to suck his treading soles, breathing upward sewage breath, a pocket of seaweed smouldered in seafire under a midden of men’s ashes. He coasted them, walking warily. (U, 34; 3:147-52)

Stephen feels the danger of engulfment throughout the chapter: `He stood suddenly, his feet beginning to sink slowly in the quaking soil…Turning, he scanned the shore south, his feet sinking again slowly in new sockets…He lifted his feet up from the suck and turned back’ (U, 37; 3:268, 270-1, 278-9). The engulfing agency is at once nation, mother, earth and history (`These heavy sands are language tide and wind have silted here’, thinks Stephen, U, 37; 3:288-9).

Waves and water signify a mingling of identity that fills Stephen with horror. `Their blood is in me, their lust my waves’ he thinks as he recalls the Danish founders of the city of Dublin (U, 38; 3:306-7). Water suggests not only personal extinction, but the interchange of identity: Stephen panics at the thought of being called upon to imitate his friend Buck Mulligan’s feat of saving a drowning man, since this seems to involve the necessity of a physical mingling: `Do you see the tide flowing quickly in on all sides, sheeting the lows of sand quickly, shellcocoacoloured? If I had land under my feet. I want his life still to be his, mine to be mine (U, 38; 3:326-8). But the watery instability of identity which is felt throughout this chapter begins to draw Stephen irresistibly into identification with other lives, other bloods. Among these are the cocklepickers whom Stephen sees wading into the sea and walking along the sand. Their seductive strangeness is concentrated for Stephen in their bare feet:

Shouldering their bags they trudged, the red Egyptians. His blued feet out of turnedup trousers slapped the clammy sand, a dull brick muffler strangling his unshaven neck. With woman steps she followed: the ruffian and his strolling mort. Spoils slung at her back. Loose sand and shellgrit crusted her bare feet. (U, 39; 3:370-4)

These generalised “Egyptians’, or gypsies, are members of a wandering race, whose diasporic multiplication of language and historical identities Stephen mimics in his interior monologue: `Across all the sands of the world…She trudges, schlepps, trains, drags, trascines her load….Tides, myriadislanded, within her, blood not mine’ (U, 40; 3:391-4). Significantly, Stephen’s reflections on their wandering seem to spring directly out of his memory of a premonitory dream he had the night before, a dream in which he is being invited into an Oriental house, perhaps a brothel, by a figure he comes to identify as the Jewish Bloom.

Perhaps one of the reasons for the importance of shoes in the imagination of identity in modernism consists in the fact that shoes are at once among the most intimately one’s own of any item of clothing, and yet are also separable from the body, and available for swapping, borrowing and substitution. `If I were in your shoes’, we say, not `If I were in your shirt’, or `If I were under your hat’. It is presumably this ambivalence which allows for the fetishistic investment in shoes. This sense of intimate estrangement or estranged intimacy affects Stephen particularly in the `Proteus’ chapter because the boots upon which he is relying to protect him from engulfment are not even his own, but borrowed from the mocking, threatening Buck Mulligan. As the chapter proceeds, the phallic petrifaction of identity concentrated in Stephen’s footwear begins to loosen:

His gaze brooded on his broadtoed boots, a buck’s castoffs, nebeneinander. He counted the creases of rucked leather wherein another’s foot had nested warm. The foot that beat the ground in tripudium, foot I dislove. But you were delighted when Esther Osvalt’s shoe went on you. Girl I knew in Paris. Tiens, quel petit pied! (U, 41; 3:446-50)

The boot that had earlier asserted its stiff self-sufficiency against a decomposing and transforming protean exterior is drawn into a series of substitutions and transformations, as Stephen playfully identifies himself with the previous occupant of the boots, and remembers with pleasure being able to wear the shoe of an acquaintance in Paris (as far as I know, this character has not been identified, though her name suggests the possibility that she is Jewish). At the end of the chapter, Stephen is mentally preparing his own journey, with `My cockle hat and hismy sandal shoon’, trekking, like the `Egyptians’ `to evening lands’ (U, 42; 3:487-8).

Leopold Bloom’s most extended encounter with the metamorphic powers of the foot takes place in the `Circe’ chapter of the novel, which finds Stephen and Bloom in a brothel in Dublin’s Tyrone Street. The extravagant sensual degradation of this chapter, which mimics the transformation of Odysseus’s crew into swine in the Odyssey, is prepared for in its opening pages through the motif of animal feet. Bloom, concerned that Stephen should have some food inside him to offset the effects of the alcohol he has consumed, goes into the pork butcher Olhausen’s to purchase a sheep’s trotter and a crubeen, or pig’s trotter. He is confronted by a vision of his suicide father `garbed in the long caftan of an elder in Zion’, and hides the crubeen and trotter guiltily behind his back as he recalls an earlier occasion of drunken humiliation, when challenged to a sprint by some members of a running club — `It was muddy. I slipped’ (U, 358; 15:277). This apparition gives way to that of Molly Bloom, dressed in Turkish garb, Bloom’s attention being drawn to her `jewelled toerings’ and ankles `linked by a slender fetterchain’ (U, 359; 15:312-13). Molly’s mockery — `Has poor little hubby cold feet waiting for so long?’ (U, 359; 15:307) — now seems to transfer Bloom’s uneasiness about the crubeen and sheep’s trotter to his own feet, as he indeed, as the stage direction tells us, `shifts from foot to foot’ (U, 359; 15:308). This brings about the first of a number of symbolic and actual prostrations for Bloom, the `poor old stick in the mud’, as Molly calls him, reminding him of the fiasco of the drunken sprint (U, 359; 15:329-30); Molly’s attendant camel, `lifting a foreleg, plucks from a tree a large mango fruit, offers it to his mistress, blinking, in his cloven hoof, then droops his head and, grunting, with uplifted neck, fumbles to kneel. Bloom stoops his back for leapfrog’ (U, 359; 15:320-3).

This prelude anticipates Bloom’s extended fantasy (if it is his own exactly, which is not certain) of masochistic subordination to Bella Cohen, the keeper of the brothel. Bloom’s swinish degradation involves him sinking to the ground to pay homage to the porcine hoof of Bella, now transformed into the gruffly masculine Bello. The feminisation of Bloom accords closely with turn-of-the-century stereotypes of the effeminate Jewish man, as Robert Byrnes has argued (1990), as does his anxious enjoyment of the `heel discipline in gym costume’ (U, 433; 15:2869-70) threatened by Bello. Bloom pays excessive and particularised homage to Bello’s shoe:

BLOOM: (murmurs lovingly) To be a shoefitter in Mansfield’s was my love’s young dream, the darling joys of sweet buttonhooking, to lace up crisscrossed to kneelength the dressy kid footwear satinlined, so incredibly impossibly small, of Clyde Road ladies. Even their wax model Raymonde I visited daily to admire her cobweb hose and stick of rhubarb toe, as worn in Paris. (U, 432; 15:2813-18)

Bello mocks Bloom for his sexual inadequacy — `What else are you good for, an impotent thing like you?’ (U, 441; 15:3127) — taunting him as a `lame duck’ (U, 442; 15:3149) and a `flatfoot’ (U, 442; 15:3176), and conjuring up the chaos wreaked in his home by the bestial seducers who s/he says have taken it over — `Their heelmarks will stamp the Brusselette carpet you bought at Wren’s auction’ (U, 443; 15:3183-4). Here the alleged sexual inadequacy of Bloom is strongly associated with the double power of the foot. Sunk to the condition of what lies underfoot, Bloom is neatly transformed into a quadruped, with hands serving as feet, by the agency of a phrase remembered from Eugen Sandow’s Physical Strength and How to Obtain It (a copy of which we know he owns):

BELLO: Down! (he taps her on the shoulder with his fan) Incline feet forward! Slide left foot one pace back! You will fall. You are falling. On the hands down! (U, 433; 15: 2846-9)

But if the foot is the mark of the abased, perverted, womanly man of anti-Semitic imagination, Bloom’s fetishistic investment of the foot also fills it with phallic authority. Like most other objects in the `Circe’ chapter, Bello’s hoof actually speaks, barking out `Smell my hot goathide. Feel my royal weight’ (U, 432; 2820) and `If you bungle, Handy Andy, I’ll kick your football for you’ (U, 432; 2824). In fact, the fetishising of the foot as the penis is part of the comic puncturing of masculinity which is celebrated throughout the sequence. For it is not only Bloom’s shapeshifting, foot-centred womanliness that is a masquerade, but masculinity itself.

The movement away from the modernist dream of disembodied, postterritorial flight in Joyce’s work takes the form of the acceptance of the foot’s alterity. Bloom’s ambivalent return, in the penultimate `Ithaca’ chapter of the novel, to his uncertain home is marked, among many other ceremonies of atonement and reconciliation, by the removal of his boots in the chapter. The ceremony of divestiture enacts the balanced relationship that Bloom seems to have achieved to his own body; looking with generous curiosity at `the creases, protuberances and salient points caused by foot pressure in the course of walking repeatedly in several different directions’, the contemporary Ulysses recalls the action of Penelope in her nocturnal unweaving of her tapestry as he `disnoded the laceknots, unhooked and unloosened the laces, took off each of his two boots for the second time’ (U, 584; 17:1483-4), seeming in the process to unloose himself from the tightlaced corsetry of fetishistic thought to which he has been subject in the `Circe’ chapter in the brothel. His olfactory autostimulation as he `picked at and gently lacerated the protruding part of the great toenail, raised the part lacerated to his nostrils and inhaled the odour of the quick, then, with satisfaction, threw away the lacerated ungual fragment’ (U, 585; 1488-91), nicely embodies the equilibrium of egoity and alterity attained by Bloom at the end of the day, as `a solitary (ipsorelative) mutable (aliorelative) man’ (U, 581; 1350).

The transferential drama of the Irishman (Joyce-Dedalus) who comes home through an identification with the Jewgreek (Bloom-Odysseus) accommodating himself to his domestic dispossession, is played out in the way in which Joyce first refuses, then slowly adjusts himself in Ulysses to the ignoble grounding of the self embodied in the foot. Very much more would need to be said than I have space for here about the subsequent effects of this adjustment in Finnegans Wake (1939), the book of the night, in which writing, working and walking are insistently interlaced (`I am treading this winepress alone’, Joyce wrote in 1937 – Joyce 1975, 385), and in which the restless somnambulism of feet, boots and shoes paces out the peregrinations of national and cultural identity. Against all the rooted readerly prejudices of what Joyce called the `terrafirmaite’ (Joyce 1950, 190), there is the Joyce-like figure of Shem, the `Irish emigrant the wrong way out…semisemitic serendipitist…Europasianised Afferyank’ (Joyce 1950, 191) with ‘not a foot to stand on` (Joyce 1950, 169). Indeed the very beginnings of the book are in a notebook which has become known, accidentally, but for my purposes providentially, through its first word, as the “Scribbledehobble’ notebook (Connolly 1961).
v. However Faint They Fall: Beckett’s Spectral Foot

Instead, I want to conclude this essay with a consideration of the way in which Joyce’s sometime disciple Samuel Beckett, who, we read, subjected himself to great discomfort by wearing his shoes a size too small in imitation of his dandiacal modernist master, inherits and extrapolates the modernist drama of the foot. The boots which stood queasily on the Parisian café table, their delivery refused as too gross a reminder of the Irish clay from which Joyce hoped, Dedalus-like, to have taken flight, are redirected into the work of Beckett. There they at first embody the obstinate refusal of every principle of transcendence but come to provide a complex grounding in the very experience of displacement itself.

For Beckett it is above (or really, I suppose, below) all the function of the foot to embody embodiedness itself, and the maladjustment of the self and its corporeal dimensions. Beckett’s loving and versatile interest in limping, spavined, toppling, and otherwise impaired modes of the peripatetic is apparent throughout his work. It is instanced for example in the marvellous description of the `headlong tardigrade’ motion of Watt in the novel that bears his name (Beckett 1963, 29). But it is nowhere better epitomised than in the meticulously chaotic analysis in Molloy (1950) of the confusingly transposed afflictions in Molloy’s two legs. If Molloy, like all of Beckett’s everyman-nomads, is a kind of Wandering Jew, an association which has been analysed by Rosette C. Lamont (1990), then this passage lifts the archetypal weakness of the Jewish foot and leg, as embodied perhaps in the condition of intermittent claudication analysed by Gilman, into a complete philosophical principle or way of (non)proceeding.

And now my progress, slow and painful at all times, was more so than ever, because of my short stiff leg, the same which I thought had long been as stiff as a leg could be, but damn the bit of it, for it was growing stiffer than ever, a thing I would not have thought possible, and at the same time shorter every day, but above all because of the other leg, supple hitherto and now growing rapidly stiff in its turn, but not yet shortening, unhappily. For when the two legs shorten at the same time, and at the same speed, then all is not lost, no. But when one shortens, and the other not, then you begin to be worried…Let us try to get this dilemma clear. Follow me carefully. The stiff leg hurt me, admittedly, I mean the old stiff leg, and it was the other which I normally used as a pivot, or prop. But now this latter, as a result of its stiffening, I suppose, and the ensuing commotion among nerves and sinews, was beginning to hurt me even more than the other. What a story, God send I don’t make a balls of it. For the old pain, do you follow me, I had got used to it, in a way, yes, in a kind of way. Whereas to the new pain, though of the same family exactly, I had not yet had time to adjust myself. (Beckett 1959, 77)

With its agonised hopping from foot to foot, and its scarcely-regulated rhythm of tottering antithesis, Molloy’s reasoning is indeed a scribbledehobble, in which writing and thinking are an iambic limp, or Freudian démarche, alternating progress and stasis: `Yes, my progress reduced me to stopping more and more often, it was the only way to progress, to stop….I hobble, listen, fall, rise, listen and hobble on’ (Bekcett 1959, 78). The ill-assorted feet and legs are a type of the argumentative twinnings or `pseudocouples’ of all kinds that throng Beckett’s work, whether in the form of characters (Mercier and Camier, Vladimir and Estragon, Hamm and Clov), or more abstract dualities (mind and body, French and English, speaker and hearer, torturer and victim). Molloy’s legs, and his manner of writing them, mark the disinclination to immunise art from the principles of abjection and decomposition that the feet, and especially the Irish and the Jewish feet, represent for modernism.

Whereas in the middle period of Beckett’s writing, the period of the Trilogy of novels and the first plays, the feet signify the recalcitrance of the moribund body, in later work, the feet are characterised by a spectral insubstantiality, and concentrate the sense of a perplexed relationship between the subject and the grounds of its cultural and historical belonging. This begins in fact with the famous boots of Estragon in Waiting for Godot (and in what follows, it may not be irrelevant to remember that Estragon was given the name `Levy’ in the early drafts of the play). In one sense, it could be said that Estragon’s boots are the simple symbolic opposite to Vladimir’s hat, since Estragon represents the unconscious appetites and impulses of the body as opposed to Vladimir’s anguished rationality. But the boots also dramatise the failure of continuity between the self and the spatial and temporal contexts that give it meaning. In Act 1 of Waiting for Godot, Estragon discards his boots because they are too tight. At the beginning of Act 2, Vladimir points triumphantly to the boots as proof that the two are in the very spot where they waited in vain for Godot the previous night:

ESTRAGON: They’re not mine.
VLADIMIR: [Stupefied.] Not yours!
ESTRAGON: Mine were black. These are brown.
VLADIMIR: You’re sure yours were black?
ESTRAGON: Well, they were a kind of grey.
VLADIMIR: And these are brown? Show.
ESTRAGON: [Picking up a boot.] Well, they’re a kind of green.(Beckett 1986, 60-1)

The audience’s certainty that they are indeed in the same place is undermined by Vladimir’s acknowledgement that the boots are indeed different. The interchange that follows has something of the asymmetrical gait of Molloy’s narrative:

VLADIMIR: It’s elementary. Someone came and took yours and left you his.
VLADIMIR: His were too tight for him, so he took yours.
ESTRAGON: But mine were too tight.
VLADIMIR: For you. Not for him. (Beckett 1986, 61)

There have been a number of suggestions that Beckett’s Trilogy and Waiting for Godot may derive from Beckett’s experience after his flight from Paris after its occupation and his undercover existence in the town of Roussillon in the Vichy quarter of France, still occasionally undertaking missions for the Resistance. The sense of uncertainty and danger attaching to Beckett’s own national identity may have helped enforce the sense of the parallel between his situation and that of his many Jewish friends, a number of whom, such as Paul Léon, and Alfred Péron, suffered deportation and were murdered in concentration camps. (I have heard of a story related by a friend of Beckett that Beckett wore the Star of David during his time in Paris as a mark of solidarity with Jewish friends required by the Germans to wear the symbol.) Leslie Hill has pointed to the importance of some of the names in Beckett’s writing of the forties — of the mysterious character Youdi in Molloy, for example, whose name is both an inversion of `Dieu’ and close to a French slang term for `Jew’, or the homicidal Lemuel, whose name identifies him not only with Swift’s Gulliver, but also with Beckett’s own Christian name, the Jewish provenance of which is signalled on Lemuel’s first appearance in Malone Dies: `My name is Lemuel, he said, though my parents were probably Aryan’ (Beckett 1959, 267). Leslie Hill (1990, 98-9, 107-11) has discussed other Judaic qualities of Beckett’s writing. And a peculiar addition to Beckett’s association with Jewishness may be provided by the fact that Joyce’s daughter Lucia, with whom Beckett had a disastrously unsuccessful affair when she was already suffering from the mental disturbance that was to develop into schizophrenia, came to believe that Beckett was `half Jewish’ (quoted, Hayman 1983, 76).

We may speculate with some confidence (or I can, anyway) that for Beckett, as for many other displaced or exiled modernist artists, Jewishness comes to epitomise displacement itself, the absence of the ground underfoot, in Jung’s phrase that I quoted earlier. Nowhere is this spectral as opposed to abject foot shown more starkly than in Beckett’s late play Footfalls (1976), which centres on a woman who paces up and down a narrow strip of light, while the audience hears her voice and that of an older woman, perhaps her mother, telling the story, perhaps her own, of a young girl for whom the intense but thwarted desire to `be there’ is expressed in walking, and the relation of the foot to the ground. As we watch `M’ walk up and down, the voice of ‘V’ addresses us:

V: I say the floor here, now bare, this strip of floor, once was carpeted, a deep pile. Till one night, while still little more than a child, she called her mother and said, Mother, this is not enough. The mother: Not enough? May — the child’s given name — May: Not enough. The mother: What do you mean, May, not enough, what can you possibly mean, May, not enough? May: I mean, Mother, that I must hear the feet, however faint they fall. The mother: The motion alone is not enough? May: No, Mother, the motion alone is not enough, I must hear the feet, however faint they fall. (Beckett 1986, 401)

Beckett’s spectral poetics of the foot anticipate the remarkable preoccupation with the foot in postmodern theory, most notably in Derrida’s pained exploration (1987b) of the themes of ownership, unbelonging and attribution played out through Meyer Schapiro’s remarks regarding Heidegger’s essay on Van Gogh’s paintings of peasant shoes. This exploration is taken further in Fredric Jameson’s nuanced lament for the loss of authentic modernist grounding as embodied in Van Gogh’s painting, at least as it is interpreted by Heidegger, and the ungrounded affectless pastiche of Andy Warhol’s Diamond Dust Shoes (Jameson 1992, 6-11)

For Derrida, the foot and the shoe that covers it is the sign of a failure of fit, or series of such failures: between the foot and the underfoot; the foot and its owner; the shoe and its pair; the shoe and its wearer; the image of the shoe and the shoe `itself': `a work like the shoe-picture exhibits what something lacks in order to be a work, it exhibits — in shoes — its lack of itself’ (Derrida 1987b, 298). Derrida’s stravaging, footloose meditation on Van Gogh, Heidegger, Freud and others throws up at one point a melancholy literalisation of the theme of dispossession, in an evocation of the shoes abandoned outside the gas chambers:

But an army of ghosts are demanding their shoes. Ghosts up in arms, an immense tide of deportees searching for their names…the bottomless memory of a dispossession, an expropriation, a despoilment. And there are tons of shoes piled up there, pairs mixed up and lost. (Derrida 1987b, 329-31)

Perhaps, however, these ghosts can never be satisfied, since it seems to have become the function of the foot and the shoe in our century to instance spectrality, dispossession, and failure to `be there’ themselves. It has not been my intention to imply the simple equivalence of the different experiences of exile, dispossession, and the loss of the ground of belonging enacted through the Jewish and the Irish writing of the foot. Rather it has been to see in the transmitted preoccupation with the foot between Jewish and Irish writing the shape of a transferential `ghosting’ of identity, which has no shared and palpable ground on which to take its stand, but still, in its faltering pas de deux, moving in and out of step, marks out in miraculous mid-air a kind of `under-standing’.


References to the following works are given parenthetically in my own text, following the Harvard or author-date system. The only exceptions to this format are references to Freud’s works in English in Standard Edition, and in German in the Gesammelte Schriften, as cited below, which are abbreviated to SE and GS, followed by volume and page number; and references to the Gabler edition of Joyce’s Ulysses , which are abbreviated to U, followed by page number, chapter and line number.

Bataille, Georges (1985). `The Big Toe.’ In Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939, trans. Allan Stoekl, Carl R. Lovitt and Donald M. Leslie, Jnr (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1985).

Beckett, Samuel (1959). Molloy. Malone Dies. The Unnamable. London: Calder and Boyars.
——————– (1963). Watt. London: Calder and Boyars.
——————– (1986). Complete Dramatic Works. London: Faber and Faber.

Bowlby, Rachel (1992). `One Foot in the Grave: Freud on Jensen’s Gradiva.’. In Still Crazy After All These Years: Women, Writing and Psychoanalysis (London: Routledge).

Byrnes, Robert (1990). `Bloom’s Sexual Tropes: Stigmata of the “Degenerate” Jew.’ James Joyce Quarterly, 27, 303-23.

Connolly, Thomas E., ed (1961). James Joyce’s ‘Scribbledehobble': The Ur-Workbook For `Finnegans Wake’. Chicago: Northwestern University Press.

Connor, Steven (1992). Theory and Cultural Value. Oxford: Blackwell.

Derrida, Jacques (1987a). `To Speculate – on “Freud”. ‘ In The Post Card: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1987).
——————– (1987b). `Restitutions of the Truth in Pointing.’ In The Truth in Painting, trans. Geoff Bennington and Ian MacLeod (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), pp. 255-382.

Ellmann, Richard (1982). James Joyce. 2nd edn. London: Faber and Faber.

Freud, Sigmund (1925). Der Wahn und die Träume in Jensens «Gradiva». Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. 9 (Leipzig, Wien, Zürich: Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag).
——————– (1953-73). The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. Trans. James Strachey. London: Hogarth Press.

Gilman, Sander (1991). The Jew’s Body. London: Routledge.
——————- (1993). The Case of Sigmund Freud: Medicine and Identity at the Fin de Siècle. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Griffith, Richard M. (1970). `Anthropodology: Man A-Foot.’ In The Philosophy of the Body: Rejections of Cartesian Dualism, ed. Stuart S. Spicker (Chicago: Quadrangle Books).

Hayman, David (1983). `Shadow Of His Mind: The Papers of Lucia Joyce.’ In Joyce at Texas, ed. David Oliphant and Thomas Zigal (Austin: Humanities Research Center).

Hill, Leslie. Beckett’s Fiction: In Different Words. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hofmann, Walter (n.d.). Lacht ihn tot! Ein tendenzi¸ ses Bilderbuch von Waldl. Dresden: Nationalsozialistischer Verlag für den Gau Sachsen.

Jameson, Fredric (1992). Postmodernism: Or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. London: Verso.

Joyce, James (1950). Finnegans Wake. London: Faber and Faber.
—————–(1975). Selected Letters of James Joyce. Ed. Richard Ellmann. London: Faber and Faber.
—————- (1986). Ulysses: The Corrected Text, ed. Hans Walter Gabler. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
—————- (1993). Dubliners. Ed. Hans Walter Gabler and Walter Hattche. New York and London: Garland.

Jung, C.G. (1970) `The Role of the Unconscious.’ In Collected Works, Vol. 10, Civilization in Transition. Trans. R.F.C. Hull. 2nd edn. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Lamont, Rosette C. (1990). `Samuel Beckett’s Wandering Jew.’ In Reflections of the Holocaust in Art and Literature, ed. Randolph L. Braham (Boulder: Social Science Monographs, 1990), pp. 35-53.

Panizza, Oskar (1991). The Operated Jew: Two Tales of Anti-Semitism. Trans. Jack Zipes. New York and London: Routledge.

Theweleit, Klaus (1987). Male Fantasies. Vol. 1: Women, Floods, Bodies, History. Trans. Stephen Conway, Erica Carter and Chris Turner. Cambridge: Polity Press.