Author(s): Chris McCabe
Fiction | 2019 Republic of Consciousness Prize long list | 2019 Republic of Consciousness short list
Description: Friday 17th June 1904. Stephen Dedalus awakes in a Dublin Martello tower, hungover but with winnings in the pocket of his borrowed trousers. Dedalus goes about his day. Settling scores and debts. Pursued by the ghosts of his mother, Hamlet, and now a man called Leopold Bloom who has woken up with plans for him.
Chris McCabe playfully reclaims the inventive spirit of the founding text of Modernism; Ulysses. Tracing the same structure as the original, McCabe describes the events of the following day, 17th June 1904. Stephen Dedalus wakes up, hungover, with scores and debts to settle, unaware that Leopold Bloom is waking up in Eccles street with his own plans for him.
Chris McCabe fortunately has the talent to match his chutzpah and, in dismantling and reassembling Joyce’s novel, he has created a complex and original work of fiction that is much more than pastiche.
David Collard, Literary Review
Dedalus is shot through with cut and paste disruptions from the Digital Age. From ’80s Text Adventure gaming to Google maps and pop-ups. McCabe picks up the tradition of Laurence Sterne and B.S. Johnson, underpinning the paragraphs of his storytelling with concrete poetry.
This novel is haunted (by Hamlet). This novel has a subconscious. This novel has therapy. This novel gives right of reply to Joyce’s self-portrait and questions the foundations of narrative storytelling. This truly is a hotly anticipated moment in Fiction.
Friday’s children would be fattening like seals across the sand, on their way to class. Black liquorice teeth. Loving and giving under the whalefeed of the clouds. He had to teach.