Cultivating Peripheral Vision: Ralph Ellison, James Joyce and the Fight of the Century


  • Kasia Boddy


In 1971 Ralph Ellison reminded writers to ‘keep a sharp eye’ on what was going on in the ‘unintellectualized areas of our experience’. Since then cultural studies has developed ‘peripheral vision’ to some extent, but it continues to neglect sport. This article makes the case for paying proper attention to sport, and in particular, the career of Jack Johnson by discussing the significance of his 1910 fight against Jim Jeffries for Ellison's Invisible Man (1952) and James Joyce's Ulysses (1922).