James Joyce

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James Joyce

  1. 1. James Joyce<br />1882-1941<br />
  2. 2. Biography<br />Born into new Catholic middle class<br />Family’s fortunes on the decline<br />Educated in Dublin by the Jesuits <br />1902-3 travels to Paris<br />1903 Mother dies<br />1904, June: Meets future wife, Nora Barnacle<br />1904, October: leaves Ireland for the continent<br />Trieste, Rome, Zurich, Paris<br />
  3. 3. Bio - continued<br />A war refugee: fled Paris before German occupation, arrived in Switzerland <br />Died on 13 January, 1941, 3 weeks after reaching Switzerland<br />
  4. 4. Joyce and Modernism<br />Joyce’s name is synonymous with modernist literature. <br />His fiction disrupted conventional expectations:<br />about narrative certainty, heroism, and religious faith<br />declining since the late nineteenth century, <br />offering instead a look at human consciousness in a world where grand cultural myths and systems of belief were breaking down.<br />Joyce substitutes “epiphany” in place of spiritual conviction and certitude,<br />a momentary flash of awareness, <br />a heightened personal experience, that revealed the ordinary in an extraordinary light. <br />Adapted from Christian doctrine, <br />the secular equivalent of a spiritual experience.<br />Gabriel Conroy’s realization of his own insignificance, <br />illustrate the fleeting intensity of such a moment. <br />
  5. 5. Modernist Influences<br />World War I (1914-1918)<br />Ezra Pound’s challenge: “Make it new”<br />The “Great Questioners”: Marx, Nietzsche, Darwin, Freud<br />An era of Revolution<br />Tsarist Russia becomes the Soviet Union<br />Irish “Easter Rising”<br />Fragmentation<br />Finding Order: myth, art<br />
  6. 6. The Dubliners<br />“In many ways Joyce invented Dublin, and those of us living there now have to live in it<br />according to his myopic lens.” <br />- Edward Barrington<br />Irish Ambassador to UK<br />opening remarks at James Joyce<br />Symposium, London, June 24, 2000<br />
  7. 7. The Dubliners<br />“I seriously believe that you will retard the course of civilization in Ireland by preventing the Irish people from having one good look at themselves in my nicely polished looking-glass.”<br />“I have written it for the most part in a style of scrupulous meanness.”<br />
  8. 8. Dubliners<br />A collection of 15 stories, written between 1903 and 1907<br />“My intention was to write a chapter of the moral history of my country and I chose Dublin for the scene because that city seemed to me the center of paralysis.” <br />“I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin, I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal.”<br />“I have tried to present it to the indifferent public under four of its aspects: childhood, adolescence, maturity and public life. The stories are arranged in this order.” <br />“I have written it for the most part in a style of scrupulous meanness.” <br />“What’s the matter with you is that you’re afraid to live. You and people like you. This city is suffering from hemiplegia [paralysis] of the will.”<br />
  9. 9. Narration<br />narrative point of view<br />first-person, third person<br />omniscient, limited<br />stream of consciousness, interior monologue<br />Transparent Minds:<br />psycho-narration<br />narrated monologue (indirect interior mon.)<br />quoted monologue (direct interior mon.)<br />
  10. 10. “The Dead”<br />Gabriel<br />Insecurity/Awkwardness<br />Defensivenessand overcompensation<br />Paralysis/“blindness”<br />Doesn’t immediately recognize his wife when he sees her on the stairs listening to the song.<br />Fear of Insignificance vs. feelings of superiority<br />Epiphany:<br />The pain of self-awareness<br />
  11. 11. Idealization of the Past<br />In his toast<br />Possible foreshadowing of his wife’s story?<br />Wife’s nostalgia at hearing the old song<br />He confronts her about it, is rebuffed and again he gets defensive<br />

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