James Joyce: Dubliners e Ulysses

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JAMES JOYCE: DUBLINERS E ULYSSES

Letteratura inglese: James Joyce.

James Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writes in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century. In this sense, he rejected older types of novels, full of conservatives values and extreme realism, and he felt the strong need to reflect on the complexity of the human mind working and the apparent irrationality of modern urban life.
Thought most of his adult life was spent abroad, Joyce’s fictional universe does not extend beyond Dublin: it is populated by characters who resemble family members, enemies and friends from his time.

James Joyce: riassunto della vita e opere


DUBLINERS: RIASSUNTO IN INGLESSE

Dubliners.  Joyce’s first great portrait of Dublin life came with Dubliners, a collection of 15 short stories. It is a penetrating depiction of the stagnation and paralysis of the Irish middle class life in and around Dublin, presented in four stages: childhood, adolescence, maturity and public life.

Characters accept their condition because they are not aware of it. All Dubliners are spiritually weak people, they are slaves of their  familiar, moral, cultural, religious and political life. The hearth of the whole collection is the revelation of the paralysis to its victims, and the failure to find a way out of it.
The peculiar technique used is the epiphany, coined by Joyce himself: it is a sudden revelation of a strong reality caused by a trivial gesture, an external object or a banal situation. According to his task to reproduce the deep and hidden meaning of the life, the epiphany represents the key of the story itself.
Each story is told from the prospective of a character and so the interior monologue is widely used: it is the presentation of protagonist’s thoughts without any interfering agency. Thanks to it, readers acquire direct knowledge of who was speaking.
Linguistic register is varied: it suits the age, the social class and the role of the characters.

James Joyce: opere principali


JAMES JOYCE: ULYSSES

Ulysses. Joyce probably owes its fame to his best known masterpiece, Ulysses. It chronicles the events of an ordinary life of an advertising agent, Leopold Bloom, in a single day, seen from the inside of the character’s mind.
Ulysses is closely modeled on the Homer’s Odyssey. The 24 hours of Bloom’s day correspond to the 24 books of the classical epic. The novel’s 18 episodes (or chapters) correspond to as many incidents in Homer. So all the story have an allegorical sense and every character represent an Odyssey’s character: Leopold Bloom is a modern Ulysses, a common man living in Dublin. His travelling is compressed into a single day in a modern town and his adventures are the events of everyday life. Molly, Bloom’s wife, is Penelope, even if less faithful than the original. Stephen Dedalus is Telemachus, even if he isn’t in the search of a father, but Leopold sees in him the soon he had lost. Their relationship is typical of the lack of passion and strong family ties of modern life. Thus the ancient epic is ironically played against the modern world to stress the lack of heroism, of ideals, of love and trust.