James Joyce

Overview

James Joyce and his four major works are the subject of my dissertation. My thesis is that he consciously uses parallels with and allusions to the Judeo-Christian tradition to make his works an invitation to redemption for modern man. I focus principally on Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses with shorter discussion of Finnegans Wake. By fitting his cycle of works into the mythical and religious cycles of this tradition, Joyce creates a context for his seemingly parodied characters that...
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Overview

James Joyce and his four major works are the subject of my dissertation. My thesis is that he consciously uses parallels with and allusions to the Judeo-Christian tradition to make his works an invitation to redemption for modern man. I focus principally on Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses with shorter discussion of Finnegans Wake. By fitting his cycle of works into the mythical and religious cycles of this tradition, Joyce creates a context for his seemingly parodied characters that imbues them with a secular heroism. They become not subjects for derision or pity, but examples of the triumph of the human spirit. Read from this perspective, the characters in Dubliners can be seen as a tableau of idiosyncratic Biblical characters who stand ready to become something more but, like the Apostles, need to be imbued with the Holy Spirit---a role Joyce is delighted to play. Leopold Bloom in Ulysses emerges as an agent of that Spirit and Jesus-like wanders through the Dublinic world with the good news of the possibility of resurrection and redemption. Stephen Dedalus, who in Portrait goes through his own repeated but ultimately incomplete cycles of death, resurrection and rebirth, edges closer to redemption and salvation during Bloomsday in Ulysses. He may indeed be a parallel to Telemachus, as Joyce suggested, but he is also a parallel to Saul/Paul and perhaps the authors of the Gospels as well. Stephen's unfocused genius becomes increasingly refined as he walks with Bloom/Jesus through their Irish Jerusalem. Molly Bloom adds a coda in her soliloquy as she retells the message of "Revelations" from the perspective of a modern Mary Magdalene. Following this line of thought, Finnegans Wake becomes a retelling of the synoptic Gospels for modern man, dreamed and written perhaps by Stephen who, like Paul, has been converted by his encounter with the risen Lord (Bloom), from a decrier of what life seems to have become to a proclaimer of the good news of what life can be.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781244039162
  • Publisher: BiblioLabsII
  • Publication date: 9/11/2011
  • Pages: 188
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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