Empire and Pilgrimage in Conrad and Joyce

Empire and Pilgrimage in Conrad and Joyce

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University Press of Florida

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Empire and Pilgrimage in Conrad and Joyce

"Original and significant. This book shows us how Conrad and Joyce manipulate representations of imperialist belief in the sacred to indict Western culture for its racist colonization. This striking reading of modernism emphasizes Conrad's and Joyce's use of chaos in general and pilgrimage in particular in terms of mapmaking, racial denigration, and strategies of power. Szczeszak-Brewer makes spectacular connections between sacred language, nation building, and literary representation."--Georgia Johnston, author of The Formation of Twentieth-Century Queer Autobiography


Though they were born a generation apart, Joseph Conrad and James Joyce shared similar life experiences and similar literary preoccupations. Both left their home countries at a relatively young age and remained lifelong expatriates.

Empire and Pilgrimage in Conrad and Joyce offers a fresh look at these two modernist writers, revealing how their rejection of organized religion and the colonial presence in their native countries allowed them to destabilize traditional notions of power, colonialism, and individual freedom in their texts. Throughout, Agata Szczeszak-Brewer ably demonstrates the ways in which these authors grapple with the same issues--the grand narrative, paralysis, hegemonic practices, the individual's pilgrimage toward unencumbered self-definition--within the rigid bounds of imperial ideologies and myths. The result is an engaging and enlightening investigation of the writings of Conrad and Joyce and of the larger literary movement to which they belonged.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813035390
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Publication date: 12/12/2010
Series: Florida James Joyce Series
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

Part I Cosmogony

1 Cosmogony and Colonialism: Charting Non-Places 17

2 False Gods of Imperialism in Conrad 28

3 "A free lay church in a free lay state": From the Cosmogonic Discourse to Sacred Secularism in Joyce's Imagined Community 53

Part II Pilgrimage

4 Tenuous Itineraries 87

5 "Circles, circles, circles": Conrad's Pilgrimage 98

6 Teleology without a Telos? Constitutive Absence in Joyce's Pilgrimage 118

Conclusion 149

Notes 169

Bibliography 179

Index 187

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