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تاريخ التسجيل : 21/02/2012

مُساهمةموضوع: good subject   الإثنين مارس 26, 2012 1:27 pm

Dubliners is James Joyce’s first book – a collection of short stories. It was finally published (after much brou-haha) in 1914. Publishers balked (especially in Ireland) at the frank portrait of Dublin – with its prostitutes, its fake piety, its aimless wandering young men … I mean, all of that, yes – was very shocking at the time. But I think there was more to the reaction than just rigidity and prudery. Obviously, Joyce touched a nerve. Joyce was telling the truth, as he saw it, about his own country. I think it might have been seen as a betrayal in some circles. Not like he was LYING, no – quite the opposite. They were mad at him for telling the truth. It made them look bad. It was not, shall we say, a flattering portrait. Of course I have my own opinion about that. James Joyce’s feelings about Ireland were complex and contradictory. He loved it, it was his homeland – he could never write about anything else – even when he had been living in exile for 20 years – it was to Ireland his mind constantly went in his work. But he could never live there. It was the most suffocating place for him imaginable. So he was not forgiven for choosing to de-camp. Not at that time. I love that Joyce is so honored now, and that Ireland has decided to be proud of their wayward son – but they ran him out of town on a rail back in the early years of the 20th century. He aired the dirty laundry of the “family” out in public. They hated him for it. It’s like the reaction today when any African American dares to say that maybe (just maybe) the problems of their community SOMETIMES start from WITHIN the community. Maybe not EVERYTHING can be blamed on slavery. Maybe they need to look WITHIN. Now a white person can never say these things – but watch the reaction when a black person says something like that. These people are pilloried. Shrieking ravens of outrage fly up into the air, blacking out the sun. I see it as a similar reaction to Joyce’s writing from the Irish back then, it’s not a: “Hey you, stop LYING” reaction. It’s a “Hey you, stop telling the TRUTH and making us look bad to outsiders!” reaction. It’s understandable, I’m not sayiing I don’t understand the reaction. There’s a sense that a persecuted group needs to stick together, remain united You can see it in the gay community too sometimes – a need for uniformity. Women, too. Etc. There is nothing new under the sun. There have been identity politics at every time in history – it’s just now that we have more official names for it. Groups need to stick together, the rank and file all must agree on the rules, and nobody can break the rules. Well, James Joyce broke the rules. He aired the Irish dirty laundry (literally) in public. George Bernard Shaw said, after reading Ulysses – which shocked and disgusted him, “If a man holds up a mirror to your nature and shows you that it needs washing — not whitewashing — it is no use breaking the mirror. Go for soap and water.”
Well. Obviously that is a rare response. Most people – when shown a mirror and told, “You suck” – will fight back. And that’s what happened to Joyce. He told the truth, and, as per usual with truthtellers, was not congratulated for it.
He left Ireland in 1904 – fleeing with his lover, Nora – leaving scandal and debt behind him. They settled down eventually in Trieste. Joyce had been publishing things here and there, he already had powerful allies like Yeats – who helped him out, thought there really was something special in his writing. But publishers still balked. If you read Dubliners all the way through – and try to put yourself back in 1908, 1909 – and imagine reading it then – put it in the context of its time – you can see what a shocking book it must have been. I have more to say about that, but I’ll do it later. Anyway, Dubliners finally was published in 1914.
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good subject
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