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Joyce and Militarism

Greg Winston

Publication Year: 2012

Each of James Joyce's major works appeared in a year defined by armed conflict in Ireland or continental Europe: Dubliners in 1914 at the outbreak of the First World War; A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in the same year as the 1916 Easter Rising; Ulysses in February 1922, two months after the Anglo-Irish Treaty and a few months before the outbreak of the Irish Civil War; and Finnegans Wake in 1939, as Joyce complained that the German army's westward advances upstaged the novel's release.

In Joyce and Militarism, Greg Winston considers these masterworks in light of the longstanding shadows that military culture and ideology cast over the society in which the writer lived and wrote. The first book-length study of its kind, this articulate volume offers original and interesting insights into Joyce's response to the military presence in everything from education and athletics to prostitution and public space.

Published by: University Press of Florida

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-v


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pp. vii

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pp. ix-x

“Militarism” is a term used exactly once in the Joycean canon, in a letter to the publisher Grant Richards about one of the chief external forces in Joyce’s early career. “In his heart of hearts,” said Joyce of the printer who objected to Dubliners, “he is a militarist,” a term that has to be, like...

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pp. xi-xii

So many individuals and institutions, grand gestures and small kindnesses have supported this project that trying to remember them all risks the near certainty of omitting some. What follows, then, is merely a last, best attempt. First, thanks to everyone at the University Press of Florida, especially...

Abbreviations for Cited Works

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pp. xiii

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pp. 1-16

The painting Military Manoeuvres (1891) by Richard Thomas Moynan hangs in the National Gallery in Dublin. It depicts a group of around a dozen boys playing soldiers in the main street of a nineteenth-century Irish village. One wears boots, while the rest march barefoot in loose, ragtag formation...

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1. Joyce and Ideas of Militarism

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pp. 17-60

In the spring of 1906, James Joyce and Nora Barnacle, a year and a half out of Ireland, were adapting to their new life as exiles in Trieste. Their son Giorgio was born the previous summer, so to help make ends meet on Joyce’s modest salary—he earned £80 per year teaching English at the Scuola...

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2. Violent Exercise

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pp. 61-110

Athletics and militarism move in practical lockstep through Joyce’s fiction, occurring frequently in the contested arenas of cultural ideology and national identity. Joyce situates sports—of the British garrison and traditional Irish varieties—in definite and complex roles that play out most pointedly...

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3. Gorescarred Books

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pp. 111-154

At the start of Ulysses’s “Nestor” episode, Stephen leads the students of Mr. Deasy’s school through their ancient history lesson. The topical focus on this presumably typical morning is not the Golden Age of Pericles or the splendor that was Rome but the narrow and costly triumph of King...

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4. Domestic Forces

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pp. 155-188

Leopold Bloom’s lunchtime encounter with a squad of Dublin Metropolitan Police constables in “Lestrygonians” makes overt reference to some of the potential abuses and inherent dangers of police power. When Bloom walks past the officers just after their midday meal, he sees the constables as a...

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5. Barracks and Brothels

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pp. 189-235

One of the more striking transformations in Ulysses is that of Cissy Caffrey from suburban child-minder to Nighttown prostitute. When she appears in “Nausicaa,” the good sister minding younger brothers Tommy and Jacky on Sandymount Strand, the protean possibilities of the location are already...

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6. Reclamations

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pp. 236-258

In the summer of 1924 the Irish Senate, Seanad Éireann, turned to the business of determining the future of many former British Army facilities now in possession of the Irish Free State. The second hearing of the State Lands Bill featured a divisive debate over what to do with the new nation’s vast...

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pp. 259-262

Among the most memorable comments attributed to Joyce is that recalled by Jacques Benoist-Méchin to Richard Ellmann in 1956 concerning the unending critical conversation—and literary celebrity—Joyce hoped for Ulysses to generate. Joyce said to the French translator, “I’ve put in so many...


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pp. 263-274

Works Cited

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pp. 275-288


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pp. 289-299

E-ISBN-13: 9780813042565
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813042404

Page Count: 310
Illustrations: 2 b&w photos
Publication Year: 2012