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Memory Ireland Volume 4

James Joyce and Cultural Memory

edited by Oona Frawley and Katherine O'Callaghan

Publication Year: 2014

In the fourth and final volume of the Memory Ireland series, Frawley and O’Callaghan explore the manifestations and values of cultural memory in Joyce’s Ireland, both real and imagined. An exemplary author to consider in relation to questions of how it is that history is remembered and recycled, Joyce creates characters that confront particularly the fraught relationship between the individual and the historical past; the crisis of colonial history in relation to the colonized state; and the relationship between the individual’s memory of his or her own past and the past of the broader culture. The collection includes leading Joyce scholars including Luke Gibbons, Vincent Cheng, and Declan Kiberd and considers such topics as Jewish memory in Ulysses, history and memory in Finnegans Wake, and Joyce and the Bible.

Published by: Syracuse University Press

Front Flap, Title Page, Other Works in the Series, Copyright

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pp. i-v


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pp. vi-vii

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pp. viii-xi

...what began as the concept for a one- or perhaps two-volume project grew into something with a far greater reach and stretch than I ever imagined. This far more extensive project is the result of the contributions of the sixty authors who committed their research to...


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pp. xii-xvi

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Introduction: James Joyce, Cultural Memory, and Irish Studies


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pp. 1-9

...collective, Joyce’s works function as narratives of the gigantic, in Susan Stewart’s phrase (Stewart 1994), that have consumed not just the particular periods in which they are set, not only whole swathes of Irish history and culture, but have come to function as digestives of world histories, languages, cultures: so that what we confront is the notion of the book-as-world. Joyce scholars are used to considering this state of affairs...

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1. Amnesia, Forgetting, and the Nation in James Joyce’s Ulysses


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pp. 10-26

...childhood, of the attractions, even the desirability, of forgetting. Indeed, in my teens and twenties, I used to regularly experience what I grew to call “amnesia fantasies”: wish-fulfi llment fantasies in which I imagined myself suffering from amnesia and having no idea who I was. In that condition, I could be unburdened of my own troubles and free to move on. I suspect I am not alone in having had such...

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2. History and Trauma in Joyce’s Ulysses


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pp. 27-45

...first sustained and forceful case for Joyce as a national writer appeared, when the Irish poet Thomas Kinsella delivered his paper “The Irish Writer” at the 1967 Modern Language Association’s annual convention. Kinsella’s essay is remarkable in many ways, not only for its declaration that Joyce is the true beginning of the modern Irish literary tradition, “the first major Irish voice to speak for...

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3. “I think he died for me” Memory and Ethics in “The Dead”


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pp. 46-61

...at Christmas 1903 or New Year’s 1904. In effect, this pivotal narrative that culminates Joyce’s first foray into fi ction is poised on the threshold of that year, 1904, which had such a resonant symbolism for the author. Yet, despite this concentration on the present and the living traditions of the city, “The Dead” is above all a narrative about memory and the way in which history survives as spectral trace in the topography of...

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4. A Bloomsday Seder, Joyce and Jewish Memory


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pp. 62-78

...reach it either. But the story of Israelites escaping Egypt and journeying through the wilderness nevertheless remains at the core of Ulysses and its meditation on the birth of the Irish nation. Joyce saw how the parallel with Jews had been inadequately applied by other Irish writers, and he reenergizes the now-stale political trope by attending to its complexities and by reading it back through a Jewish lens. “Jews and...

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5. “Fabled by the daughters of memory” Roger Casement, James Joyce,and the Irish Nationalist Hero


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pp. 79-94

...treason in August 1916 after a failed attempt to secure German arms and recruit Irish POWs to aid the Easter Rising in Ireland—is undoubtedly a figure of complex personal and political identities. Stripped of his knighthood on June 30, 1916, immediately following his conviction of high treason, Casement had enjoyed a significant career in the British consular service. His report detailing atrocities in the Belgian...

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6. Joyce’s “treeless hills” Deforestation and Its Cultural Resonances


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pp. 95-111

...infertile land of the west of Ireland, defi ned by what it lacks, bears in its geography the scars of its past. The “treeless hills” (D 225) of Gabriel Conroy’s dreamscape represent the absent presence of the ancient forests that had covered the land, and that are now lost but long-lamented in Irish ballads, poetry, and cultural memory. The bleakness...

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7. “Now, just wash and brush up your memoirias” Nation Building, the Historical Record, and Cultural Memory in Finnegans Wake 3.3


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pp. 112-124

...become central. In part, this turn toward “history” has been philosophical. Less concerned with Joyce as a historical subject, the American academy in the 1980s and early 1990s produced a Joyce engaged with the subject of history—that is with history as historiography. Such critics as Robert Spoo and James Fairhall, then, constructed...

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8. Ghosts through Absence


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pp. 125-144

...To bear witness to the past is to comprehend its spectral repetition in the present. Indeed, even if acts of historical retrieval are intended to serve also as gestures of psychic restitution, the net effect of such reiterative reworkings of history is a repetition of the same in nightmarish, spectral...

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9. Old Testaments and New


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pp. 145-156

...What fascinated him was the audacity with which the gospel authors cannibalized and rewrote the Old Testament, much as he would reconfi gure earlier classics, making Ulysses both their fulfilment and itself an open, prophetic book...

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10. Weaving the Wind Joyce’s Uses and Abuses of Memory


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pp. 157-171

...and memory, Joyce’s apparent monism is belied by the considerably more nuanced treatment of this theme in his writings. While he may have championed Giambattista Vico’s belief that the artist’s imagination is essentially a reworking of memory, it does not follow that mastering one’s powers of recall is always sufficient in controlling one’s creative material. As the...

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11. Commemorating Ulysses, the Bloomsday Centenary, and the Irish Citizenship Referendum


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pp. 172-186

...and cultural commentators in Ireland today, Harrington and Doyle implicitly link the memory of James Joyce with an ideal of Irish cosmopolitanism and open-mindedness that they perceive to be increasingly under threat. Bisi Adigun, for instance, the Nigerian-Irish choreographer of the Bloomsday Centenary’s “Parable of the Plums” street theater performance...

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12. “Old Haunts” Joyce, the Republic, and Photographic Memory


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pp. 187-204

...“is the fact that everyone in this Dublin story, every human being, accepts as a matter of course, as a thing in nature like the sky and the sea, that the English are to be hated.” There are no hints of moderation or Home Rule, “an absolute absence of the idea of a discussed settlement”: “It is just hate, a cant cultivated to the pitch of monomania, an ungenerous violent direction of the mind. That is the political atmosphere in which...

Works Cited

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pp. 205-220


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pp. 221-226


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pp. 227-234

Back Flap, Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780815652656
E-ISBN-10: 0815652658
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815633525
Print-ISBN-10: 0815633521

Page Count: 376
Publication Year: 2014