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Hegel (and Wagner) in James Joyce's "Drama and Life"


"Drama and Life," James Joyce's 1900 address to University College Dublin's Literary and Historical Society, can be said to be influenced by Hegel in two ways. Firstly, "Drama and Life" draws heavily on Richard Wagner's Hegelian essay "The Art-Work of the Future"(1849). Secondly, "Drama and Life" carries forward a definition of drama in Joyce's 1899 essay "Royal Hibernian Academy 'Ecce Homo' " that Joyce might have derived from Hegel's Aesthetics. Whether Joyce's understanding of drama in "Drama and Life" can be related either directly back to Hegel or indirectly to Hegel through Wagner remains a matter of critical controversy.

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