This essay examines the formative influence on the young Joyce of James Clarence Mangan, and his shaping of Joyce’s relationship with the Irish tradition. Mangan’s posthumous promotion as Ireland’s ‘national poet’ invested that writer with the aura of the poète maudit, while implicitly confirming Ireland and Irishness as the limiting horizons of his work. Joyce engages sympathetically with Mangan while signalling his intention to pull away from the nationalist tradition he represents. In his poetry, Joyce does this most memorably in verse satires such as ‘Gas from a Burner’ and ‘The Holy Office’. I consider the relationship of the satirical poems to the lyrics of Chamber Music and Pomes Penyeach, and the thematic centrality (shared with Mangan) of betrayal and succession. The essay ends with a brief consideration of the influence of Joycean poetics on contemporary writers, from Thomas Kinsella to Justin Quinn.


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