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Irish origin, European vocation

In the last decade of 19th century had begun an Anglo-Irish revival. There was a renewed interest in popular poetry written in Gaelic. The Irish Literary Society and the Gaelic League intended to encourage the teachings of Gaelic and the writing of works in Gaelic.

Joyce rejected the idea of writing in Gaelic, his writings should be translated. He should not created any original models.

The only way open to him was to became a cosmopolitan exile and to avoid falling into the trap of provincialism.

He turned Europe for inspiration.

Dante was a model for his condition of exile.

He had learnt from Maupassant to write short stories capturing slices of life.

Joyce absorbed from the French naturalists the scientific method of work.

Total disappearance of the narrator.

The symbolists maintained that artistic creation must be liberated from any other purpose except the realisation of its existence. The artist is the only one who can decode the mystery of the universe by the only possible instrument: symbol.

Epiphany: revelation of the inside truth, it's the intuition of something underneath the appearance of the ordinary things. The artist contacts truth by means of symbols. The artist must see the life in all its aspects with detachment and impersonally.


Paralysis = incapacità della società di reagire, a causa del contrasto con religion, nationality, language, policy.

Dublin as the centre of paralysis.

Joyce pay attention to the verisimilitude of the details.

Dublin was not only a physical place, it's a place of mind.

Self-restraint = tenersi le cose dentro.


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