James Joyce

The example of a real modern writer. Lawrence was considered not completely a modern narrator, because of some narrative techniques. James Joyce is absolutely the first modern writer.
The omniscient narrator disappears and new techniques, sth completely unique for the time, stated being used.
He was born in Dublin, which is not the only the birth place, but it was also an inspiration to him. It place a fundamental role, in fact all his novels are set in Dublin; one in particular “Dubliners”. Dublin is something more than a traditional setting, it plays another role. He also established a very important friendship with Svevo, who is another important author of the time. He establish an important collaboration for some works.
He became absolutely popular in 1914, with the publication of “Dubliners”. It is considered a masterpiece of the modern english literature, much more famous than “sons and lovers”. Dubliners is the first real modern novel, because it is the first novel where the omniscient narrator disappears. We have a first person narration. Joyce decides to introduce other techniques:
Psychological technique -> Introspection of human nature. He’s an author he doesn’t want to describe physically they characters, we don’t have events, but what we see is the interest of human introspection. This was absolutely revolutionary. That made the book very difficult to understand, it can create a feeling of confusion in the reader; but it's a new way to write a story.
Joyce uses the interior monologue, but introduces a new technique called EPIPHANY -> a sudden revelation, deriving from a banal situation and everyday action that can also become a spiritual manifestation. Epiphany will be a real clue on what is going to happen in the story, it will be used as a clue to understand what is going to happen to the characters, and the storyline of the book. We can call it revelation because is a clue to the reader to understand the plot.

stream of consciousness= the endless thoughts that characterises human beings.


It’s not a traditional novel. A collection of 15 short stories. Each story is about different character and different stories, bit the only thing they are from Dublin, which is the setting. Dublin is described not only from a point of view of an traditional city, but from the people: real Dubliners, ordinary, common people living in Dublin. Dublin is the main character of the novel.
Dublin is described from another point of view: Dublin has got a very negative reputation, it’s seen in a very negative way at the end. Joyce wants to give an idea of a Paralysed city -> the one of a city which is living 3 important crisis:
A political paralysis: Dublin is seen as a city which is submitted to Great Britain (domination of British ppl on Irish)
Cultural crisis: derives form the fact that Irish literature has always been considered less important than the other. It has never played an important role in worldwide literature.
Spiritual crisis: loss of values for the fact that Irish people were becoming more and more pessimistic about life because of the war and the cultural crisis.
According to Joyce, Irish people don’t want to react, to overcome this situation, they are paralysed and they want to live like that. There is no reaction and desire to change the situation. They don’t react, like a sort of paralysis it’s like feeling depress they don't desire to change their lives. There is not a chronological order throughout the story. There are 15 stories

Eveline-> the first image of a modern woman. She’s a dubliner, who lives a very miserable life; is considered sad, disappointed for one reason: she wants to become independent, she wants to change her life, but she’s paralysed (she’s not able to change against her mother and father will) 19 years old girl. She lives with her father, her mother died, so her life can be consider absolutely sad. Whats she has to do is to take care of her father, she has to give all her salary to him . She is very frustrated, what she wants to do is to chance. She is not an unlucky girl, she is not so pessimistic. Her possibility has a name: Frank> He asks to move to Argentina to live with him; he offers her an escape, to change her life, to go away from a family who is not so good. Her father never says thank you to Eveline, he doesn’t let Eveline live a right life. Her dad made her feel guilty, that’s what makes him a negative character, apart from being violent and not taking care about her.
Paul (the protagonist of “Sons and Lovers”) and Eveline have a lot of things in common. When Eveline is decisive to go away, she remembers the her mother promised her “to keep her family together” she feels responsible, the only one who is able to make the other happy. She is an educated girl. She is paralysed, also in a physical point of view.

Music always play an important role in every story of James Joyce. Music sometimes make an epiphany. Music is strictly connected to Irish culture.

The Dead

The final story of Dubliners. A sort of masterpiece of modern literature. The themes, the use of epiphanies are really important and very effective. Gabriel, the protagonist, can be seen as an embodiment of James Joyce fro the relationship that he has with his wife. many people think that Gabriel and Gretta can be seen a representation of James Joyce and his wife. For some aspects it was a happy relationship.
The text can be divided into 3 parts:
The Christmas party: Gabriel and Gretta are invited at a party which is at Christmas time and considered an important event for Irish people (the love Christmas) they are used to organise both before and after he holiday. Everybody seems happy, talking about everything. But at a certain part of the party, something takes place.
A song starts: Irish melody, some of people started dancing. Gretta can’t move, she reminds her Michael a lover of her when she was very young. She starts thinking too much about him, but Michael died maybe for her. They loved each other, she started to felling anxious, melancholic, but more in particular paralysed. When the come back home….
The night: she won’t be able to react, to go upstairs and that song keeps going on her mind. She doesn’t want to tell how she feels. He is worried. At night he will feel disappointed, angry about her but he doesn’t speak. It starts snow, the real final part of the story, a magic moment. The snow that covers Dublin, remembering Eliot (the waste land). They are both on the bed, she reveals to him her lover Michael.
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