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The Strong Spirit: History, Politics and Aesthetics in the Writings of James Joyce 1898-1915 (Hardback)
  • The Strong Spirit: History, Politics and Aesthetics in the Writings of James Joyce 1898-1915 (Hardback)
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The Strong Spirit: History, Politics and Aesthetics in the Writings of James Joyce 1898-1915 (Hardback)

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£65.00
Hardback 288 Pages / Published: 28/02/2013
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Scholarly accounts of Joyce's early work have traditionally resorted to two historical keys to try to unlock it: a concept of the Dublin and Ireland in which he grew to adulthood as stagnant and backward, and an emphasis on 1904, the year of the supposedly crucial break in which Joyce quit Ireland for continental Europe and could begin his great modernist literary project. But modernist or no, Joyce's works are always about Ireland, and he remained vitally in touch with Irish historical developments throughout his life. This study aims to be the first comprehensive historicisation of Joyce's writings 1898-1915 in relation to the distinct phases and shifting currents of British-Irish history during the period. At the turn of the century, when a concept of 'national resurgence' is much in the Irish air, in his earliest essays, Joyce meditates on art as an anti-colonial and emancipatory project that addresses questions of freedom and justice in its own distinctive way. His early essays produce a compelling declaration of a principle of autonomy at a specific historical moment in a colonial culture. However, successive historical events - the crises surrounding the Land Act, the United Irish League and Devolution, the election of 1906, the Third Home Rule Bill crisis - call the emancipatory project ever more sharply into question. Thus 'the strong spirit' which Joyce had initially thought might transcend and even conquer the effects of history becomes indissolubly wedded to radical historical scepticism. Through Dubliners, Stephen Hero, the 'Triestine Writings' and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man to Exiles, Joyce responds to his predicament by examining recent Irish history and the place of the intellectual and artist within it in a variety of extremely subtle and complex or, in Joycean terms, 'labyrinthine' forms of writing.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199642502
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 472 g
Dimensions: 146 x 223 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
We are lucky to find so many such experts gathered here; the volumes depth and learnedness across a wide range of topics is the happy result. * A. E. B. Coldiron, Sharp News *
Gibson's book delivers what it promises ... The Strong Spirit is essential reading if you're interested in the nationalist context in which Joyce began writing. * Geert Lernout, James Joyce Broadsheet *
The Strong Spirit provides a compelling intellectual portrait of Joyce as he attempts to become "the artist of an emergent culture". * Sarah Davison, The Times Literary Supplement. *
This is a much-needed intervention into thinking about Joyce's politics, and no Joycean, or scholar of Irish studies generally, should neglect it ... Essential. * J.M. Utell, CHOICE *
Gibson treats both Joyce and the history of the nation of his birth with great precision and understanding ... A work of exemplary scholarship, The Strong Spirit will be read with great interest by Joyceans and students of Irish literature, but should prove no less rewarding to anyone with an interest in how literature and history intersect. * Steven Morrison, SHARP News *

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