By Alan W. Friedman, Charles Rossman
In contrast to many contemporary Joyce stories, De-familiarizing Readings eschews the theoretical and ideological and as a substitute crops itself on less attackable floor. Its seven notable Joyce students percentage a love of the "stuff" of texts, contexts, and intertexts: facts and dates, meals and garments, letters and journals, literary allusions, and different quotidian desiderata. Their inductive methods - no matter if to Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist, Ulysses, or Finnegans Wake - are completely researched, argued with meticulous, even nit-picking, precision, and supply the gratifying examining adventure of forensic research. And finally they supply the delight of attaining persuasive conclusions that appear either awesome and inevitable
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Extra info for De-familiarizing readings : essays from the Austin Joyce conference
In this part of the story, Molly Ivors resembles an Uncle Tom character, defending the virtue of her nationality. While the tenor’s song would normally appear at this part in the minstrel show, Bartell D’Arcy’s song is delayed (due to his laryngitis) until Part III; instead, the dinner guests talk about famous Irish tenors. In Part III, demarcated again by ellipses, the Joyce “minstrel show” continues into the Afterpiece, including the slapstick of Gabriel’s pacing in a circle as Johnny the horse.
The easiest piece of the whole novel to date with certainty is the Christmas dinner scene in the first chapter. The first Christmas after the death of Charles Stewart Parnell, the dinner famously turns into a bitter debate focused on Parnell and featuring especially Stephen’s father and his aunt Dante. Parnell’s death happened in October 1891; hence, the date of the Christmas dinner scene must be 25 December 1891. But we can also go back a little and date the first of the two long scenes set at young Stephen’s boarding school, Clongowes Wood College.
It might seem surprising that Joyce left these in such an untidy state, given his usual fastidiousness, but it appears that by this stage he was transferring his attention from A Portrait to Ulysses. He still exerted himself enough to make sure that A Portrait meshes naturalistically with Ulysses, however. He was completing A Portrait and planning the early episodes of Ulysses around the same time, in the middle of 1914. 41 So, although A Portrait seems to cover a period of almost twenty years, it would be more accurate to say that, after the one-and-a-half page “overture,” it actually covers only about eleven years, from late 1891 to early 1903.
De-familiarizing readings : essays from the Austin Joyce conference by Alan W. Friedman, Charles Rossman
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