Professor Andrew Hussey examines the massive impact that James Joyce’s self-proclaimed exile in Continental Europe, where he spent more than half his life, had upon his work.
The Irish cultural industries have in recent decades managed to turn James Joyce into a valuable tourist commodity – ‚a cash machine‘, ‚the nearest thing we’ve got to a literary leprechaun.‘ Joyce would surely have disapproved. „When the soul of man is born in this country,“ he wrote, „there are nets flung at it to hold it back from flight. You talk to me of nationality, language, religion. I shall try to fly by those nets.“ That is precisely what he did, leaving Ireland behind and living more than half his life across Continental Europe. As Anthony Burgess put it, „Out there in Europe the modernistic movement was stirring,“ and by placing himself in the cultural cross-currents of cities like Trieste, Rome, Zurich, Paris & Pola, where he experienced the early rumblings of Dada, Psychoanalysis, Futurism et al, Joyce became a part of an endlessly plural social and linguistic explosion, far removed from the monolithic oppressiveness of Ireland. Backed up by interviewees including Colm Tóibín, John McCourt and Liv Monaghan and illustrated by rich archive recordings, Andrew Hussey argues it was the deliberate rupture of leaving home – taking up „the only arms I know — silence, exile and cunning“ – that allowed Joyce to develop the necessary breadth of vision and literary skill to write his greatest works. The Dublin of Ulysses itself becomes, according to Tóibín, ‚a Cosmopolis… another great port city like Trieste.“ For Hussey, who has himself lived and worked as a writer in Paris for many years, Joyce was not only a great pathfinder, he also offers an inspiring trans-national vision of Europe and the world just at a time when borders are tightening and the darker shades of nationalism are once again looming large. (BBC)
Sie können die Sendung, die am 1.2.2023 in der Reihe „Seriously…“ lief, über die Seite der BBC nachhören oder als Audiodatei herunterladen.