James Joyce's Dubliners and Celtic Twilight spirituality

Sutcliffe, Joseph Andrew (2006) James Joyce's Dubliners and Celtic Twilight spirituality. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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My research is, as far as I am aware, the first reading of Dubliners as a specific and
profound engagement with the ideas of the Celtic Twilight school. The recurrence of
dreamlike states, such as ghostly visions and reverie, symbolizes aspects of an urban
petit-bourgeois Catholic Irishncss excluded by Revivalist propaganda. Joyce earths
popular notions of spirituality so that in their dreamlike states characters arc tantalized
by glimpses of an evanescent world. He shapes such experiences in relation to similar
moments in Celtic Twilight writing, delineating Dubliners' states of mind as an
implicit rebuke to mythic ideal and romantic versions of Irishness, and suggesting a
Dublin Otherworld to rival the one popularized by Yeats, A.E., Lady Gregory and
Synge. Joyce reacts, too, against George Moore's brand of faux Naturalism which
claims to present the 'real' Ireland in The Untilled Field.
Joyce's project involves parody of privileged Celtic Twilight genres such as
the fairy story, heroic legend, and folk song. The precise reactions in Dubliners
expose the distortions of the apparently authentic Celtic Revival, which, for all its
patriotism, is, ironically, unlrish since it is influenced by a genteel English sensibility.
Such parody is complex in terms of mood since the wit co-exists with delicate
psychological investigation and exploration of Dublin tribal consciousness.
Against fashionable opinion, Joyce, in Dubliners, reclaims the city of Dublin
as fit territory for literature and its citizens as capable of spiritual experience, however
complex and potentially compromised this spiritual state might be.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Supervisor's Name: Supervisor, not known
Date of Award: 2006
Depositing User: Ms Dawn Pike
Unique ID: glathesis:2006-5123
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2014 13:48
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2014 13:48
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/5123

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