The Socialism of James Joyce

James Joyce

Today marks 80 years since James Joyce’s death. Joyce’s flirtation with organized socialist politics was brief, but he continued to find inspiration in socialist texts throughout his life.

By Donal Fallon | Jacobin

Ulysses is a book in which everything happens and nothing happens. The story of a day in the life of a city — the Hibernian metropolis, as James Joyce saw Dublin — is a journey in a rambling flow of consciousness, where the very serious political issues of the day (the book is set on June 16, 1904) wrestle for space with the mundanities and excitement of the lives of his characters. Speaking of his appreciation for the book, Jeremy Corbyn noted how “Joyce references and richly describes what’s happening in the street. So somebody is holding forth about a big political issue and then the refuse cart goes by.” Edna O’Brien, one of Joyce’s finest biographers, has rightly maintained that “no other writer so effulgently and so ravenously recreated a city.”

Joyce is now eighty years dead, and yet his reputation as a writer whose work is difficult, even daunting to approach, remains. Anthony Burgess would insist that “If ever there was a writer for the people, Joyce was that writer,” yet others saw only pretension and inaccessibility in Joyce’s work, not least Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. Continue reading

Albert Camus’ The Plague: Not about heroism – but about decency

“In January 1941, the twenty-eight year old French writer Albert Camus began work on a novel about a virus that spreads uncontrollably from animals to humans and ends up destroying half the population of a representative modern town. It was called La Peste/The Plague, eventually published in 1947 and frequently described as the greatest European novel of the postwar period…”

The School of Life

Harry Potter Tourism Is Ruining Edinburgh

The city is full of horrible gimmicks about a celebrity wizard.

What happens when we die?” is one of the existential questions that humans have puzzled over since we first grew aware of our own mortality. Few of us can ever have contemplated that our name might be seized from our gravestone by a bestselling author, assigned to a fictional evil wizard and our final place of rest transformed into a vacuous bucket list novelty for fans of a popular fantasy franchise

That is, however, the fate which has befallen Thomas Riddell, who died in Edinburgh in 1806. His grave, nestled within the city’s Greyfriars Kirkyard, has become a pilgrimage for hundreds of visitors every day, who trek to the site to see an inscription that possibly inspired the naming of a character in a book.

Riddell’s name, you see, is a bit like that of Tom Riddle, otherwise known as the wicked wizard Lord Voldemort, the primary antagonist of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. On another tombstone nearby, someone has scrawled “Sirius Black, 1953 – 1996”, a reference to another series character [ . . . ]

Source: Harry Potter Tourism Is Ruining Edinburgh