“A Ripping Good Joke”

Roy Gottfried

in Joyce's Misbelief

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780813031675
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038506 | DOI:
“A Ripping Good Joke”

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This chapter discusses the ways with which Joyce articulated his misbelieve in the spaces of silence opened by schism. Joyce's interest in religion is expressed through indirection and deflection. For him schism encapsulated all his motives as an artist. It served to him as a release from intellectual and social conventions and afforded him the freedom from their power. For Joyce, schism, which is essential in his ideas, was his rebellion from literary conventions, linguistic forms, and social norms. Joyce regarded schism as a sense of freedom from the authoritative orthodoxies in the form of splendid fun or play. To break with practice, policy, and dogma for Joyce was to earn or seize for himself license and freedom. Schism from his national church and his family identity was a precondition for Joyce to all he would practice as an artist. This explains the rationale why schismatic notions appear often in his texts. By focusing on religious schisms, Joyce gained an intellectual freedom from dogma, papal authority, and analogous constraints.

Keywords: Joyce; schism; religion; freedom; authoritative orthodoxies; religious schisms

Chapter.  8750 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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