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The Curve of an Emotion: A Study of Change in the Portrayal of Children and Childhood in the Literature of James Joyce


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Title: The Curve of an Emotion: A Study of Change in the Portrayal of Children and Childhood in the Literature of James Joyce
Authors: Ryan, Barry
E-mail: barry.ryan@sprak.gu.se
Issue Date: 9-Feb-2021
University: Göteborgs universitet. Humanistiska fakulteten
University of Gothenburg. Faculty of Humanities
Institution: Department of Languages and Literatures ; Institutionen för språk och litteraturer
Parts of work: 1. Ryan, Barry. “James Joyce’s ‘The Sisters’: Implied Pederasty and Interpreting the Inexpressible.” Boyhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 13, no. 1, 2020, pp. 92-109.

2. Ryan, Barry. “Pregnancy and Abjection in James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’.” Nordic Irish Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, 2015, pp. 37-53.

3. Ryan, Barry. “‘Arisen from the Grave of Boyhood’? Nostalgia and Misopaedia in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.” Accepted for publication in Nordic Irish Studies.

4. Ryan, Barry. “The Emerging Affective Child in James Joyce’s Exiles.” Accepted for publication in Papers on Joyce.

5. Ryan, Barry. “Interpreting the Lives of Working Children in James Joyce’s Ulysses.” Accepted for publication in Engaging with Work in English Studies: An Issue-based Approach.
Date of Defence: 2021-03-26
Disputation: Fredagen den 26 mars 2021, kl. 13:15, Sal C350, Renströmsgatan 6, Göteborg.
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Publication type: Doctoral thesis
Keywords: Irish Catholic childhoods
alienation
distorted adult perceptions
sexual boundary
nostalgia
misopaedia
nexus
historicization
reciprocation
Abstract: Literary theorists and social historians consider fictional texts to be important for the study of children and childhood. James Joyce’s fiction is considered important for understanding Irish childhoods, and Joyce’s portrayal of childhood is often deemed unchanging within the major themes until the distinction between adults and children breaks down in Finnegans Wake. However, no extended studies of children or childhood in Joyce’s fiction exist, and while Joyce scholars generally consider... more
ISBN: 978-91-8009-186-2 (print)
978-91-8009-187-9 (pdf)
Description: The child has existed on the margins of Western philosophical inquiry since classical antiquity, yet childhood has been central to Western philosophical concerns. The aim of critical childhood scholarship is to historicize this dissonance by examining the child that is believed to exist, the childhoods that children are expected to live, and the experiences of children performing childhood. As is the case with other marginalised voices, fictional texts are considered important sources for analysis. In recent decades the institutional abuse of children in Ireland has been a frequent feature of public discourse. However, the study of children and childhood in Ireland is often challenging due to the scarcity of primary sources. Accordingly, fictional texts are considered important for understanding adult beliefs about children and childhood in Ireland, and for understanding how it felt for children to live in the historical moment. James Joyce is considered important for understanding children and childhood in an Irish context, and Joyce’s portrayal of childhood is often considered unchanging within the major themes. Yet, this thesis is the first extended exploration of the portrayal of children and childhood in Joyce’s fiction. This thesis explores the portrayal of children and childhood in all of Joyce’s major works of fiction up until the distinction between adults and children breaks down in Finnegans Wake. Each work of fiction is treated independently, and the results are presented as a portfolio of articles organised chronologically. In contrast to common understandings of childhood in Joyce, this thesis demonstrates that Joyce’s portrayal of children and childhood is consistently revised throughout his oeuvre. Thus, it is useful to consider these changes as following a curve of revision that reaches a vertex in Ulysses.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/67117
Appears in Collections:Doctoral Theses from University of Gothenburg / Doktorsavhandlingar från Göteborgs universitet
Doctoral Theses / Doktorsavhandlingar Institutionen för språk och litteraturer

 

 

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