Finnegans wake: Mapping a national consciousness
Item Type:Journal Article
Citation:Travis, C., Finnegans wake: Mapping a national consciousness, Atlas, 10, 2005, 83 - 92
ATLAS VOL 10 2005 - C_ Travis - Finnegans Wake.pdf (PDF) 40.43Kb
In James Joyce's Finnegans wake, the political and sexual mores placed upon Irish culture by the presence of the British Empire and the Catholic Church during the late colonial and early post colonial period of modern Irish history, are extirpated in a re-telling of the Biblical fall from grace. From a historical perspective, the political fall of Charles Stewart Parnell, the Protestant Irish Home Rule leader, in the late nineteenth century, which is echoed in Joyce's text, presaged the return of violence as a means to achieve independence from Britain. But Joyce sensed that despite the achievement of an Irish state, personal liberation in the terms that would later be defined by Frantz Fanon in his chapter 'On National Consciousness' in Les damnes de la terre (1961), did not accompany the emergence of Irish nationhood. Finnegans wake published in 1939, can be read as Joyce's mapping of the damaged terrain of a national consciousness, psychologically dominated by the Irish Free State polity and censoriousness of the Catholic Church of the 1930s. A brief exposition of the Parnell affair and its link to the emergence of a modern Irish consciousness expressed in the violence and literature of the fin de siecle, will presage a discussion of Joyce's last work.
Author: Travis, Charles
Type of material:Journal Article
Availability:Full text available