No Comment, Quotation — March 17, 2008, 12:00 am

Joyce on the Irishman Abroad

joyce

The Irishman, finding himself in another environment, outside Ireland, very often knows how to make his worth felt. The economic and intellectual conditions of his homeland do not permit the individual to develop. The spirit of the country has been weakened by centuries of useless struggle and broken treaties. Individual initiative has been paralyzed by the influence and admonitions of the church, while the body has been shackled by peelers, duty officers and soldiers. No self-respecting person wants to stay in Ireland. Instead he will run from it, as if from a country that has been subjected to a visitation by an angry Jove.

James Joyce, “Ireland, Island of Saints and Sages,” a lecture delivered at the Università Popolare, Trieste, on Apr. 27, 1907, reproduced in James Joyce: Occasional, Critical and Political Writing, p. 123 (2002).

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