Joyce's Style of 'scrupulous Meanness' in His Literary Work "Dubliners"

Front Cover
GRIN Verlag, 2007 - 32 pages
0 Reviews
Seminar paper from the year 2006 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2, University of Ulster at Coleraine (Faculty of Arts), course: Proseminar Irish Author Studies, 5 entries in the bibliography, language: English, comment: This essay aims to examine James Joyce's method of 'scrupulous meanness' in two short stories chosen from the collection of Dubliners: 'The Sisters' and 'The Dead'. In addition, Joyce's attempt of conveying a temper of death and hopelessness shall find access into the discussion., abstract: When in 1914 James Joyce wanted to have his literary work Dubliners published by the British publisher Grant Richards, it was not at all as easy as Joyce had imagined. Before Richards could accept the work changes had to be applied that were accompanied by an exchange of various letters between author and publisher. The reason for Richard's hesitation to publish the book in its first version was the very accuracy of its language. Literary conventions would have been shocked by Joyce's accurate and entirely realistic description of social situations and psychological states. In his letter to Grant Richards Joyce tries to justify his style, and it is thus that he speaks of 'scrupulous meanness' for the first time. The term 'meanness' connotes stinginess or the lack of generosity. Joyce uses it to describe the economy of language applying to his stories. However, the interpretation demands a more complicated understanding of the term. 'Scrupulousness' is a crucial element both in Joyce's use of language, and in the structure and form of the stories. 'Scrupulous meanness' refers to a most complex and heavily allusive style that determines the reading of Dubliners. From the minimum of words Joyce succeeds to extract the maximum effect so that the very economy of his style gives Dubliners such concentration and resonance that it "passes through realism into symbolism" (Dubliners,1991, p. xix). Joyce puts this style forw
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 9 - Then my brother spoke in a different tone. —Don't you think, said he reflectively, choosing his words without haste, there is a certain resemblance between the mystery of the Mass and what I am trying to do? I mean that I am trying in my poems to give people some kind of intellectual pleasure or spiritual enjoyment by converting the bread of everyday life into something that has a permanent artistic life of its own ... for their mental, moral, and spiritual uplift, he concluded glibly.
Page 3 - He had studied in the Irish college in Rome and he had taught me to pronounce Latin properly. He had told me stories about the catacombs and about Napoleon Bonaparte, and he had explained to me the meaning of the different ceremonies of the Mass and of the different vestments worn by the priest.
Page 4 - ... as I gazed up at the window I said softly to myself the word paralysis. It had always sounded strangely in my ears, like the word gnomon in the Euclid and the word simony in the Catechism. But now it sounded to me like the name of some maleficent and sinful being. It filled me with fear, and yet I longed to be nearer to it and to look upon its deadly work.
Page 9 - Paradoxical images of arrest and movement, darkness and light, cold and warmth, blindness and sight, are used in this conclusion to recall both the central paralysis-death theme of Dubliners as a collection and the rebirth-life theme of "The Dead
Page 9 - Don't you think there is a certain resemblance between the mystery of the Mass and what I am trying to do? I mean I am trying ... to give people some kind of intellectual pleasure or spiritual enjoyment by converting the bread of everyday life into something that has a permanent life of its own ... for their mental, moral, and spiritual uplift . . . And he spoke elsewhere of the 'significance of trivial things'.
Page 3 - Why, one may ask, discovers the boy in himself a "sensation of freedom as if [he] had been freed from something by the priest's death (ibd., p.
Page 9 - Joyce's view of his home land as he realized that "his picture of Ireland had been 'unnecessarily harsh...

Bibliographic information