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Joyce’s Ghosts: Landscape, Memory and Identity in Glasnevin

Saturday 7 May 2016

Assemble at the Cregan Library lobby at 2.10pm


Luke Gibbons will introduce us to the relations between landscape and memory in James Joyce’s Ulysses.  Luke Gibbons’ marvelous Joyce’s Ghosts: Ireland, Modernism and Memory (Chicago University Press, 2016) identifies many spectres in Ulysses. Some of these feature as the kind of uncanny traces that so disturbed Joyce himself. There is a sort of unfinished business that allows conversational scraps, unbidden memory, and the names secreted or suggested by elements of the landscape, to trouble us with a reflection at which we shudder but can not quite master. Of course, we do not share all the contextual knowledge that Joyce imagined his Dubliners carried around as sly half-knowns, and for this reason Ulysses is incomplete for us in quite a different way than it was for his first, and ideal, readers. Luke Gibbons’ forensic research conjures some more of these ghosts for us. We will walk through part of Glasnevin Cemetery and review the issues of memory, landscape, and identity in Joyce’s writings. This place was particularly dense with history and memory for Joyce, most dramatically, but not only, in the ‘Hades’ chapter of Ulysses. We will end at the Gravediggers pub for some final reflections on memory, conviviality and the ghosted stories in Joyce.

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