Oct 28, 2004

Observations. Posted by Hello
The Dante of Dublin once lived in Rome. Via Monte Brianzo 51. And Via Frattina 52.
Joyce's six-month stay in Rome in 1906-7 was an influence on the final major rewriting of Portrait and on the writing of Ulysses. Dispossessed socially by his father, Joyce saw things differently. He wanted to deliver his message to people, but his message was rejected again and again by publishers. He rewrote. But not until he lived in Rome for seven months did he find what he was missing. All along, Joyce had studied and loved English and classical literature. Yet only in Rome was he made aware of his love for the English Romantic poet, Shelley, and for classical mythology. In Rome, where Shelley lived and wrote Prometheus Unbound in 1821, Joyce was made aware of the significance Shelley had in his life. He remembered Shelley's defence of poetry essay, and like Goethe, he identified with Shelley's Prometheus. He was also reminded of the myth of Daedalus. Both Prometheus and Daedalus broke free of labyrinths. Shelley broke free of the labyrinth of old language. Joyce understood that Shelley and the Romantic poets were his literary fathers as he spent days sitting among the Roman ruins (Forums). At the same time, he was made aware of death/rebirth. Rome and its ruins told him of mortality; Prometheus and Daedalus and Shelley told him of breaking free … of figuratively dying and finding rebirth--- Rome, where Joyce finds work in a bank and gives private English classes. Despite the substantial increase in income, Joyce hates Rome, perhaps because of his experience working in a bank and the Joyce family's stay is brief.


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