The James Joyce Italian Foundation

Dipartimento di di Lingue Letterature e Culture Straniere – Università Roma Tre

Archive for May, 2018

Conference Glossary of Exile

Posted by James Joyce Italian Foundation on 25/05/2018

A Report on The XI James Joyce Italian Foundation Conference, Rome, 31 January – 2 February 2018

Mina M. Đurić – Faculty of Philology -University of Belgrade


An amazing privilege to participate in The XI James Joyce Italian Foundation Conference in Rome – “James Joyce: The Joys of Exile” and an opportunity to summarize participating researches’ main ideas, presented in many rich papers and through lively discussions afterwards, opened the question about possibility of the lexicon project regarding the problems of exile in Joyce’s works. Interesting interdisciplinary approaches and interpretations of Joyce’s exile were presented during the Conference, from the perspectives of literary theory, philosophy, linguistics, geopolitics and many other fields. These intersecting perceptions provided various options for (re)creating some (re)newed terms for a conceivable James Joyce Conference Glossary of Exile, remembering this Joycean meeting, which certainly expanded the theory of exile into undiscovered hermeneutic horizons.

Art as exile

During the official opening of The Eleventh Annual James Joyce Conference in Rome, the introductory note “James Joyce: The Joys of Exile” by Franca Ruggieri, President of The James Joyce Italian Foundation, provided the framework for understanding art and literature as an exile, especially in the occurrences of the 20th century. This phenomenological reading of “exile”, through its metamorphoses from Homer and the Bible, via the histories of migrations among many cultures, to very recent situations, was based on important texts about this subject: Adorno’s Minima moralia, Said’s Reflections on Exile and Representations of the Intellectual and Cixous’s The Exile of James Joyce, reaching valuable conclusions in the perception of Joyce’s work as an exile, and Joycean writing as exilic self-expression, where homeland is a universe of intertextuality. In his illuminating welcome speech, Giorgio de Marchis, Head of Dipartimento di Lingue, Letterature e Culture Straniere, Università Roma Tre, marked the (im)possibilities of Joyce’s readings Pessoa, which can be interpreted as part of the exilic, unreal, or parallel literary history, particularly when literature is also viewed as an historical exile.

Context of exilic aesthetics

In the presentation “James Joyce and the Exilic French Imagination: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and the Development of an Aesthetics of Exile” by Jessie Alperin (Kenyon College), French Symbolist critical and poetical thoughts were examined as exilic influences in the development of the young artist and silent voice of French literary aesthetics behind the text of Joyce’s novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Exile as metaphor and trope 

The paper by Jolanta Wawrzycka (Radford University), “‘The fringe of his line’: Metaphors of Exile in Joyce”, analysed the exilic discourse of Joyce’s characters, marked from poststructuralist and postcolonial perspectives of understanding the rhetorical and the poetical constructs of exile as problems of identity and its cultural determinism through the space between alienation of a certain place to the limitlessness of the inner exile. In his research “Marginality and Exile in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”, Muhammad Ajmal (Heidelberg University) presented the differences and some innovations in the narrative forms of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, these being dictated by metaphors of psychological exile as an artistic escape from certain roles in society.

Exile in ontology of translation

In his paper “The Phantom Yes”, one of the main plenary speakers, Sam Slote (Trinity College Dublin) tackled the problems of translation as fictionalization of the text, and also focused on the editorial multiplications and textual transmissions of the relevant sign at the very end of the “Ithaca” episode in several translations, variations in new editions. In these, mistranspositions of the final “Ithaca” sign (as opposed to manuscript clarification), often changed the point of the episode. Posing the questions: if Derrida’s “qui” is always Joyce’s “yes”, how the text is retranslable when it is once translated and investigating some translation differences between English Ulysses and French Ulysse, Slote detected and, through the concepts of Walter Benjamin and Paul de Man, interpreted the translational displacements of a few more phantom yesses in the French translation of Ulysses and Derrida’s Ulysse gramophone.

Exile into new libraries

After the panels and plenaries on the first day of the Conference, the presentation of some recent publications on James Joyce was excellently organized and delivered by Franca Ruggieri, Jolanta Wawrzycka, Giuliana Bendelli, Francesca Romana Paci and Enrico Terrinoni. Among the presented books were Joyce’s Fiction and the New Rise of the Novel (Joyce Studies in Italy 19), Reading Joycean Temporalities (European Joyce Studies 27), Leggere l’Ulisse di Joyce, four volumes of Italian translation of the first and the second book of Finnegans Wake and an Italian translation of Joyce’s Pomes Penyeach, which made a really enjoyable “exile” into the new library at the Joycean Conference in Rome.

Exile through world literature

In comparison to many other (un)voluntarily expatriates in world literature, the research by Preethi Sreenivasan (Indian Institute of Technology) “Modernity, the problem of Tradition and writerly Exile; a comparative study of James Joyce and Perumal Murugan” analysed the crisis of modernity and modern masculinity in the narrative structure of exile through understanding various interpretations of culture under imperialistic circumstances, especially in transit from local via global to exiled, relating to the literary parallels of Irish and Indian modernity in the works of James Joyce and Perumal Murugan. The paper “Canon in Exile: James Joyce and Serbian Literature” by Mina Đurić (University of Belgrade) examined the creative reception of James Joyce’s opus in the works of Serbian authors, as poetic exile from the traditional canon, through the processes of the literary modernization, in the context of world literature studies.

Exilic intertextuality

The paper “Trieste-Zurich-Paris-Galway: Reading for ‘Proteus’ at Home and Abroad” by Ronan Crowley (University of Antwerp) discovered some elements of James Hardiman’s pretext in several images of the “Proteus” episode in Ulysses and in Finnegans Wake, showing the importance of exilic intertextuality and its transformation into narrative form, from some of Joyce’s readings and translations in 1912, through finalizing “Proteus” in 1917, to the time of work on Finnegans Wake in 1927.

 Expatriates in history and cultures

The paper “Being Expats Together: Joyce in Expatriate Little Magazines and Autobiographies” by Annalisa Federici (University of Rome “Sapienza”/University of Viterbo “Tuscia”) explained the poetic situation of exiles in the cosmopolity and cosmopolitism of expatriates in Parisian readings of Dublian universe in critical texts of Joycean early reception through the voices of the community of contemporaries in international literary journals. Francesco Marzano (Catholic University of the “Sacred Heart”) in the proposal “Joyce and Svevo: Mirror Portraits of Two Exiles” examined problems of the exile in the intellectual discussions between Svevo and Joyce and their writings. The paper “The British and Roman Empires, Judaism, and the History of Language in Joyce’s ‘Aeolus’” by Patrick Mullen (Queen’s University) analysed parallels between Irish and Jewish, Parnell and Moses, and British and Roman, through the history of language as the space of conflicts.

Fictionalization of the exile in other media

 After the panels and plenary on the second Conference day, in a multi-mediated experiment “Segni e disegni colorati in Finnegans Wake, raffigurazioni” the painter Paolo Colombo presented visual evocations: metamorphoses of graphic communications from numerous sciences and linguistic transformations in many cultures through the history of letters and signs, as the main concept of Joycean writing in progress and an original example of the fictionalization of Joycean exile into new mediagraphy.

Figures of exile

In his lecture “‘There were men there – and also women’: Locating the Women in Joyce’s Exiles”, Andrew Goodspeed (South East European University of Tetovo) described tensions in Exiles from the perspective of the exiled and excluded figures of women in the play, where this reading, without constituting a full feminist approach, showed the possibilities of reaching coherence in Joyce’s drama.

Genre of exile

In her paper “Exile(s) in drama and in life”, Giuliana Bendelli (Catholic University of the “Sacred Heart”) interpreted the characteristics of a suitable genre for the problems of exile, explaining why the literary form of the drama as the appropriate structure for the tension between exilic forces in the personal life of the artist and the necessity for impersonality in the text situated Joyce’s Exiles in the essential position for this type of discussion.

Heterotopic exile

Through Foucault’s explanation of heterotopia, the research “Heterotopias as Exile: a Reading of James Joyce’s Dubliners” by Edvige Pucciarelli (University of Bergamo) described the experience of writing an exile as a privileged occasion for the heterotopic transgression between different cultures.

Intermediations of exile

In her multi-mediated presentation “Joyce as Madam Butterfly: exiles in their own country”, Carla Marengo Vaglio (University of Turin) offered the relation between exilic conditions in Joyce’s works and Puccini’s famous piece. With examples from letter and novels, this analysis also focused on identity constructed from the exile and the ways of researching eloquent silence in text and music. The research “‘Cyclops’ as a Hologram of Exile” by Taura Napier (Wingate University) illustrated a verbal and hologramic “portrait of exile” through the parallax of space, time and displacement of the writer in the “Cyclops” episode. In the proposal “The Joys of Disabled Internal Exile in Finnegans Wake”, Johnnie Morey (Royal Holloway, University of London) investigated the textuality of Finnegans Wake in the intermediate connection between the inner exile of a disabled, dysmorphic subject, deformity of language and “disable”, exilic tonal music in the dodecaphony of Joyce’s novel.

Lexicography of exile

In his paper “Lexical Exile”, through the strategy of multiple and trans-translational close readings, Conference plenary speaker Fritz Senn (Zurich James Joyce Foundation) offered the term “lexile”, defining it especially in “the dislocutions” of things and words in translations of Ulysses. In the exilic simultaneity of Greek and Latin names of Odysseus in its transition through the title of Joyce’s novel, as well as in examples of words with “pt”, or in Joyce’s written diaspora of some exiled letters and in much more valuable examples from Ulysses, this rich presentation argued about ways of misplacement total (un)translatability.

Narrative strategies of exile

Discussion about the typology of the narrative strategies of exile, escape, exile at home, alienation in language from Dubliners, over A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man to Ulysses was announced by Manana Gelashvili (Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University) in her proposal “Exile as a Theme and a Narrative Strategy”. In the presentation “In the Wake of Trauma: Exploring Exilic Identity Through James Joyce’s Evasion of Narrative Fetishism”, Laura Gibbs (Goldsmiths College, University of London) questioned the narrative fetishism of Finnegans Wake’s totality from the psychological perspectives of trauma, in order to present textual recovery as (im)possible fragmental coherency of repairing fractured-identity. While Rebecca M. Lynch (Radford University) discussed components of exile in the narrative gnomonic structure in Dubliners, also from the position of trauma theory, in the paper “Dublin Through the Looking-Glass: An Analysis of ‘Eveline’ and ‘The Sisters’”, Lawrence Wang (University of Essex) tried to detect elements of queer narrativity in structure of Finnegans Wake in the research “‘It am queery!’: the Queer Failures of Exile in Finnegans Wake”. In her speech “Silence and Cunning: the Irish Exile’s Postcreative Immortality in ‘Oxen of the Sun’”, Ioana Zirra (University of Bucharest) problematized narrative exile, its mechanics and inversions, through “the postcreative reasons”, between silence and cunning from Dubliners to Finnegans Wake.

Returning through exile

In his paper “Exisle: the angst of return/Exisle: l’angoscia del ritorno”, through the interpretations of connections between Joyce and Dante, “Penelope” as code in Ulysses, theories raised by Daedalus, and an examination of the line between fiction and biography in the works of James Joyce, Gabriele Frasca (University of Salerno), one of the plenary speakers at the Conference, problematized exile situations in language and the impossibility of total escape, where it seems that the absolute is just an escape with no return, but also always problematic in its polemical context from the perspective of multi-directional Finnegans Wake.

Stylistics of exile

In her research “Style in exile. The exile of style. Giacomo Joyce”, Lia Guerra (University of Pavia) considered Giacomo Joyce as exiled artistic experience from Joyce’s style and genre experiments and the visuality of writing style in this text (especially in examples of connections between the body and the world or the hunting theme in Joyce’s early works) as a sort of exile of other arts forming web of new styles in the literary text. The paper “Corpus Stylistics and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: reading images of exiles” by Chiara Sciarrino (University of Palermo) questioned how data on exile of the corpus stylistics can reveal uncovering interpretations between Stephen Hero and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Symposium in studies of exile

An intellectual symposium for Joyce’s 136th anniversary, in the organization of The James Joyce Italian Foundation (with assistance from the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the University of Roma Tre) was introduced with a Welcome Gathering of the Scientific and organizing committee and members of the Foundation, and followed with an annual meeting of the members of The James Joyce Italian Foundation. The pleasant tradition of infinite Joycean discussions was continued during the Reception in a wonderful atmosphere at the Embassy of Ireland in Rome, hosted by His Excellency Ambassador Colm Ó Floinn. This Conference symposium strengthened more epiphanies in conversations and mutual professional gifts of ideas for studies about Joyce and exile, as a kind of special “joys of exile”.

Theoretical approaches to exiled self

In her presentation, “‘Self exiled in upon his ego’: A lingerous longerous book of the dark of the Exiled Self”, Tamar Gelashvili (Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University) exposed aspects of the exiled self and minds of homelessness in the 20th century through different forms of exile in Joyce’s opus and especially in Finnegans Wake, where plurality of the author’s exiled self in examining the sense of exiled language is followed to the exilic selves of the readers. In the paper by Brendan Kavanagh (University of Cambridge) “‘Between two roaring worlds where they swirl, I’: Re-Situating the Exiled Self in Ulysses” the author argued that re-making of self-imposed exile in Ulysses between the physical, social and psychological relations from the viewpoint of environmental theory on Joyce’s writings about exile posed the transmission among self, environment and total circulation as an active structure for a new interpretation of the exiled self between text and environment.

Having analysed all these ideas in the works of James Joyce it can be concluded that exile seems to be a challenging theoretical problem. During this Conference some new areas of possible interpretations were opened. Based on the reflections of the Conference, it is legitimate to expect new, valuable studies of exile, in the next annual journal James Joyce: The Joys of Exile, Joyce Studies in Italy 20, which will present original perspectives of readings of “exile” in Joyce.



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