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Showing posts from June 1, 2014

James Joyce, the Church and the State As usual around June, I take down Ulysses for some more good-humoured updates on what happens on Bloomsday. This year my reading coincides with news of the latest church scandal from Ireland, the gruesome revelations about the remains of nearly 800 children found in a disused sewage tank in Tuam, County Galway. The children died between 1925 and 1961 while under the care of the Bon Secours nuns. Other graves are also being uncovered. One is forced to make connections of meaning between what James Joyce is saying in Ulysses and the stories coming out about Magdalen laundries, child sexual abuse, and now these mass graves. The iron power of the Catholic Church in Ireland is object of his continuous satire in Ulysses, a power that only became entrenched after the Civil War. At times the satire goes on too long, Joyce seems unable to restrain himself from questioning the Chu