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Joyce's Misbelief$
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Roy Gottfried

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780813031675

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813031675.001.0001

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Schism as Politics

Schism as Politics

(p.102) 5 Schism as Politics
Joyce's Misbelief

Roy Gottfried

University Press of Florida

This chapter focuses on Joyce's use of his misbelief to assert a brand of national identity that served as a model for the Ireland he sought to express through his apostasy. Along with the artistic possibilities provided by schism for Joyce were the opportunities for dividends in the sphere of political action. Through schism, Joyce resisted certain powers in a way that provided freedom of choice in contexts other than the production of art. For Joyce, religious controversies were about political confrontation. When someone was give the opportunity of religious choice, Joyce viewed it as a political action against the status quo. To him, to exercise defiance against religion was the exercise of political will through the creation of an individual identity in contrast to the accepted and international identity. Schism and heresy for him were local movements, narrow rebellions against centralized hegemony. Schism, from which much of Joyce's art benefited, also offered him opportunities in the political sphere.

Keywords:   misbelief, schism, political confrontation, religious controversies, political action, political wills, defiance, heresy

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