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Foundational Essays in James Joyce Studies$
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Michael Patrick Gillespie

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813035291

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813035291.001.0001

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Joyce's Sermon on Hell

Joyce's Sermon on Hell

Its Source and Its Backgrounds

(p.85) 4 Joyce's Sermon on Hell
Foundational Essays in James Joyce Studies

James R. Thrane

University Press of Florida

This chapter focuses on the sermon on the historical source and background of Joyce's sermon on hell, as explained in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The primary, and probably the solely, printed source of this sermon was the English version of an Italian tract called in translation Hell Opened to Christians, To Caution Them from Entering into It, written by Giovanni Pietro Pinamonti, a seventeenth-century Jesuit. Hell Opened to Christians, following a traditional pattern in devotional literature, consisting of seven daily “Considerations” or meditations, each analyzed, somewhat arbitrarily, under three points and concluding with a short prayer to a different sacred personage. Joyce's version emerges less as an abridgment than as a synopsis or précis, tersely setting forth under seven points what Pinamonti develops leisurely under twenty-one with more-than-ample exempla, analogies, cited authorities, synonymous repetitions, and overwhelming questions.

Keywords:   sermon, sermon on hell, Hell, devotional literature, historical source, background, sacred personage

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