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Charades and gossip: the minimalist theatre of Joyce’s Dubliners

Résumé : This essay examines the place and function of theatricality in Joyce's early writing in relation to short forms like the short story. While Joyce's work is not particularly notable for its theatricality, theatricality plays an essential role in his narrative technique and rich formal experiments. Theatrical writing provides him with an elliptical and minimalist form (absence of narrator and quotation marks, frequent use of suspension points) which, like the charades of his youth, complicates the hermeneutic task of the reader-spectators while allowing the writer to work realistically on the acoustics and rhythms of dialogue. First experimented in his first epiphanies, this technique is then transferred to the more conventional and marketable genre of the short story. Bringing to it the ephemeral uniqueness of live performance, the theatrical dialogue can also turn, as in "Ivy Day in the Committee Room", into dubious gossip that calls into question the reliability of the transmission and interpretation of information. While giving life to the narrative, Joyce's theatricality gives free rein to indeterminacy and the circulation of meaning. Translated with (free version)
Mots-clés : The Dubliners James Joyce
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Contributor : Bibliothèque universitaire Nantes Université Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, July 1, 2021 - 12:02:16 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 12, 2022 - 9:56:36 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-03275584, version 1


Valérie Bénéjam. Charades and gossip: the minimalist theatre of Joyce’s Dubliners. Journal of The Short Story in English / Les Cahiers de la nouvelle, Presses de l'Université d'Angers, 2016. ⟨hal-03275584⟩



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