James Joyce: the Dubliners

Hi, everybody! After reading Oscar Wilde, I’m here to introduce you to another great Irish modern writer, James Joyce. Ever wondered why I love Ireland so much? 🙂

IN CLASS: WHY should we read Joyce? Watch the video & write down 10 words used to answer the question. Then share with your classmates.

In this post, we’re going to discover the importance and the personality of this AUTHOR & HIS COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES “THE DUBLINERS”.

James Joyce deserves our ongoing interest for his momentous discovery of the Stream of Consciousness (see Svevo’s Flusso di Coscienza) Watch the video as an introduction to his work. The second part is devoted also to the novel Ulysses, you’ll deal with later on.

Interesting and full of original photos of the time, is also the following video on his biography (6m’) & integrate the info from your textbook.

To know more about Joyce you can browse his official website.  You can find all the short stories from the collection The Dubliners here. 

TASK 1: READ  EVELYN as homework in your textbook. You can also watch it & hear it in this video read with the Irish accent I love so much 🙂

Now, I’d like to give you a little help to understand Joyce’s short story better.

1) Derevan Seraun is a word of unknown origin one of the many Joycean nonsense words but the most frequent translation if considered from latin is, “The end of pleasure is pain” but many other critics believe it has a Gaelic origin, therefore most prefer not translating it.
2) The Bohemian Girl is a light opera written by the Irish composer M.Willian Balfe and not the Bohemienne. The plot is based on Cervantes “La Gitanella” and is set in Bohemia (check it out!!)

The most important aria is “ I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls that has also been sung by Enya ( I discovered it 2 years ago myself!! This is the power of Youtube. When I read the story some years ago it wasn’t that easy to hear and find this kind of info. Lucky you!! There are also the lyrics on the right)

Those who’re interested in translation and in hearing how the original short story sounds in Italian, can now watch a video of the short story read in Italian with the written text below. It can help you after having read it in English.

Should you go to Dublin it’s definitely worth visiting the James Joyce Centre.They’ve even created a graphic novel of his masterpiece!

Our next video is a short extract from the video JOYCE TO THE WORLD that I bought while living in Dublin; it’s a documentary celebrating James Joyce’s Ulysses, the greatest novel of the 20th century that no one’s actually read 😉  Have you ever heard about BLOOMSDAY? Watch the video AND DO THE QUIZ I’ve created for you while watching. No log-ins, nor names are required. Hope you’ll understand the video better 🙂
You’ll share what you’ve discovered in class with your classmates and your new substitute teacher.  You can also watch it full screen if you prefer.

Could I end a post without some music? Of course not! Our story has reminded me of a beautiful song by Glen Hanzard, the soundtrack of the Irish movie ONCE. I think the lyrics can evoke the atmosphere of the story and Evelyne’s frame of mind. Enjoy!

I don’t know you /But I want you /All the more for that /Words fall through me /And always fool me /And I can’t react /And games that never amount /To more than they’re meant /Will play themselves out /Take this sinking boat and point it home /We’ve still got time /Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice /You’ve made it now /

Falling slowly, eyes that know me /And I can’t go back /Moods that take me and erase me/ And I’m painted black /You have suffered enough /And warred with yourself /It’s time that you won /Take this sinking boat and point it home /We’ve still got time /Raise your hopeful voice you had a choice /You’ve made it now /Take this sinking boat and point it home/ We’ve still got time /Raise your hopeful voice you had a choice /You’ve made it now /Falling slowly sing your melody I’ll sing along

I really hope you’ll appreciate this writer and study it well, even if I won’t be in class with you for a while. 🙁

Animal Farm

My dear students, I think you have already read the beautiful allegorical-satirical novella or modern fable by George Orwell but in case you haven’t, you can now read it for free here:  ANIMAL FARM

As you can see I have prepared some materials to share with you on as a PDF to download:  the plot of the novel, its main characters, its historical background and main themes. 

 The first easy video deals with the connections between G.Orwell’s Animal Farm and Stalin’s Russia. Have a look & TAKE DOWN SOME NOTES.

Top ten notes about Animal Farm. You should be already familiar with some of it after dealing with 1984. 🙂

To recap the Social and historical background of this novella you can watch the following video:

The next videos are the film adaptations of the novel: first the trailer of the cartoon by John Halas, Joy Batchelor.(1956)  Notice the year of its creation, it’s not a typo! You can watch it all on YouTube. We’ll watch some parts in class from my DVD.

There’s also a new movie version (1999) of the novel with real animals. Have a look!!

If you have any comment write it down here. Thanks