E fintzas tontos e inniorantes

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Millu a Joyce, s’esempru de is indipendentistas “all’amatriciana” de unu ki diat faxer literadura “irlandesa” in inglesu!

“Is antigos mios nch’ant fuliadu sa limba issoro e nd’ant leadu un’átera, at nadu Istevene. Ant permitidu a una pariga de strangios a ddos ponner a suta. Ita ti pensas ki deo mi pongio a pagare cun sa bida mia e cun sa persone mia pro is depidos ki ant fatu issos? […] Perunu omine de onore e sentzeru, at nadu Istevene, at renuntziadu a sa bida sua, a sa gioventude sua, a is amores suos dae is dies de Angioy ( = Tone) e de Lussu (= Parnell), ma tue dd’as bendidu a su nimigu o non dd’as carculadu in su bisongiu o dd’as ingiurgiadu e dd’as lassadu pro un’áteru. E tue mi domandas a esser unu de bosáteros? T’ia a boller bier sperdidu, a primu!”

Joyce see’s Irish identity in a totally different light than his contemporary W.B. Yeats. However, the two are united by the fact they utilize literature in order to express and promote their perspectives concerning Irish identity. In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man we observe the main character, Stephen Dedalus, being asked to sign a petition against British rule. Stephen responds by saying,

“My ancestors threw off their language and took another, Stephen said. They allowed a handful of foreigners to subject them. Do you fancy I am going to pay in my own life and person debts they made? What for? [. . .] No honourable and sincere man, said Stephen, has given up to you his life and his youth and his affections from the days of Tone to those of Parnell but you sold him to the enemy or failed him in need or reviled him and left him for another. And you invite me to be one of you. I’d see you damned first” (Joyce 220).

Here we see Joyce openly criticize Irish republican idealism, and the notion that the blood of patriots would win back Ireland. This passage illustrates Joyce’s disenchantment with the republican notion that the Irish were an oppressed people. If anything Joyce believes that the Irish allowed themselves to be oppressed as it was the Irish who “threw off their language” (Joyce 220), and not the British who took it from them. Joyce wanted to see the Irish define their identity as more than an oppressed people fighting for independence.

Instead, Joyce desired for the Irish to create a new identity for their nation just as Stephen sets out to create a new identity for himself in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

At the conclusion of the novel Stephen proclaims “Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race” (292). Here it appears Joyce is presenting his major argument for the progression of Irish identity in that the Irish need to create a new national identity that escapes the trappings of the past and instead looks to the future. Essentially, Joyce contends that it is exactly when Ireland releases its past that it can sit at the table of other great nations and move forward. Yet, it is important to remember that Joyce is still attached to his Irishness as illustrated in the stories of Dubliners. Where the Irish struggle is observed and “celebrated” only in the sense that Joyce desires for readers to understand the difficulty of the Irish people. However, in Dubliners Joyce also illustrates that a major roadblock to the progress of Ireland is its reluctance to let go of its past struggles. At the heart of Joyce construction of Irish identity is an indifference to the past and a focus on the future which is disconnected from political idealism. Unlike Yeats who pairs politics with identity, Joyce desires to separate the two. Joyce wants the Irish to identify themselves not by their struggles but by their success, and less by their nation’s experiences and more by their personal experiences. (https://sites.google.com/a/pacificu.edu/irish-identity-in-literature/james-joyce)

One Comment to “E fintzas tontos e inniorantes”

  1. Questo post è davvero molto bello, ricco di acume e intelligenza, non mi riferisco al brano che lei ha ripreso dal sito Irish Identity in Literature, quanto alla ragione per cui lo ha ripreso, almeno quella che credo di capire e che ritengo si manifesti in modo piuttosto appassionato nella traduzione in sardo delle parole di Stephen. Lei ha una visione davvero…satellitare della sua Isola. È affascinante il modo in cui la esprime ed entusiasmante la forza con cui insiste nel dichiararla. La mia sincera ammirazione.

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