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Durham University

Department of English Studies


Academic Staff

Publication details for Dr James Robinson

Robinson, James (2012). Uneasy Orthodoxy: The Jesuits, the Risorgimento and the Contexts of Joyce's First Readings of Dante. Anglia: Journal of English Philology/Zeitschrift Fur Englische Philologie 130(1): 34-53.

Author(s) from Durham


This article investigates the historical and cultural contexts of the literary
relationship between James Joyce and Dante Alighieri, arguing that Joyce was fundamentally
influenced by the poet’s late nineteenth-century reputation. The article
pays particular attention to the influence of the Italian Risorgimento and the counter-
appropriation and re-Catholicising of Dante. Within the context of this wider
discourse it considers the role of the Jesuit Order in Joyce’s education, Joyce’s
Dante tuition at University College Dublin, and the editions of Dante’s works
which Joyce is known to have read. In doing so, the article challenges pre-conceived
notions of Dante’s canonicity and the nature of Joyce’s relation to him, and
ultimately demonstrates that Joyce received Dante as a complex, subversive and
historically determined writer.

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