The JJIF at the 2010 ESSE Conference, Turin

\"\" On the occasion of the Tenth International Conference of the European Society for the Study of English (ESSE) held in Turin on the 24-28 August 2010, a seminar was devoted to James Joyce. Its convenors were Franca Ruggieri (Università Roma Tre) and Anne Fogarty (University College Dublin). The title chosen for the seminar was \”Reading James Joyce in the 21st Century: the European Context\”.

Richard Ellmann stated over fifty years ago that we are still learning to be Joyce’s contemporaries. This seminar was intended to prove the still convincingly sound actuality of this statement focusing the attention on the presence of James Joyce in contemporary culture, considering his works through the perspective of contemporary studies and tracing his influences on post modernist and contemporary Irish writers.

In “Joyce’s portraits in post modern and contemporary Irish literature-Edna O’Brien and Flann O’Brien”, Fabio Luppi (Università Roma Tre) focused on Joyce’s sympathetic, distorted or incoherent portraits and refractions in postmodern and contemporary Irish novels (Flann O’Brien’s and Edna O’Brien’s), noticing how Joyce’s portraits portray also the portraitists’ own images.

In “And the Internet begot a “new Adam”: Joyce in contemporary collective imagination”, Emanuela Zirzotti (Università di Roma Sapienza) analysed the reception of Joyce’s works in contemporary society from a perspective of cultural studies, underlining the accessibility of Joyce’s works in relation with the sometimes misleading distinction between high culture and popular/mass culture.

In “The Body of Finitude”, Maria Grazia Tonetto (Università di Roma Sapienza) investigated on the dichotomy between body and soul in Ulysses, and quoting from Plato to Aristotle, from Foucault to Lacan, described how this novel represents the discovery of the active role of the decaying beauty of the flesh and the manifestation of the finitude of the body, contrasting with the ideal immutable and infinite perfection of the soul.

In “Contemporary Joyce: Joycean themes and stylistic techniques in William Trevor’s writings”, Federico Sabatini (Università di Torino) analysed William Trevor’s novel Love and Summer finding out debts with the Joycean cinematical technique of presenting multiple narrative voices to depict the same events from different perspectives, and at the same time underlining several deep affinities between Trevor’s and Joyce’s characters.

[Fabio Luppi, Università Roma Tre, Italy]