Tag Archives: rome

BOOK REVIEW: JULIUS CAESAR … William Shakespeare

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    The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is a historic tragic play by William Shakespeare first performed in 1599. It is one of several plays written by Shakespeare based on true events from the Roman history.

    Julius Caesar, was a Roman general and statesman who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire.

    Set in Rome in 44 BC, the play depicts the moral dilemma of Brutus as he joins the conspiracy led by Cassius to murder Julius Caesar to prevent him from becoming the dictator of Rome. Following Caesar’s death, Rome is thrust into a period of civil war, and the republic, which the conspirators sought to preserve is lost forever.

    Let me first describe the main characters of the play to you:

    Gaius Julius Caesar: Known simply as Julius Caesar, was a Roman general and statesman who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. He was also a historian and author of Latin prose.

    Marcus Junius Brutus: Often referred to as Brutus, was a Roman senator and the most famous of the assassins of Julius Caesar. After being adopted by an uncle of his, he used the name Quintus Servilius Caepio Brutus, but subsequently returned to his birth name. Brutus was close to General Julius Caesar, the leader of the Populares faction, a political group.

    Gaius Cassius Longinus: Often referred to as Cassius, was a Roman senator and a general best known as a leading instigator of the plot to assassinate Julius Caesar. He was the brother-in-law of Brutus, another leader of the conspiracy. He commanded troops with Brutus during the Battle of Philippi against the combined forces of Mark Antony and Octavian, all Caesar’s former supporters, and committed suicide after being defeated by Mark Antony.

    Marcus Antonius: Commonly known in English as Mark Antony or Anthony, was a Roman politician and general who played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic from an oligarchy a power structure in which the power rests in a small set of people into the autocratic Roman Empire. Antony was a supporter of Julius Caesar, and served as one of his generals during the conquest of Gaul (war against Gallic tribes) and the Civil War. Antony was appointed administrator of Italy while Caesar eliminated political opponents in Greece, North Africa, and Spain.

    Calpurnia: Either the third or the fourth wife of Julius Caesar, and the one to whom he was married at the time of his assassination.

    Octavian: Caesar’s great-nephew and adopted son.

    Pompey: A leading general.

    Metellus Cimber: A Roman senator and also an assassin of Julius Caesar.

    Lepidus: A Roman general.

    Titinius: A noble man of Rome.

    Casca: A public figure and an assassin of Julius Caesar.

    The play opens with two tribunes (title of various elected officials in Rome) discovering the commoners of Rome celebrating Julius Caesar’s triumphant return from defeating the sons of his military rival, Pompey (a leading general). These tribunes, then insult the crowd for their change in loyalty from Pompey to Caesar. The officials then attempt to end the celebrations and break up with the commoners, who also return the insults. Later during the feast of Lupercal, (a pre-Roman pastoral annual festival) Caesar holds a victory parade when a soothsayer warns him to “Beware of the ides of March”, (the 74th day in the Roman calendar that corresponds to 15 March which means be careful as your life is in danger around that time) which Caesar ignores. Meanwhile, Cassius attempts to convince Brutus to join his conspiracy to kill Caesar. Brutus is friendly with Caesar, therefore hesitant to kill him. But he agrees that Caesar might be abusing his power so he needs to be killed. They then hear from Cacsa that Mark Antony has offered Caesar the crown of Rome three times and that each time Caesar refused it with increasing reluctance, in a hope that the crowd watching would beg him to accept the crown, yet the crowd applauded Caesar for denying the crown, upsetting Caesar, who actually wanted to accept the crown. On the eve of the ides of March, the conspirators meet and reveal that they have forged letters of support from the Roman people to tempt Brutus into joining. Brutus reads the letters and, after a lot of moral debate, decides to join the conspiracy, thinking that Caesar should be killed to prevent him from doing anything against the people of Rome if he were, ever to be crowned.

    Caesar ignores the soothsayer, as well as his wife Calpurnia’s own premonitions. Calpurnia was either the third or the fourth wife of Julius Caesar, and the one to whom he was married at the time of his assassination. According to contemporary sources, she was a good and faithful wife, in spite of her husband’s infidelity. She had forewarned Caesar of the attempt on his life, but her endeavour remained in vain and did not prevent his murder.

    Caesar goes to the Senate. The conspirators approach him with a fake petition pleading on behalf of Metellus Cimber’s banished brother. (Metellus Cimber is a Roman senator and also an assassin of Julius Caesar). As Caesar predictably rejects the petition, Casca and the others suddenly stab him. Brutus is last to do so. At this point, Caesar utters the famous line, “Et tu, Brute?” (“And you, Brutus?” … “You too, Brutus?”). The scene concludes with the quote, “Then fall, Caesar!” which means that Caesar will fall both as a man and also as the ruler of Rome.

    The conspirators make it clear, that they committed the murder for the good of Rome, not for their own purposes, and do not attempt to flee the scene. Brutus delivers an oration defending his own actions, and for that moment, the crowd is on his side. However, Mark Antony makes a subtle and eloquent speech over Caesar’s corpse, beginning with the much-quoted, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!” With this, he deftly turns the public opinion against the assassins by manipulating the emotions of the common people, in contrast to the rational tone of Brutus’ speech. He reminds them of the good that Caesar had done for Rome, his sympathy for the poor, and his refusal of the crown at the Lupercal festival, thus questioning Brutus’ claim of Caesar’s ambition. He shows Caesar’s bloodied, lifeless body to the crowd to have them shed tears and thus gain sympathy for their fallen hero. He reads Caesar’s will, in which every Roman citizen would receive 75 drachmas (the Greek currency). Antony, finally manages to rouse the mob to drive the conspirators away from Rome.

    Brutus next … attacks Cassius for supposedly soiling the noble act of regicide (the deliberate killing of a monarch) by having accepted bribes. The two later reconcile, especially, after Brutus reveals that his beloved wife has committed suicide under the stress of his absence from Rome. They prepare for a civil war against Mark Antony and Caesar’s adopted son Octavius, who have formed a triumvirate (a group) in Rome with Lepidus a Roman general. That night, Caesar’s ghost appears in front of Brutus with a warning of defeat. (He informs Brutus, “Thou shalt see me at Philippi.” a Greek city).

    At the battle of Philippi, Cassius and Brutus, knowing well, that they will probably, both die, smile their last smiles, at each other and hold hands. During the battle, Cassius has his servant, kill him, after hearing of, the capture of his best friend, Titinius—a noble man of Rome, and a friend of Cassius and a conspirator in Caesar’s death. After Titinius, who was not really captured, sees Cassius’ corpse, he commits suicide. However, Brutus wins, that stage of the battle, but his victory is not conclusive. With a heavy heart, Brutus battles again the next day. He loses and commits suicide by running on his own sword, held for him by a loyal soldier.

    The play ends with a tribute to Brutus by Antony, who proclaims that Brutus has remained “the noblest Roman of them all” because he was the only conspirator who acted, in his mind, for the good of Rome and was never jealous of Caesar

    Though Brutus acted in the interest of Rome as per Antony, but in the process, he did kill his friend Caesar, after which his name Brutus became the best metaphor for stabbing at the back.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

  

FFQ: FACTS, FIGURES & QUOTES: THE NUREMBERG TRIALS

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   The Nuremberg trials were a series of military tribunals held after World War II by the Allied Forces (The Allies or the Allied Forces of World War II, were called so, by the United Nations, in their January 1 1942 declaration.) They were the countries that together opposed the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis powers during the Second World War (1939-1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and the Italian aggression under international law and the laws of the war. The trials were most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, judicial, and economic leadership of Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany was the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) ruled the country through dictatorship.

    Under Hitler’s rule, Germany became a totalitarian state when nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government who planned, supervised, and horrendously carried out the holocaust. The holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was World War II’s genocide of the European Jews, between 1941 and 1945 across German-occupied Europe when, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews, around two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population and committed other war crimes.

    War Crime is an act that constitutes a serious violation of the laws of war that gives rise to individual criminal responsibility. Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, torturing, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, performing perfidy, raping, using child soldiers and pillaging. The trials were held in Nuremberg. Nuremberg is the second-largest city of the German federal state of Bavaria after its capital Munich. The trials marked a turning point between classical and contemporary international law.

    The first and the best known trials was that of the major war criminals before the International Military Tribunal (IMT). It was described as “the greatest trial in history” by Sir Norman Birkett, a British barrister, judge, politician and preacher who served as the alternate British judge during the Nuremberg trials, and one of the British judges present throughout. The trial was held between 20 November 1945 and 1 October 1946.

    The Tribunal was given the task of trying 24 of the most important political and military leaders of the Third Reich. Reich is a German word analogous to the English word meaning ‘realm of a king.’ Some important names that were put to trial were as follows:

    Let me begin with Martin Bormann who had died in May 1945 but the fact was not known to the allies and he was tried in absentia. Martin Ludwig Bormann was a German Nazi Party official and head of the Nazi Party Chancellery. He gained immense power by using his position as Adolf Hitler’s private secretary to control the flow of information and access to Hitler. After Hitler’s suicide on 30 April 1945, another defendant, Robert Ley, committed suicide within a week of his trial’s commencement.

    Adolf Hitler killed himself by a gunshot on 30 April 1945 in his Fuhrerbunker in Berlin. Eva Braun, his wife too committed suicide along with him by taking cyanide. In accordance with Hitler’s prior written and verbal instructions that afternoon, their remains were carried up the stairs through the bunker’s emergency exit, doused in petrol, and set alight in the Reich Chancellery garden outside the bunker. Records in the Soviet archives show that their burned remains were recovered and interred in successive locations until 1946. They were exhumed again and cremated in 1970, and the ashes were scattered. 

    Hitler had retreated to his bunker on January 16, after deciding to remain in Berlin for the last great siege of the war. Fifty-five feet under the chancellery (Hitler’s headquarters as chancellor), the shelter contained 18 small rooms and was fully self-sufficient, with its own water and electricity supply. He went out very rarely (once to decorate a squadron of Hitler Youth) and spent most of his time micromanaging what was left of German defenses and entertaining guests such as Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler, and Joachim von Ribbentrop. At his side was Eva Braun, whom he married only two days before their double suicide, and his dog, an Alsatian named Blondi.

    Warned by officers that the Russians were only a day or so away from overtaking the chancellery and urged him to escape to Berchtesgarden, a small town in the Bavarian Alps where Hitler owned a home, but the dictator instead chose suicide. It is believed that both he and his wife swallowed cyanide capsules which had been tested for its efficacy on his “beloved” dog and her pups. And for good measure, he even shot himself with his service pistol.

    The bodies of Hitler and Eva were cremated in the chancellery garden by the bunker survivors as per Der Fuhrer’s orders, and reportedly later recovered in parts by Russian troops. A German court finally officially declared Hitler dead, but not until 1956.

    Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels a German Nazi politician and a Reich Minister for Propoganda of the Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945, had both committed suicide in the spring of 1945 to avoid capture. Heinrich Himmler another leader of the Nazi Party, attempted to commit suicide, but was captured before he could succeed. He committed suicide one day after being arrested by British forces. On the other hand Heinrich Muller better known as Gestapo Muller the SS Gestapo chief of Hitler, who was central in planning the holocaust disappeared the day after Hitler’s suicide. He was the most senior figure of the Nazi regime whose fate remains unknown. He was neither captured nor confirmed to have died.

     Further Reinhard Heydrich a high-ranking German SS and police official of the Nazi era and the main architect of the holocaust was assassinated by Czech partisans in 1942. Josef Terboven another Nazi leader killed himself with dynamite in Norway in 1945. Adolf Eichmann fled to Argentina to avoid capture but was apprehended by Israel’s intelligence service (Mossad) and hanged after a trial in Jerusalem in 1962. Hermann Goring was sentenced to death but he committed suicide by swallowing cyanide the night before his execution.

    Primarily conducted in Nuremberg were the first initial trials, adjudicated by the International Military Tribunal. Further trials of lesser war criminals were conducted under Control Council Law No. 10 at the U.S. Nuremberg Military Tribunal (NMT), which included Doctors’ and Judges’ trial who too were part of war crimes.

    The categorization of the crimes and the constitution of the court represented a juridical advance that was to be followed afterward by the United Nations for the development of an international jurisprudence in matters of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and wars of aggression, and led to the creation of the International Criminal Court. For the first time in international law, the Nuremberg indictments also mentioned genocide (count three, war crimes: “the extermination of racial and national groups, against the civilian populations of certain occupied territories in order to destroy particular races and classes of people and national, racial, or religious groups, particularly Jews, Poles, Gypsies and others”).

    A precedent for trying those accused, of war crimes, had also been set up, at the end of World War I, in the Leipzig War Crimes Trials. The Leipzig War Crimes Trials were a series of trials held in 1921 to try alleged German war criminals of the First World War before the German Reichsgericht (the Supreme Court) in Leipzig, as part of the penalties imposed on the German government under the Treaty of Versailles. Only twelve individuals were brought to trial with mixed results, and the proceedings were widely regarded at the time as a failure. In the longer term, however, the trials were seen as a significant step towards the introduction of a comprehensive system for the prosecution of violations of international law.

 By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

JAMES JOYCE–why did Ireland refuse to accept his dead body.

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Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

    James Joyce is a 20th-century writer. His full name was James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (life span: 2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish novelist, short story writer, poet, teacher, and a literary critic. He contributed to the modernist avant-garde, and is regarded as one of the most influential and important authors of the 20th century. Joyce is best known for Ulysses (written in 1922), a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer’s Odyssey are paralleled in a variety of literary styles, most famously stream of consciousness (a narrative mode). In literature Ulysses was also the hero of Homer’s Odyssey.

    Other well-known works of James Joyce are the short-story collection ‘Dubliners’ (1914), and the novels, ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ (1916) and ‘Finnegans Wake’ (1939). His other writings include three books of poetry, a play, his published letters and occasional journalism. Apart from writing he also had an accomplished tenor and therefore could sing well.

EARLY LIFE

    He was born on 2 February 1882, in Dublin, Ireland. Joyce’s father was John Stanislaus Joyce and his mother was Mary Jane “May” Murray. He was the eldest of ten surviving siblings; two died of typhoid. James was baptised according to the rites of the Catholic Church.

     In 1887, his father was appointed rate collector by Dublin Corporation. The family subsequently moved to the fashionable adjacent small town of Bray, 12 miles from Dublin. Around this time Joyce was attacked by a dog, leading to his lifelong cynophobia (fear of dogs). He also suffered from astraphobia (fear of thunder and lightning).

EDUCATION

    Joyce had begun his education at Clongowes Wood College, a Jesuit boarding school near Clane, County Kildare, Ireland, in 1888, but had to leave it, in 1892, when his father could no longer pay the fee. Joyce then studied at home and briefly at the Christian Brothers O’Çonnel School, on North Richmond Street, in Dublin, before he was offered a place in the Jesuits’ Dublin school, Belvedere College, in 1893.

    Joyce later enrolled at the established University College Dublin (UCD) in 1898, studying English, French and Italian. He became active in theatrical and literary circles in the city. Joyce wrote a number of articles and at least two plays (since lost) during this period. Many of the friends he made at University College Dublin appeared as characters in Joyce’s works. Joyce was first introduced to the Irish public by Arthur Griffith in his newspaper, United Irishman, in November 1901. Joyce had written an article on the Irish Literary Theatre and his college magazine refused to print it. Joyce had it printed himself and distributed it locally. In 1901, the National Census of Ireland listed James Joyce (19) as an English- and Irish-speaking scholar living with his mother and father, six sisters and three brothers at Royal Terrace (now Inverness Road), Clontarf, Dublin.

PERSONAL HABITS: A lot has been spoken about his drinking habit. His father John Joyce too, was into, heavy drinking and even lost his job because of that and the habit was imbibed by his son James Joyce. James occasionally even got into brawls because of his drinking habit. He also had a very restless life.

HIS RESTLESS EARLY LIFE

    After graduating from University College Dublin in 1902, Joyce left for Paris to study medicine, but he soon abandoned it. This may have been because he found the technical lectures in French too difficult. Joyce had earlier failed to pass chemistry in his own English language in Dublin. But Joyce claimed ill health as the problem and wrote home that he was unwell and complained about the cold weather. He stayed on for a few months, appealing for finance which his family could ill-afford. His mother was diagnosed of cancer, when his father sent him a telegram that read, “NOTHER DYING COME HOME FATHER”. (Nother—a non-standard spelling for another) Joyce returned to Ireland. Fearing for her son’s impiety, his mother tried unsuccessfully to get Joyce to make his confession and to take communion. She finally passed into a coma and died. James and his brother Stanislaus refused to kneel with other members of the family praying by her bedside. After her death he continued to drink heavily, as a consequence conditions at home grew quite appalling. He scraped together a living by reviewing books, teaching, and singing.

ABOUT HIS WRITING

        In 1904, while in his early twenties, Joyce emigrated to continental Europe with his partner (and later wife) Nora Barnacle. They lived in Trieste—Italy, Paris, and Zurich. Although most of his adult life was spent abroad, Joyce’s fictional universe centres on Dublin and is populated largely by characters who closely resemble family members, enemies and friends from his time there. Ulysses in particular is set with precision in the streets and alleyways of the city.

    In 1891 Joyce wrote a poem on the death of Charles Stewart Parnell. His father was angry at the treatment of Parnell by the Catholic Church. The elder Joyce had the poem printed and even sent a part to the Vatican Library.

    On 7 January 1904, Joyce attempted to publish ‘A Portrait of the Artist’ an essay-story dealing with aesthetics, only to have it rejected by the free-thinking magazine Dana. He decided, on his twenty-second birthday, to revise the story into a novel he called Stephen Hero. It was a fictional rendering of Joyce’s youth, but he eventually grew frustrated with its direction and abandoned this work. It was never published in this form, but years later, in Trieste, Joyce completely rewrote it, as ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.’ The unfinished Stephen Hero was published after his death.

    In 1904, he met Nora Barnacle, a young woman from Galway city, Ireland, who was working as a chambermaid. On 16 June 1904 they had their first outing together, they walked to the Dublin suburb of Ringsend, where Nora masturbated him sexually. This event was commemorated by providing the date for the action of Ulysses (as “Bloomsday”).

    Joyce and Nora went into self-imposed exile, moving first to Zürich in Switzerland, where he ostensibly taught English at the Berlitz Language School. Later he was sent to Trieste, which was then part of Austria-Hungary (until the First World War), and is today part of Italy. He later taught in Pola, part of Croatia today. He stayed there, teaching English mainly to Austro-Hungarian naval officers stationed at the Pola base, from October 1904 until March 1905. Later he moved back to Trieste and began teaching English there. He remained in Trieste for the next ten years.

    Later that year Nora gave birth to their first child, George (known as Giorgio). Joyce persuaded his brother, Stanislaus, to join him in Trieste, and secured a teaching position for him at the school. Joyce sought to augment his family’s meagre income with his brother’s earnings. Stanislaus and Joyce had strained relations while they lived together in Trieste, arguing about Joyce’s drinking habits and frivolity with money.

    Joyce became frustrated with life in Trieste and moved to Rome in late 1906, taking employment as a clerk in a bank. But he disliked Rome and returned to Trieste in early 1907. So it was either Trieste or Dublin for him. His daughter Lucia was born later that year.

    Joyce returned to Dublin in mid-1909 with George his son, to visit his father and work on getting Dubliners published. While preparing to return to Trieste he decided to take one of his sisters, Eva, back with him to help Nora run the home. He spent a month in Trieste before returning to Dublin, this time as a representative of some cinema owners and businessmen from Trieste. With their backing he launched Ireland’s first cinema, the Volta Cinematography, which was well-received, but fell apart after Joyce left. He returned to Trieste in January 1910 with another sister, Eileen, in tow. For Eva had become homesick for Dublin and returned a few years later, but Eileen spent the rest of her life on the continent.

    Joyce returned to Dublin again briefly in mid-1912 for publishing his book ‘Dubliners’ but landed into a disagreement with his Dublin publisher. His trip was fruitless and upon his return he wrote a poem “Gas from a Burner’ as an invective, against publisher Roberts. After this trip, he never again came closer to Dublin than London, despite many pleas from his father and invitations from his fellow Irish writer, William Butler Yeats.

    One of his students in Trieste, Ettore Smith Ettore Schmitz, better known by the pseudonym Italo Svevo. They met in 1907 and became lasting friends and mutual critics. Schmitz was a Catholic of Jewish origin and became a primary model for Leopold Bloom; (the fictional protagonist and hero of James Joyce’s Ulysses) most of the details about the Jewish faith in Ulysses came from Schmitz’s responses to queries from Joyce. While living in Trieste, Joyce was first beset with eye problems that ultimately required over a dozen surgical operations.

    Joyce concocted a number of money-making schemes during this period, including an attempt to become a cinema magnate in Dublin. In 1915, after most of his students in Trieste were con-scripted to fight in the First World War, Joyce moved to Zürich.  Joyce set himself to finishing Ulysses in Paris, delighted to find that he was gradually gaining fame as an avant-garde writer. A further grant from a well-wisher meant he could devote himself full-time into writing again, as well as consort with other literary figures in the city. During this time, Joyce’s eyes began to give him more and more problems and he often wore an eye-patch. He was treated in Paris, undergoing nine operations before his surgeon’s death in 1929. Throughout the 1930s he travelled frequently to Switzerland for eye surgeries and for treatments for his daughter Lucia, who, according to the Joyces, suffered from schizophrenia. Lucia was analysed by Carl Jung a Swiss Psychiatrist at the time, who after reading U-lysses, is said to have concluded that her father too had schizophrenia. Jung said that she and her father were two people heading to the bottom of a river, except that Joyce was diving and Lucia was sinking.

    In Paris, two litterateurs or say activists nursed Joyce during his long years of writing ‘Finnegans Wake.’ Had it not been for their support this book probably would not have seen the light of the day.

JOYCE AND RELIGION

    The issue of Joyce’s relationship with religion is somewhat controversial. Early in life, he gave up on Catholicism. He expressed—My mind rejects the whole present social order and Christianity. Six years ago I left the Catholic church, hating it most fervently. I found it impossible for me to remain in it on account of the impulses of my nature. I made secret war upon it when I was a student and declined to accept the positions it offered me. By doing this I made myself a beggar but I retained my pride. Now I make open war upon it by what I write and say and do.

    When the arrangements for Joyce’s burial were being made, a Catholic priest offered a religious service, which Joyce’s wife, Nora, declined, saying, “I couldn’t do that to him.”

    Some novelist and historians have argued that Joyce, later in life, reconciled with the faith he rejected earlier and that his parting with the faith was succeeded, by a not so obvious reunion, and that Ulysses and Finnegans Wake are essentially Catholic expressions. Likewise, Hugh Kenner and T.S. Eliot believed they saw between the lines of Joyce’s work the outlook of a serious Christian and that beneath the veneer of the work lies a remnant of a Catholic belief and attitude. Kevin Sullivan maintains that, rather than reconciling with the faith, Joyce never left it. 

DEATH

    On 11 January 1941, Joyce underwent a surgery in Zürich for a perforated duodenal ulcer. He fell into a coma the following day. He awoke at 2 a.m. on 13 January 1941, and asked a nurse to call his wife and son, before losing consciousness again. They were en route when he died 15 minutes later. Joyce was less than a month short of his 59th birthday. His body was buried in the Fluntern Cemetery, Zürich.   Although two senior Irish diplomats were in Switzerland at the time of his death, neither attended Joyce’s funeral, and the Irish government later declined Nora’s offer to permit the repatriation of Joyce’s remains.

    When Joseph Walshe secretary at the Department of External Affairs in Dublin was informed of Joyce’s death he remarked—‘If possible find out did he die a Catholic? Express sympathy with Mrs Joyce and explain inability to attend funeral.’ Buried originally in an ordinary grave, Joyce was moved in 1966 to a more prominent “honour grave,” with a seated portrait statue by American artist Milton Hebald nearby. Nora, whom he had married in 1931, survived him by 10 years. She is buried by his side, as is, their son Giorgio, who died in 1976.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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