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'The Tommy Moore Touch': Ireland and Modernity in Joyce and Moore

'The Tommy Moore Touch': Ireland and Modernity in Joyce and Moore EMER NOLAN ‘THE TOMMY MOORE TOUCH’: IRELAND AND MODERNITY IN JOYCE AND MOORE In A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, Stephen Dedalus expresses his disdain for Thomas Moore, author of the Irish Melodies and the most popular Irish writer of the nineteenth century. As he passes ‘the droll statue of the national poet of Ireland’ in College Green, Stephen remarks on the figure’s ‘servile head’, describing Moore as a ‘Firbolg in the borrowed cloak of a Milesian’ (P V.216–21). In Ulysses, Leopold Bloom sees the same statue and comments, with an ironic nod to one of the best-known Melodies, that ‘[t]hey did right to put him over a urinal: meeting of the waters’ (U 8.414–15). Moore is apparently a despised figure, but perhaps here as elsewhere, Stephen’s contempt is in fact a measure of his intense involvement. In spite of his occasional scorn for Moore, Joyce refers to the Melodies throughout his works, alluding to every one of them in Finnegans Wake: he takes their appeal seriously and clearly was not immune to it himself. Louis Gillet recalls how Joyce would play ‘his treasury of Irish melodies’ on the piano in Paris, his listeners ‘suspended on http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Dublin James Joyce Journal James Joyce Research Center @ University College Dublin

'The Tommy Moore Touch': Ireland and Modernity in Joyce and Moore

Dublin James Joyce Journal , Volume 2 – Mar 2, 2012

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Publisher
James Joyce Research Center @ University College Dublin
ISSN
2009-4507

Abstract

EMER NOLAN ‘THE TOMMY MOORE TOUCH’: IRELAND AND MODERNITY IN JOYCE AND MOORE In A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, Stephen Dedalus expresses his disdain for Thomas Moore, author of the Irish Melodies and the most popular Irish writer of the nineteenth century. As he passes ‘the droll statue of the national poet of Ireland’ in College Green, Stephen remarks on the figure’s ‘servile head’, describing Moore as a ‘Firbolg in the borrowed cloak of a Milesian’ (P V.216–21). In Ulysses, Leopold Bloom sees the same statue and comments, with an ironic nod to one of the best-known Melodies, that ‘[t]hey did right to put him over a urinal: meeting of the waters’ (U 8.414–15). Moore is apparently a despised figure, but perhaps here as elsewhere, Stephen’s contempt is in fact a measure of his intense involvement. In spite of his occasional scorn for Moore, Joyce refers to the Melodies throughout his works, alluding to every one of them in Finnegans Wake: he takes their appeal seriously and clearly was not immune to it himself. Louis Gillet recalls how Joyce would play ‘his treasury of Irish melodies’ on the piano in Paris, his listeners ‘suspended on

Journal

Dublin James Joyce JournalJames Joyce Research Center @ University College Dublin

Published: Mar 2, 2012

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