Matthew Hodgart discusses the Irish writer James Joyce, emphasizing the entertainment value of Joyce’s work. Finnegans Wake and Ulysses illustrate this humor, as well as other themes such as Joyce’s use of language, the long political history of Ireland, the rejection of violence, a humanistic reinterpretation of traditional religion, and the absurdity of human beings. Kent Mullikin joins this conversation.
In the second segment [16:23], Kejia Yuan describes his work at the National Humanities Center, where he wrote a scholarly study in Chinese about American modernist literature. He discusses the history of Chinese scholarship in American literature from the end of the nineteenth century into the 1980s; and censorship in China, especially during and following the Cultural Revolution.
At the time of this interview, Hodgart was professor of English literature at Sussex University, England, and the author of James Joyce: A Student’s Guide. Mullikin was assistant director of the National Humanities Center.
Yuan, a Fellow at the National Humanities Center (1981-82), was a member of the faculty at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing.
This edition of Soundings was conducted by Wayne J. Pond.