Dead Socialist Watch, #12

In Memoriam James Joyce, died 13 January 1941, Z�rich.

James Joyce isn’t a familiar figure on the list of Dead Socialists, and it took me a long time to realise the extent of Joyce’s socialist politics, given the apolitical pose he liked to strike from time to time. But a useful passage in Vincent Cheng’s Joyce, Race and Empire, pp.129-134 summarises the evidence, which includes the testimony of his brother (“He calls himself a socialist, but attaches himself to no school of socialism”), the contents of his library in Trieste (he owned a great deal of socialist and anarchist literature), and a consistently anti-imperialist politics in his various writings.

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