At Christmas dinner in James Joyce's "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man," an argument begins about priests making political remarks in church. Stephen Dedalus's mother appeals to the holiday as a reason to put politics aside: "[...] let us have no political discussion on this day of all days in the year." Her call for a space and time outside of politics, though, is itself inescapably political. What is left after the bracketing of politics will always only be the politics of the status quo, of common-sense "normalcy", even in a time of political crisis (here, the fall of Irish nationalist leader Charles Parnell after he committed adultery). (Andrew Shields, #111words, 9 June)
Tuesday, June 09, 2020
"Let us have no political discussion on this day of all days in the year"
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