Help My Unbelief
From the very beginning James Joyce's readers have considered him as a Catholic or an anti-Catholic writer, and in recent years the tendency has been to recuperate him for an alternative and decidedly liberal form of Catholicism. However, a careful study of Joyce's published and unpublished writings reveals that throughout his career as a writer he rejected the church in which he had grown up. As a result, Geert Lernout argues that it is misleading to divorce his work from that particular context, which was so important to his decision to become a writer in the first place. Arguing that Joyce's unbelief is critical for a fuller understanding of his work, Lernout takes his title from Ulysses, ",I believe, O Lord, help my unbelief. That is, help me to believe or help me to unbelieve?",, itself a quote from Mark 9: 24. This incisive study will be of interest to all readers of Joyce and to anyone interested in the relationship between religion and literature.
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