PLAYING FOR KEEPS: EXILES AND UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN

in Cultural Studies of James Joyce
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Abstract

In Joyce’s play Exiles the “frame situation,” in which Richard Rowan is purportedly interviewing for a professorship at UCD, is usually ignored by critics. But an examination of the political situation and the hiring practices at UCD in 1912 shows how extremely unlikely the hiring of someone in Richard’s personal situation would be. In turn, this suggests if we are to take the play’s claims to social realism seriously, it is possible that Robert Hand has been manipulating the situation from the start, well aware that Richard has no chance at academic employment in Ireland.