Document Type

Book Chapter


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


General literature studies, 6.5 OTHER HUMANITIES

Publication Details

Mac Con Iomaire, M. (2018). ‘Orality in Joyce – Food, Famine, Feasts and Public Houses’. In Elisa Oliver (ed.) Tasting Joyce. Manchester: Manchester Metropolitan University. pp. 106-118.


Some common themes within the history of food and literature include starvation, famine, gluttony, feasting, commensality, hospitality, religion, gender, and class, and indeed food also functions as a complex signifier of national, racial, and cultural identity. Despite the growing international scholarship of food in literature (Bevan 1988; Schofield 1989; Ellmann 1993; Applebaum 2006; Piatti-Farnell 2011; Gilbert and Porter 2015; Boyce and Fitzpatrick 2017; Piatti-Farnell and Lee Brien 2018), until recently, Ireland appeared “as only the smallest of dots on the map of high gastronomy” (Goldstein 2014, xi). Most international collections discuss the canonical Irish writings of James Joyce and of Jonathan Swift, and more recent collections include Seamus Heaney’s poetry (Gilbert and Porter 2015). Much of Joyce’s work is oral in as much that it is more talked about than read, but this article broadens the understanding of orality from the oral tradition to also includes what does or does not enter the mouth.