James Joyce, Defoe lecture (Trieste, 1912)


Joyce, ‘Daniele Defoe’ (Italian)

Joyce, ‘Daniel Defoe’ (English)


The above downloadable Word documents contain the full texts — in the original Italian and English translation — of a lecture on Daniel Defoe that James Joyce delivered at the Univerità Populare, Trieste, Italy in 1912.

A bilingual edition of this lecture is virtually unobtainable — in print or on line. (The Defoe lecture, which was accompanied by one Joyce gave on William Blake, was presumed to be lost or unavailable for a long time.)  I managed to obtain separate texts and have transcribed the entire lecture for posting here.

Defoe and his works have long been an interest of mine, and my appreciation as well as interest in him continues to grow.

Roger W. Smith

   April 2020

6 thoughts on “James Joyce, Defoe lecture (Trieste, 1912)

  1. Clifford Duffy

    This is brilliant, thanks for making it available. I’ve looked high and low and found it impossible to discover. I originally had read it in a book of essays I once owned by Joyce but had lost.

    I’ve read it’s not been available is due to some copyright issues etc. In any case, I have it now and I look forward to reading your blog.

  2. Roger W. Smith Post author

    Thank you very much.

    It is not available anywhere else, as far as I know, which is hard to believe.

    I belong to the Author’s Guild. I consulted them for legal advice re copyright before posting this. I was told that copyright issues, restrictions do not apply at this time.

  3. Clifford Duffy

    I did some more research and it isnot, after all, a copyright issue. It is some ‘agreement’ with the Joyce estate, I saw this noted in a critical edition of JJ. I thought I could guess how come this is so but it is a puzzle.Joyce revered Defoe and claimed he’d read everything of the latter. Perhaps it is just some sentimental matter.I think Joyce would have preferred all his work be published. Apologies for typos in the previous remarks. I’m writing on an iPad with fingers and not a real keyboard.

  4. Roger W. Smith Post author

    Thanks for responding and clarifying re copyright issues. It so happens that I am a great admirer of Defoe. I have by no means read all of this vast output, but I have read quite a lot of him. Thanks again for the comment.

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