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"Gas from a Burner"

DublinersThis satire by Joyce dates from 1912,  It was written to lampoon his publisher Maunsel & Co. of Dublin. Although they first promised to print Dubliners, its sensitive subject matter made them grow increasingly more cagey, until an offended printer finally smashed up the type in 1912. Outraged, Joyce wrote "Gas from a Burner," a savage diatribe against printers and publishers which takes the form of an imaginary monologue delivered by the printer himself. In the poem, the printer defends his actions because he saw it as his duty to protect Ireland's honor from such filth – and more so, from any writer who would have the vulgarity to mention actual Irish locations by name! The satire has a broader aim than just the printer, however, and portrays him as just a symptom of Ireland's deeper problems – her habit of betraying her leaders, bowing down to foreign powers, and sending her artists into exile.