A Companion to James Joyce

A Companion to James Joyce

A Companion to James Joyce

A Companion to James Joyce

Synopsis

A Companion to James Joyce offers a unique composite overview and analysis of Joyce's writing, his global image, and his growing impact on twentieth- and twenty-first-century literatures.
  • Brings together 25 newly-commissioned essays by some of the top scholars in the field
  • Explores Joyce's distinctive cultural place in Irish, British and European modernism and the growing impact of his work elsewhere in the world
  • A comprehensive and timely Companion to current debates and possible areas of future development in Joyce studies
  • Offers new critical readings of several of Joyce's works, including Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Ulysses

Excerpt

The contribution of a volume on James Joyce to this series of Companions to Literature and Culture is not hard to justify in itself. Joyce’s work has outstandingly developed the kind of academic interest that would especially repay such treatment, with an intellectually distinguished as well as highly diverse body of criticism having grown up around it, at times exponentially. Joyce’s Dubliners (1914), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), Ulysses (1922), and, in its own way, Finnegans Wake (1939) have established quite unassailable places within the canons of twentieth-century modernistic literature, in Irish literature, more widely in the new, postcolonial, and global literatures in English, and in developments in the study of literary theory and culture, gender and sexuality, and so on. Joyce’s distinctive cultural placement as an iconic founding figure of British, American, and Irish modernism, as well as his unique and emerging significance as a prototypical figure for the discussion of modern multinational and transnational European cultural identity, contribute to the sense of a writer whose importance to a variety of key interests and constituencies is hard to overestimate and continues to grow.

Joyce’s work has been an inspiration to writers of prose fiction, poetry, drama, and film throughout the last century, with his status as a guru of the experimental or avantgarde frequently placing him at the forefront of significant cultural change. Innovations in literary and cultural theory (such as the revolutions in Continental philosophy associated with the post-1968 generation of Francophone intellectuals) as well as modern developments in academic empirical scholarship (such as historical and contextual study, reception study, and textual and genetic study) have frequently defined important stages of their progress in and through productive encounters with Joyce’s work. Joyce’s work remains authorial in a way that sometimes seems more comparable with the authorial status of a Shakespeare than with that of his modern contemporaries, whether you define that iconic position in relation to the newly independent Ireland, to the genre of twentieth-century prose fiction, or to our modernity itself.

Nevertheless aspects of Joyce’s work once provoked scandal and can frequently . . .

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