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MacCabe, Colin. James Joyce: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP, 2021. 




List of illustrations 


1. A publication in pot-First World War Paris

2. Dubliners

3. A Portrait 

4. Ulysses

5. Finnegans Wake

6. The Aunt Josephine Paradox

Further reading





James Joyce is one of the greatest writers in English. His first book, A Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man laid down the template for the Coming of Age novel, while his collection of short stories, Dubliners, is of perennial interest. His great modern epic, Ulysses, took the city of Dublin for its setting and all human life for its subject, and its publication in 1922 marked the beginning of the modern novel. Joyce's final work, Finnegans Wake is an endless experiment in narrative and language. But if Joyce is a great writer he is also the most difficult writer in English. Finnegans Wake is written in a freshly invented language, and Ulysses exhausts all the forms and styles of English. Even the apparently simple Dubliners has plots of endless complexity, while the structure of A Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man is exceptionally intricate.


This Very Short Introduction explores the work of this most influential yet complex writer, and analyses how Joyce's difficulty grew out of his situation as an Irish writer unwilling to accept the traditions of his imperialist oppressor, and contemptuous of the cultural banality of the Gaelic revival. Joyce wanted to investigate and celebrate his own life, but this meant investigating and celebrating the drunks of Dublin's pubs and the prostitutes of Dublin's brothels. No subject was alien to him and he developed the naturalist project of recording all aspects of life with the symbolist project of finding significant correspondences in the most unlikely material. Throughout, Colin MacCabe interweaves Joyce's life and history with his books, and draws out their themes and connections.





















Garrett, Peter K., editor. Twentieth Century Intepretations of Dubliners. New Jersey: Prentice-Halls, 1968.


Beck, Warren. Joyce’s Dubliners: Substance, Vision, and Art. Durham: Duke University Press, 1969. 


Hart, Clive. James Joyce's Dubliners: Critical Essays. Faber, 1969. 



Beja, Morris, editor. James Joyce: Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; A Casebook. London: Macmillan, 1973.  



Bidwell, Bruce and Linda Heffer. The Joycean Way: A Topographic Guide to Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Dublin: Wolfhound, 1981.


Gifford, Don. Notes for Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Second Edition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982. 


Bloom, Harold, editor. James Joyce's Dubliners. Chelsea House, 1988. 



Benstock, Bernard. Narrative Con/Texts in Dubliners. U of Illinois P, 1994. 


Bennet, Douglas. Encyclopedia of Dublin. Gill and MacMillan, 1994.


Ingersoll, Earl G. Engendered Trope in Joyce's Dubliners. Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois UP, 1996.


Power, Mary and Ulrich Schneider, eds. New Perspectives on Dubliners: European Joyce Studies 7. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1997.


Bosinelli Bollettieri, Rosa M., and Harold F. Mosher Jr., eds. ReJoycing: New Readings of Dubliners. Lexington: UP of Kentucky, 1998.



Norris, Margot. Suspicious Readings of Joyce’s Dubliners. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003.


Frawley, Oona, editor. A New & Complex Sensation: Essays on Joyce’s Dubliners. Dublin: Lilliput, 2004.


Norris, Margot, editor. Dubliners: Authoritative Text, Contexts, Criticism. Norton, 2006. 


Thacker, Andrew, ed. Dubliners: James Joyce. New Casebook Series. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.



Mahaffey, Vicki, editor. Collaborative Dubliners: Joyce in Dialogue. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse UP, 2012.


Morris, Tomas, editor. Dubliners 100: 15 New Stories Inspired by the Original. Dublin: Trampress, 2014.