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2000s -2

Derek Attridge / Joyce Effects: on Language, Theory, and History (2000)


Attridge, Derek. Joyce Effects: on Language, Theory, and History. Cambridge UP, 2000.




1. Introduction: on being a Joycean

2. Deconstructive criticism of Joyce

3. Popular Joyce?

4. Touching 'Clay': Reference and reality in Dubliners

5. Joyce and the ideology of character

6. 'Suck was a queer word': Language, sex, and the remainder in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

7. Joyce, Jameson, and the text of history

8. Wakean history: not yet

9. Molly's flow: the writing of 'Penelope' and the question of women's language

10. The postmodernity of Joyce: chance, coincidence, and the reader

11. Countlessness of live-stories: narrativity in Finnegan's Wake

12. Finnegans awake, or the dream of interpretation

13. The Wake's confounded language

14. Envoi

Judging Joyce




Joyce Effects is a series of connected essays by one of today's leading commentators on James Joyce. Joyce's books, Derek Attridge argues, go off like fireworks, and one of this book's aims is to enhance the reader's enjoyment of these special effects. He also examines another sort of effect: the way Joyce's writing challenges and transforms our understanding of language, literature, and history. Attridge's exploration of these transforming effects represents fifteen years of close engagement with Joyce, and reflects the changing course of Joyce criticism during this period. Each of Joyce's four major books is addressed in depth, while several shorter chapters take up particular theoretical topics such as character, chance and coincidence, historical writing and narrative as they are staged and scrutinized in Joyce's writing. Through lively and accessible discussion, this book advances a mode of reading open to both the pleasures and the surprises of the literary work.

Roy Gottfried / Joyce's Comic Portrait (2000)


Gottfried, Roy. Joyce's Comic Portrait. UP of Florida, 2000.




Foreword by Zack Bowen


Introduction. "To Tumble" Rather Than "To Fall": The Comic Portrait

1. "The Comic Irishman in the Bench Behind": The Portrait with Two Heads

2. The Surd and the Absurd: The Conflated Language of Comedy

3. Two Comic Contexts

4. Obscure Arts and the Economy of Vulgar Language

5. The Portrait Alternately Portrayed


Selected Bibliography




"An overall argument that is strong and sound and important to our understanding of Joyce’s comic project."--Claire A. Culleton, Kent State University

In the first book-length study of the comedic in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Roy Gottfried argues that, far from being a solemn work, Joyce’s early masterpiece is covertly but determinedly comic. Specifically, he looks at the Portrait’s narrative structure, the protagonist Stephen’s conscious disavowal of humor, and Joyce’s comic use of word-play, vulgarity, and gendered language to establish the work’s doubled nature.

In Portrait of the Artist, Gottfried argues, Stephen attempts to put all humor away from him, perceiving it as a temptation to abandon his sense of high seriousness and mission. Routinely, however, the comedic intrudes, creating a shadow or a double that challenges the very nature of "portraiture."

Central to Gottfried’s argument and method is a comparison of Portrait and the earlier Stephen Hero, in which Gottfried demonstrates how Joyce deliberately edited the more overtly comic Stephen Hero to create a Portrait in which the comedic is diffused and backgrounded but never erased, existing always just beyond or behind the text.

Gottfried also looks at Joyce’s early theorizing about the comic, the development of his prose style across time, and the comedic influence of popular culture on Portrait. Challenging long-held assumptions in Joyce scholarship, Joyce’s Comic Portrait is an original and lively contribution of interest to students and scholars alike.

Roy Gottfried is professor of English at Vanderbilt University and author of Joyce’s Iritis and the Irritated Text: The Dis-lexic Ulysses (UPF, 1995), winner of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association Book Award.