Semicolonial Joyceby Derek Attridge
Pub. Date: 01/28/2007
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Semicolonial Joyce is the first collection of essays to address the importance of Ireland's colonial situation in understanding the work of James Joyce. The volume reflects the ambivalences in Joyce's relationship with Irish nationalism, bringing together leading commentators on a topic that has attracted growing interest in recent years. The contributions both
Semicolonial Joyce is the first collection of essays to address the importance of Ireland's colonial situation in understanding the work of James Joyce. The volume reflects the ambivalences in Joyce's relationship with Irish nationalism, bringing together leading commentators on a topic that has attracted growing interest in recent years. The contributions both draw on and question the achievements of postcolonial theory, presenting a range of voices rather than a single position, and provide fresh insights into Joyce's resourceful engagement with political issues that remain highly topical today.
- Cambridge University Press
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Table of Contents
List of contributors; Acknowledgements; Note on references to Joyce's works; Introduction Marjorie Howes and Derek Attridge; 1. Dead ends: Joyce's finest moments Seamus Deane; 2. Disappearing Dublin: Ulysees, postcoloniality and the politics of space Enda Duffy; 3. 'Goodbye Ireland I'm going to Gort': geography, scale and narrating the nation Majorie Howes; 4. State of the art: Joyce and postcolonialism Emer Nolan; 5. 'Neither fish nor flesh'; or how 'Cyclops' stages the double-bind of Irish manhood Joseph Valente; 6. Counterparts: Dubliners, masculinity and temperance nationalism David Lloyd; 7. 'Have you no homes to go to?': Joyce and the politics of paralysis Luke Gibbons; 8. Don't cry for me, Argentina: 'Eveline' and the seductions of emigration propaganda Katherine Mullin; 9. 'Kilt by kelt shell kithagain with kinagain': Joyce and Scotland Willy Maley; 10. Phoenician genealogies and oriental geographies: Joyce, language and race Elizabeth Butler Cullingford; 11. Authenticity and identity: catching the Irish spirit Vincent J. Cheng; Index.
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What would a postcolonial Ireland look like? Derek Attridge, Marjorie Howes and their colleagues have collaborated and compiled a provocative volume of essays that addresses the juncture of Joyce Studies and Postcolonial Studies in the current academic climate. Responding with perspicacity to broad questions like 'Would a postcolonial Ireland have its face turned toward the past? Or would a postcolonial Ireland look towards the future, defining itself by finding colonial paradigms and their nationalist counterparts outmoded?' (p.5) the contributors present such novel and compelling approaches to understanding the multifarious ways in which Ireland figures in Joyce¿s work that the relatively slim compendium could stand as the definitive reference text for a hybrid field that Semicolonial Joyce almost single-handedly discovers. Citing a passage in Finnegans Wake that makes an indeterminate commentary on nationality and nations and whence they have found their titular pun 'semicolonial,' the editors indicate that an underestimated and under-explored level of criticism on 'nations and nationality' is imbued in both the significance and structural interstices constructed in Joyce¿s prose. The book places the intersection of postcolonial studies and Irish Studies within Joyce criticism and alerts the reader to the relationship between the evolution of postcolonial studies in the 1990¿s and the shift in focus in current Joyce studies toward 'an increasing attention to the Irish dimension of Joyce¿s writing,' and the problematic and complicated 'colonial' element of that dimension. The book engages the work of notable Joyce scholars as well as authors like Frantz Fanon and Homi Bhaba, whose seminal writings have virtually founded postcolonial studies. Only at times does the punned metaphor of the title bend this volume¿s project in an awkward direction, such as when Duffy insists that Joyce¿s work someday be 'viably considered more than semicolonial' (p.42). In fact, Semicolonial Joyce functions successfully as a metaphorical semicolon in that it joins approaches, disciplines, and conclusions ¿that would seem to have to be kept separate in order to survive¿ into a thriving intellectual organism. It is also an effective semicolon in that it fails to insist on the absolute authority and dominance of its conclusions; it announces itself as only one part of a complex and importance sentence, inviting ¿in fact insisting¿ others to contribute their own work and ideas before the authors of the field (writers who ¿we must agree with Barthes here¿ can never be distinguished from its readers) can mark the end with a fullstop.