The Illicit Joyce of Postmodernism: Reading Against the Grain

The Illicit Joyce of Postmodernism: Reading Against the Grain

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by Kevin J. H. Dettmar, Kevin J. Dettmar
     
 

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For nearly three quarters of a century, the modernist way of reading has been the only way of reading James Joyce—useful, yes, and powerful but, like all frameworks, limited. This book takes a leap across those limits into postmodernism, where the pleasures and possibilities of an unsuspected Joyce are yet to be found.
    Kevin J. H.

Overview

For nearly three quarters of a century, the modernist way of reading has been the only way of reading James Joyce—useful, yes, and powerful but, like all frameworks, limited. This book takes a leap across those limits into postmodernism, where the pleasures and possibilities of an unsuspected Joyce are yet to be found.
    Kevin J. H. Dettmar begins by articulating a stylistics of postmodernism drawn from the key texts of Roland Barthes, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Jean-François Lyotard. Read within this framework, Dubliners emerges from behind its modernist facade as the earliest product of Joyce’s proto-postmodernist sensibility. Dettmar exposes these stories as tales of mystery, not mastery, despite the modernist earmarks of plentiful symbols, allusions, and epiphanies. Ulysses, too, has been inadequately served by modernist critics. Where they have emphasized the work’s ingenious Homeric structure, Dettmar focuses instead upon its seams, those points at which the narrative willfully, joyfully overflows its self-imposed bounds. Finally, he reads A Portrait of the Artist and Finnegans Wake as less playful, less daring texts—the first constrained by the precious, would-be poet at its center, the last marking a surprising retreat from the constantly evolving, vertiginous experience of Ulysses.
    In short, The Illicit Joyce of Postmodernism explores what happens when the extra-literary pronouncements of Eliot, Pound, and Joyce, as well as Joyce’s early critics, are set aside and a new, “unauthorized” Joyce is allowed to appear. This postmodern Joyce, more willful and less easily compartmentalized, stands as a counterpoint to the modernist Joyce who has perhaps become too familiar.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A postmodernist reading of the master of modernism

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780299150600
Publisher:
University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date:
07/28/1996
Pages:
292
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.82(d)

Meet the Author

Kevin J. H. Dettmar is associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of English at Clemson University. He is the editor of Marketing Modernisms: Self-Promotion, Canonization, Rereading and Rereading the New: A Backward Glance at Modernism.
 

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The Illicit Joyce of Postmodernism: Reading Against the Grain 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Of all the (tens of thousands) of pseudo-intellectual pontifications regarding Joyce that litter the tenure lines of academia, this one must have its subject most astounded, albeit cackling at the obtuseness of Mr. (undoubtedly Dr.) Dettmar's analysis. The execrable prose is wedded to equally execrable 'reasoning.' Even if Dettmar's thesis had an iota of common sense, his attempts to marshal support would be woefully inadequate. As it is, inanity pervades each sentence. Indeed, only the author himself might have done what the first reviewer claims to have done: digging through this dung heap, hoping for an occasional bit of undigested fiber, perhaps a husk of what was once a corn kernel, its generative material entirely indistinguishable. Fortunately, Dettmar's more recent work applies his moronic theories to contemporary popular music, subject matter more appropriate for his fetid prose and laughable attempts to apply concepts with which he is clearly only remotely familiar.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book it awesome, wonderful, amazing, brilliant! Kevin Dettmar is a genius and writes beautifully. I think that everyone should read this book. I have read it 7 times, and I am working on the eigth way through. I love this book and I bet you will too.