“An indispensable collection of essays that should inspire new interest in Joyce’s poetry, both for its own sake and for its relationship to the prose works.”—Patrick A. McCarthy, coeditor of the James Joyce Literary Supplement
“The authors demonstrate collectively that the lyric poems reward—and will continue to reward—greater attention than they have hitherto received. The collection as a whole should inspire the next generation of Joyceans to foreground Chamber Music and Pomes Penyeach in their scholarship and in their teaching.”—Victor Luftig, coeditor of Joyce and the Subject of History
To many, James Joyce is simply the greatest novelist of the twentieth century. Scholars have pored over every minutia of his public and private life—from utility bills to deeply personal letters—in search of new insights into his life and work. Yet, for the most part, they have paid scant attention to the two volumes of poetry he published.
The eight contributors to The Poetry of James Joyce Reconsidered convincingly challenge the critical consensus that Joyce’s poetry is inferior to his prose. They reveal how his poems provide entries into Joyce’s most personal and intimate thoughts and ideas. They also demonstrate that Joyce’s poetic explorations—of the nature of knowledge, sexual intimacy, the changing quality of love, the relations between writing and music, and the religious dimensions of the human experience—were fundamental to his development as a writer of prose.
This exciting new work is sure to spark new interest in Joyce’s poetry and will become an essential and indispensable resource for students and scholars of his life and work.
Marc C. Conner is professor of English at Washington and Lee University and editor of Charles Johnson: The Novelist as Philosopher.
A volume in the Florida James Joyce Series, edited by Sebastian D. G. Knowles