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ENGL406: James Joyce

Unit 1: James Joyce the Man   We will begin this course by introducing ourselves to James Joyce the man, learning what we can about his life and times, including the authors he gravitated towards, the volatile political situation he was born into, and his experience of blindness, among other things.  Because many of Joyce’s works bear an undeniable autobiographical inflection and frequently reference political figures and events of his day, you may find this unit particularly useful in deciphering some of the more obscure allusions in his later works.

Unit 1 Time Advisory
This unit should take you 9 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 1.1: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 1.2: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 1.3: 3 hours

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • Identify the major inspirations and influences that contributed to Joyce’s writing.
  • Situate the writer’s overall literary career within a historical context.
  • Trace the evolution of literature itself in Joyce’s lifetime, especially with relation to the Irish Revival and High Modernism.

1.1 Brief Biographical Overview   1.1.1 Childhood and Education   - Reading: University of Florida: Dr. R. Brandon Kershner’s “Early Years” Link: University of Florida: Dr. R. Brandon Kershner’s “Early Years”  (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this webpage for some basic information about Joyce’s early education and childhood.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.1.2 Catholic Upbringing   - Reading: University of Florida: Dr. R. Brandon Kershner’s “Schooldays” Link: University of Florida: Dr. R. Brandon Kershner’s "Schooldays" (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the entry titled “Schooldays” for a discussion of Joyce’s Catholic education, as well as his discontent with the religion.
 
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  • Reading: RTE Reading Ulysses’s “Eumaeus”; “Ithaca”; “Penelope” Link: RTE Reading Ulysses’s “Eumaeus”; (HTML)   “Ithaca”; (HTML) “Penelope” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read the sections linked here for a basic review of the important themes in these episodes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: University of Wisconsin’s James Joyce Scholars Center: Charles Peake’s James Joyce, the Citizen and the Artist: “Ulysses: The Form and Subordinate Structures” Link: University of Wisconsin’s James Joyce Scholars Center: Charles Peake’s James Joyce, the Citizen and the Artist: Ulysses: The Form and Subordinate Structures”(HTML)
     
    Also available in:
     
    Google Books
       
    Instructions: From the chapter on Ulysses, please read the section titled “Technics” found on pages 164-171.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Michael Murphy’s “Proteus and Prose: Paternity or Workmanship in James Joyce’s Ulysses” Link: Michael Murphy’s "Proteus and Prose: Paternity or Workmanship in James Joyce's Ulysses" (PDF)
      
    Instructions: Please read this essay for a discussion of the family relationships in Ulysses, especially Daedalus’s relationship with his father and mother.  Please note that to access the essay, you must follow the link with the article’s title.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: University of Wisconsin’s James Joyce Scholars Center: Margot Norris’s The Decentered Universe of Finnegans Wake: A Structuralist Analysis: “The Narrative Structure” Link: University of Wisconsin’s James Joyce Scholars Center: Margot Norris’s The Decentered Universe of Finnegans Wake: A Structuralist Analysis: “The Ontological Condition” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read the section from this chapter titled “Idle Talk,” which can be found on pages 79-85.  As you read, please focus on the discussion of the novel’s structure of repetitions and paradoxes.
     
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1.1.3 Father’s Failed Business and Middle-Class Dreams   - Reading: Herta Muller’s “Books and Writers”: “James Joyce” and Cornell University’s James Joyce Collection: “Writing Amid Chaos” Link: Herta Muller’s “Books and Writers”: “James Joyce” (PDF) and Cornell University’s James Joyce Collection: “Writing Amid Chaos”(HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read both entries linked here.  In the first item, please pay special attention to the first few paragraphs, which mention Joyce’s father’s failed business and the effect this situation had on Joyce and his family.  Then read the entry from the Cornell exhibition on James Joyce to learn about the author’s middle-class lifestyle.
 
Terms of Use: The "James Joyce" article is licensed by Petri Liukkonen under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial 1.0 Finland License (HTML).  A copy of the article in its original form can be found here (HTML).  Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.1.4 Marriage to Nora Barnacle   - Reading: Cornell University’s James Joyce Collection: “Letters to Home” Link: Cornell University’s James Joyce Collection: "Letters to Home" (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the short section titled “Letters to Home” for more about Joyce’s relationship with his family, especially his courtship of Nora Barnacle.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.1.5 Life in Trieste   - Reading: Cornell University’s James Joyce Collection: “Exile and Struggle” Link: Cornell University’s James Joyce Collection: "Exile and Struggle" (HTML)
 
Instructions: From Cornell’s James Joyce Collection, please read the short entry on his experience as an exile in Trieste.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.1.6 Relationship with Ezra Pound and W.B. Yeats   - Reading: Cornell University’s James Joyce Collection: “Network”; Poetry Foundation’s “Ezra Pound” and “William Butler Yeats” Link: Cornell University’s James Joyce Collection: “Network”; (HTML) Poetry Foundation’s “Ezra Pound”(HTML) and “William Butler Yeats”  (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entire section titled “Network” for a discussion of Joyce’s inclusion in the “literary aristocracy” as well as the two blurbs on Ezra Pound and WB Yeats for an introduction to these two formative figures in Joyce’s life.
 
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1.1.7 The World Wars and Joyce’s Reaction to Them   - Reading: Great Writers Inspire: Cleo Hanaway’s “James Joyce: A Biography” Link: Great Writers Inspire: Cleo Hanaway’s “James Joyce: A Biography” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this short biography and consider how the world war affected Joyce’s lifestyle.
 
Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales. It is attributed to Cleo Hanaway and the original version can be found here.

1.1.8 The Onset of Blindness   - Reading: Robot Wisdom: Jorn Barger’s “James Joyce’s Eyesight and Blindness” Link: Robot Wisdom: Jorn Barger’s “James Joyce’s Eyesight and Blindness”(PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read the short piece here for more information about Joyce’s blindness, including some quotes by Joyce on the subject of his loss of eyesight.
 
Terms of Use: Jorn Barger has licensed his content under an Open Web Content License (HTML).  

1.2 Inspirations and Influences   1.2.1 Henrik Ibsen and the Presentation of National Identity and City Life   - Reading: Robot Wisdom: Jorn Barger’s “James Joyce’s Literary Tastes” Link: Robot Wisdom: Jorn Barger’s “James Joyce’s Literary Tastes”(PDF)
 
Instructions: Please look over the section under the header “Ibsen” for more about Joyce’s reaction to the writer.  You may also wish to skim some of the other entries to get a sense for his literary tastes and his critical perspectives on works he had read.
 
Terms of Use: Jorn Barger has licensed his content under an Open Web Content License (HTML).  The original version of this piece can be found here (HTML).

1.2.2 St. Thomas Aquinas, His Philosophies, and the Concept of Claritas   - Reading: Fordham University’s Internet Medieval History Sourcebook: St. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae and New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia’s “Summa Theologiae” Link: Fordham University’s Internet Medieval History Sourcebook: St. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae(HTML) and New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia’s Summa Theologica(HTML)
   
Instructions: Please read the short excerpt from Summa Theologiae, as well as the encyclopedia article on the text.  You will find that Joyce borrowed heavily from this work and the philosophies it presents.
 
Note on the text: In his Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274) presents the major theological teachings of Christianity.  The work also articulates his aesthetic theories, including his definition of beauty as “integritas” (“wholeness”), “consonantia (“harmony”), and “claritas” (“radiance”).
 
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1.2.3 W.B. Yeats and the Irish Lyric   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation's version of William Butler Yeats’ “Who Goes with Fergus” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s version of William Butler Yeats’ “Who Goes With Fergus” (PDF)
   
Instructions: Please read the entirety of the short poem linked here.
 
Note on the text: Yeats’ “Who Goes with Fergus” centers upon a prominent figure in Irish mythology, Fergus, and presents Yeats’ characteristic imagery work and imaginative freedom.  Joyce was familiar with the poem and in fact uses the language and imagery in Ulysses.
 
Terms of Use: This poem is available in the public domain.

1.2.4 Realism and an Insistence on the Everyday   - Reading: University of Florida: Dr. R. Brandon Kershner’s “Structuralism and After” Link: University of Florida: Dr. R. Brandon Kershner’s “Structuralism and After” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the short piece linked here for more critical perspectives on Joyce’s work as a writer of realist texts.
 
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1.2.5 The Sights and Sounds of Dublin   - Web Media: University College Dublin’s Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive: “Joyce’s Dublin Gallery” Link: University College Dublin’s Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive: “Joyce’s Dublin Gallery

    
 Instructions: Please watch the slideshow and look over the
collection of pictures.  These will give you a good sense of the
sights, sounds, people, and places that defined Joyce’s Dublin.  
    
 Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the
kind permission of University College Dublin, and can be viewed in
its original form [here](http://www.joycesdublin.ie/?page_id=5). 
Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be
reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the
copyright holder. 

1.3 Historical and Cultural Context   1.3.1 The Legacy of the Act of Union and English-Irish Tensions   - Reading: BBC’s “Acts of Union” Link: BBC’s “Acts of Union” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the short entry for a review of the “Acts of Union.”  You will find this act an important backdrop in much of Joyce’s work.
 
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1.3.2 The Fenians, Parnell, and the Establishment of an Irish Free State   - Reading: BBC’s “Charles Parnell” and “Easter Rising” and The Modern World: Melanie Arndt’s “Joyce’s Hero Mythicized: Charles Stewart Parnell” Link: BBC’s "Charles Parnell"(HTML) and “Easter Rising”(HTML) and The Modern World: Melanie Arndt’s “Joyce’s Hero Mythicized: Charles Stewart Parnell”(HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the short entries on “Charles Parnell” and “Easter Rising” for a quick historical overview.  Then read the brief essay linked above for an examination of the Joyce’s interest in Parnell.
 
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1.3.3 The Irish Literary Revival: Key Figures, Concerns, and Tropes   - Reading: The Norton Anthology of English Literature’s “Imagining Ireland” Link: The Norton Anthology of English Literature’s “Imagining Ireland” (HTML)
   
Instructions: Read the essay linked here for basic information about the Irish Literary Revival.
 
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1.3.4 Joyce’s Contemporaries: Pound, Yeats, Hemingway, and Others   - Reading: University of Florida: Dr. R. Brandon Kershner’s “Flight to Europe” Link: University of Florida: Dr. R. Brandon Kershner’s “Flight to Europe”(HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the short essay for a discussion of Joyce’s relationship with contemporary writers.
 
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1.3.5 High Modernism: What Is It?—Key Figures, Concepts, and Works   - Reading: The Norton Anthology of English Literature’s “The Modernist Experiment” Link: The Norton Anthology of English Literature’s "The Modernist Experiment" (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the short essay for an overview of modernism.
 
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  • Lecture: iTunes U: UC Berkeley: Dr. John Bishop’s “Modernism and Post-Modernism” Link: UC Berkeley: Dr. John Bishop’s “Modernism and Post-Modernism

    Also available in:

    iTunes

    Instructions: Please listen to the entire lecture for a history of modernism, as well as a review of several prominent modernist writers, including James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Virginia Woolf, and William Faulkner.  This lecture will contextualize Joyce’s works for you.
     
    Terms of Use: The above video is reposted from the University of California – Berkeley’s Webcast.Berkeley.  The original version can be found here.  This video is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License

1.3.6 The World Wars and Their Cultural Impact   - Reading: The Norton Anthology of English Literature’s “Representing the Great War” Link: The Norton Anthology of English Literature’s “Representing the Great War”  (HTML)
   
Instructions: Please read the short piece linked here for more information on literary reactions to the World Wars.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.