Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library

ReJoycing: New Readings of Dubliners

Rosa M. Bollettieri Bosinelli
Harold F. Mosher
Copyright Date: 1998
Edition: 1
Pages: 256
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    "In this volume, the contributors -- a veritable Who's Who of Joyce specialists -- provide an excellent introduction to the central issues of contemporary Joyce criticism."

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4907-3
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Rosia Maria Bollettieri Bosinelli and Harold F. Mosher Jr.
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)
    Patrick A. McCarthy

    James Joyce beganDublinersin 1904 as a short story sequence for George Russell’s agricultural journalThe Irish Homestead, which published versions of “The Sisters” “Eveline,” and “After the Race” before complaints from readers offended by the stories’ caustic treatment of Irish life led Russell to suspend publication of the stories. By then, however, Joyce was already planning to recast his series of discrete narratives into a book of stories linked by their common concern with Catholic middle-class life in Dublin as well as by various overlapping themes, images, and situations.Dublinerswas published in 1914, after numerous delays and...

  5. Symbolism, Realism, and Style

    • Chapter One A Book of Many Uncertainties: Joyce’s Dubliners
      (pp. 13-40)
      Sonja Bašić

      One of the problems presented by the existing critical approaches to James Joyce’sDublinersis overinterpretation or too literal interpretation. On the whole, there has been too much “irritable reaching” after verifiable facts and incontrovertible conclusions, not only among the critics who considerDublinerspreeminently as a realist work but even among those who give precedence to its symbolist complexities. The “realists” have tended to rely too much on the reputation ofDublinersas the simplest, most accessible of Joyce’s works, forgetting that this work is also revolutionary in a particularly underhand way. And the “symbolists” have in turn neglected...

    • Chapter Two The Geometry of Meaning in Dubliners: A Euclidian Approach
      (pp. 41-52)
      Thomas Jackson Rice

      In December 1921, two months before the publication of James Joyce’sUlyssesin book form, the French critic Valéry Larbaud established himself as the first Joycean to recognize a structural correspondence between Joyce’s forthcoming novel and his first prose work,Dubliners(1914): “This is still the society ofDubliners, and the eighteen parts ofUlyssescan provisionally be considered as eighteen tales with different aspects of the life of the Irish capital as their subjects.” Larbaud proceeds, however, to distinguish what he has earlier described as Joyce’s more traditional naturalism inDublinersfrom his symbolic method inUlysses:

      Although each...

    • Chapter Three Clichés and Repetition in Dubliners: The Example of “A Little Cloud”
      (pp. 53-67)
      Harold F. Mosher Jr.

      My concern is with repetition inDublinersespecially in the form of clichés and hackneyed language, a concern, it would appear, with a surplus of words, but I shall argue that inDublinersJoyce’s “gift of gab” paradoxically hides beneath this excessive expression a content of lack much as Flaubert’s long but unfinished novelBouvard et Pécuchet,with its accompanyingDictionnaire des idées reçues,talks “endlessly” about nothingness, a subject, however, of great importance. This content of lack inDublinerssuggests the ultimate significance of Joyce’s various forms of repetition of expression and content.¹

      The cliché’s signification and value as...

    • Chapter Four Text at the Crossroads: Multilingual Transformations of James Joyce’s Dubliners
      (pp. 68-84)
      Jolanta W. Wawrzycka

      What kind of “Joyce” do foreign readers encounter when they enterDublinersin their native language? What kind of transformations do Joyce’s texts undergo in translation? These questions have been asked before; I ask them again in the context of my recent rereading of the Polish translation ofDubliners. The Polish version made me realize how much of the Joyce ofDublinerscould not but be lost in translation, and reflect on the insights into Joyce that Polish critics and academics form based on translations they read. By extension, one has to wonder about the nature of insights formed by...

  6. Language and Power

    • Chapter Five No Cheer for “the Gratefully Oppressed”: Ideology in Joyce’s Dubliners
      (pp. 87-109)
      Trevor L. Williams

      This essay examines certain forms of oppression and their effect on consciousness in a few of the stories in Joyce’sDubliners.¹ Central to the discussion is the concept of ideology, which I always use with a negative connotation. That is, ideology here is not a neutral term describing a set of ideas held by a group or party. Marxists, in voluminous and often abstruse polemics, have so far failed to define the term satisfactorily. Hence, to reduce an extremely complex debate to one paragraph is simplistic but, for present purposes, necessary.

      Marx, inThe German Ideology, seems to argue that...

    • Chapter Six “Taking the Biscuit”: Narrative Cheekiness in Dubliners
      (pp. 110-122)
      Claire A. Culleton

      What does it mean when a character murmurs “biscuitfully to the dusty windowpane” (U7.237-38)?¹ When Professor MacHugh, a character in episode seven ofUlysses,is described in this way, readers must go back to the earlyDublinersstory “Two Gallants” to exact full meaning and amusement from Joyce’s adverbial neologism, “biscuitfully.” Importantly, when the neologism appears in “Aeolus,” Professor MacHugh is busy trying to gather an audience in the newsroom; but other characters continue to interrupt and distract him from his narration. Though Professor MacHugh munches on a biscuit as he softly murmurs to the dusty windowpane, the word...

    • Chapter Seven Joyce’s “The Dead”: The Dissolution of the Self and the Police
      (pp. 123-142)
      John Paul Riquelme

      The charge that literature, particularly prose fiction, serves primarily a socially compliant rather than a socially resisting function has been vigorously made in some recent books dealing with nineteenth-and early twentieth-century narratives.¹ The long final chapter of one of these books, Vincent Pecora’sSelf and Form in Modern Narrative,contains a concerted attack on Joyce’s “The Dead” as an example of early modernist fictional technique in service to ideological delusions, particularly to a mystification concerning authenticity and generosity that Gabriel Conroy exemplifies.² Pecora maintains that both the story’s narrating strategies, especially free indirect discourse, and its thematics of generosity are...

  7. Gender and Control

    • Chapter Eight “She Had Become a Memory”: Women as Memory in James Joyce’s Dubliners
      (pp. 145-164)
      Raffaella Baccolini

      Modernist writers have shown a profound ambivalence toward the past and tradition. If it is true, as Hayden White argues inTropics of Discourse,that the modernists have shown an intense “hostility toward historical consciousness” and toward history itself, it is also true that they have shown a similar obsession with the past, its return and influence on the present (31). James Joyce’s Stephen’s famous claim that “history … is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake” (Ulysses2.377) can be countered by T.S. Eliot’s insistence that historical sense is indispensable for the artist and that it “involves...

    • Chapter Nine Language, Character, and Gender in the Direct Discourse of Dubliners
      (pp. 165-178)
      Marlena G. Corcoran

      Much goes unsaid inDubliners,and far less is said by women than by men.¹ Nevertheless, an analysis of patterns of direct discourse in the book—with what frequency it occurs and under what circumstances and in what constellations male and female characters speak—is revealing. The termsmen, women,andspeech,though used with seeming naivete, are not understood here as preexisting categories; the investigation in the first section is rather into the complementary establishment of language, character, and gender as systems of sociotextual practice. In the second, historical section, I contrast these patterns with what is known of...

    • Chapter Ten Gendered Discourse and the Structure of Joyce’s “The Dead”
      (pp. 179-192)
      David Leon Higdon

      “At any rate, very careful composition,” wrote Virginia Woolf in her “Dalloway Notebook” on 16 October 1922, “[t]he contrast must be arranged…. The design is extremely complicated. The balance must be very finely considered” (quoted in Novak 226-27). She was, of course, mapping the structure ofMrs. Dallowaybeing generated by the eventual intersection of the lives of Clarissa Dalloway and Septimus Smith. However, with equal appropriateness she could have been describing the structural features of James Joyce’s “The Dead,” for it, too, has an “extremely complicated” binary design whose “contrast … must be finely considered.” In many ways, though,...

  8. Meaning Deferred and Revealed

    • Chapter Eleven Titles in Dubliners
      (pp. 195-205)
      Ulrich Schneider

      Joyce critics have often been puzzled by the meaning of some of the more enigmatic tides inDublinersbut, as far as I know, have never given them their due in the form of a special study. Yet in dealing with the stories as in dealing with other literary texts, we are bound, in Harry Levin’s words, “to address ourselves sooner or later to the subject of titology” (xxiii). In the last ten years, research on tides has been promoted energetically by Leo H. Hoek, Arnold Rothe, Gérard Genette, and others.¹ Methodologically different as their studies are, they have all...

    • Chapter Twelve “A Very Fine Piece of Writing”: An Etymological, Dantean, and Gnostic Reading of Joyce’s “Ivy Day in the Committee Room”
      (pp. 206-227)
      Michael Brian

      Joyce’s familiarity with etymology preceded the writing ofDublinersby several years. About 1898 to 1899, the college student Stephen, of Joyce’s semiautobiographical novel,Stephen Hero,“read Skeat’s Etymological Dictionary by the hour and his mind, which had from the first been only too submissive to the infant sense of wonder, was often hypnotised by the most commonplace conversation. People seemed to him strangely ignorant of the value of the words they used so glibly” (32). Joyce wrote about the same time an essay that stresses the centrality and pervasiveness of etymology in writing. He claimed: “The Grammar of a...

    • Chapter Thirteen The Artist Paring His Quotations: Aesthetic and Ethical Implications of the Dantean Intertext in Dubliners
      (pp. 228-246)
      Lucia Boldrini

      “There was no hope for him this time: it was the third stroke” (Dubliners9; hereafter cited with page numbers asD). The opening sentence of “The Sisters,” much quoted and much commented on, has been analyzed brilliantly by John Paul Riquelme inTeller and Tale in Joyce’s Fictionto show how it can be recognized only retrospectively as first-person narration (a fact generally unnoticed by even the most skilled readers) and can be defined as a rare instance of “self-narrated interior monologue” (101). Despite Riquelme’s convincing arguments against fusing boy and narrator in the story (98), some critics have...

  9. New Directions

    • Chapter Fourteen Gnomon Inverted
      (pp. 249-257)
      Fritz Senn

      Few of Joyce’s own embedded cues have been as provocative as the triad of strange words that trouble the young boy in “The Sisters”:paralysis, gnomon, simony. In their privileged position, closing the initial paragraph, they are lexical irritants or intriguing, efficient signposts. They have been amply commented on and their alleged directions have been avidly followed.

      Euclid definedgnomonas what is left once one small parallelog is subtracted from a larger one. Euclid (incidentally the first name offered in the story¹) gave the geometrical form a name, perhaps after one of its previous meanings as a carpenter’s tool....

  10. Contributors
    (pp. 258-260)
  11. Index
    (pp. 261-271)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 272-272)