Joyce Effects: On Language, Theory, and History

Joyce Effects: On Language, Theory, and History

Derek Attridge

Language: English

Pages: 228

ISBN: 0521777887

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Joyce Effects is a collection of essays by a leading commentator on James Joyce. Joyce's books, Derek Attridge argues, go off like fireworks, and one of this book's aims is to enhance the reader's enjoyment of these special effects. He examines the way Joyce's writing challenges and transforms our understanding of language, literature, and history and offers in-depth analysis of Joyce's major works. This collection represents fifteen years of close engagement with Joyce by Derek Attridge and reflects the changing course of Joyce criticism during this period.





















importance’, as if what really matters is to focus on this, not that – on, say, thematic explication, or stylistic commentary, or biographical discussion, or historical analysis, or genetic study. Each of these ways of talking about a work, and many others, contributes to some wider discourse, and its value depends on the status of that discourse, a status which will vary across times and places. If I were to carry out a detailed examination of the quality of the paper on which different editions

had tried – with a large measure of success – to corral these elements of language within the strong walls of a scientific discipline; Joyce (perhaps benefiting from the special vantage point granted by his linguistic marginality as a speaker of Anglo-Irish) found a way of capitalizing on the inevitability of breaches in the fortress.                      The irony that underlies this remarkable artistic breakthrough in A Portrait is, of course, that the artist whose portrait

that claim of finality. It is only in Finnegans Wake that Joyce fully resists the linear, progressive, subsuming structure at the level of discours as well as at the level of histoire: no amount of ingenious analysis can make the language or the content of the later chapters encapsulate, transcend, or dominate that of the earlier ones. The sense of deepening insight, of closer and closer approximation to  Joyce, Jameson, and the text of history the Real, which is such a persuasive feature of

two lines – the fourth and fifth – which they omit. Although their repeated use of the truncated phrase ‘densest condensation, hard’ to attack male writing would not lead the reader to suppose it, the primary meaning of the word ‘hard’ in Tennyson’s poem is ‘difficult’, as the full phrase ‘hard to mind and eye’ indicates. The issue that is really at stake here is not some phallic language which all men, and only men, speak, but the long history of exclusion from education that women have suffered;

in which I spoke), and chapter , ‘Joyce and the Ideology of Character’ (given as part of a panel on ‘Character and Contemporary Theory’, organized by Bonnie Kime Scott). These essays, published in the conference volume (see note  above), clearly reflect my early enthusiasm for the work of Derrida, as well as that of Jean-François Lyotard and He´le`ne Cixous. The year  also saw the publication of the collection which Daniel Ferrer and I co-edited with the aim of bringing French writing on

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