The Cambridge Companion to James Joyce
This Companion, designed primarily as a students' reference work (although it is organised so that it can also be read from cover to cover), will ... Show synopsis This Companion, designed primarily as a students' reference work (although it is organised so that it can also be read from cover to cover), will deepen and extend the enjoyment and understanding of Joyce for the new reader. The eleven essays, by an international team of leading Joyce scholars and teachers, explore the most important aspects of Joyce's life and art. The topics covered include his debt to Irish and European writers and traditions, his life in Paris, and the relation of his work to the 'modern' spirit of sceptical relativism. One essay describes Joyce's developing achievement in his earlier works (Stephen Hero, Dubliners, and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man), while another tackles his best-known text, asking the basic question 'What is Ulysses about, and how can it be read?' The issue of 'difficulty' raised by Finnegans Wake is directly addressed, and the reader is taken through questions of theme, language, structure and meaning, as well as the book's composition and the history of Wake criticism. A leading Joyce editor discusses the production of the Joycean text; another contribution introduces the shorter writings (poems, epiphanies, Giacomo Joyce, and Exiles), and an essay on Joyce and feminism considers the vexed question of the place of women in Joyce's work and creative life. There is also an extensive section on 'Further Reading'.