Written by Katie Varan, marketing intern at the University Press of Florida
When I first started interning at the press, I did what any other curious intern would do and glanced over the titles that have been published through the years. Not surprisingly, the English major in me took control and the first place I browsed was the literature category. What I was not expecting to see was the immense quantity of books published on James Joyce. The University Press of Florida has published tons of scholarship on this famous Irish writer—I found myself exploring everything from a discussion of the ecology in Finnegan’s Wake to an entire book outlining Joyce’s response to military involvement in his major works. These books are part of the acclaimed Florida James Joyce Series, edited by Sebastian D. G. Knowles. Below are just a few examples of what I found. Check out the series to explore them all!
Joyce’s Allmaziful Plurabilities is the first Finnegans Wake guide to focus exclusively on the multiple meanings and voices in Joyce’s notoriously intricate diction. Rather than leveling the text it illuminates many layers of puns, wordplay, and portmanteaus, celebrating the Wake’s central experimental technique.
Revival, reinvention, and regeneration: the concept of renascence pervades Joyce’s work through the inescapable presence of his literary forebears. By persistently reexamining tradition, reinterpreting his literary heritage in light of the present, and translating and re-translating from one system of signs to another, Joyce exhibits the spirit of the greatest of Renaissance writers and artists. Though critical work has often focused on Joyce’s relationship to medieval thinkers like Thomas Aquinas and Dante, Renascent Joyce examines Joyce’s connection to the Renaissance in such figures as Shakespeare, Rabelais, and Bruno.
A retrospective of decades of work by Karen R. Lawrence, an important Joyce scholar and president of Sarah Lawrence College, Who’s Afraid of James Joyce? includes published journal articles, book chapters, and selections from her best known work (all updated and revised), along with one new essay. Featuring engaging close readings of such Joyce works as Dubliners and Ulysses, it is a welcome addition to any serious Joycean’s library and will prove extremely useful to new generations of Joyce critics looking to build on Lawrence’s expansive scholarship.
In Joyce, Medicine, and Modernity, author Vike Plock balances close readings of Joyce’s major texts with thorough archival research that retrieves principal late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century medical debates. The result is a fascinating book that details the ways in which Joyce reconciled, integrated, and blurred the paradigmatic boundaries between scientific and humanist learning.
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 Poetry of James Joyce Reconsidered challenges the critical consensus that Joyce’s poetry is inferior to his prose. It reveals how his poems provide entries into Joyce’s most personal and intimate thoughts and ideas. It also demonstrates that Joyce’s poetic explorations were fundamental to his development as a writer of prose.