Joyce's work has been definitive for this century and is likely to persist well into the future. In the following selections of his central texts now in print we have concentrated on the best durable editions. We plan to update the criticism portion in due course.
How to Read 'Ulysses' and Why by Jefferson Hunter (Peter Lang) This and well-crafted short guidebook, written specifically for first-time readers of Ulysses by a veteran teacher of Joyce's novel, offers a way in to one of the most pleasure-giving books ever created. After an introduction surveying Joyce's techniques, both traditional (the creation of plausible characters and a fully realized Dublin setting) and modern (interior monologue, the Homeric parallels, stylistic experimentation), an episode-by-episode commentary leads readers through the fictional events of June 16, 1904, explaining obscurities, identifying main themes, translating foreign phrases-in short, making understandable the world of Stephen Dedalus and Leopold and Molly Bloom. An afterword looks at Ulysses as a whole, arguing that like all comic masterpieces it applies a sophisticated treatment to ordinary materials. An annotated bibliography suggests further resources for studying the novel.
The Complete Works of James Joyce (The Complete Works of Standard Authors) by James Joyce, Francis A. Burkle-Young ($45.00, CD-ROM 1st edition, E-Codex Publications, Division of Insight Engineering; ISBN: 1891631012) for ready reference no other work better acts as a concordance to Joyce.
Dubliners (Everyman's Library Series, Vol. 49) by James Joyce, John Kelly (Designer) ($17.00, hardcover, 287 pages Reprint edition, Everymans Library, Knopf; ISBN: 0679405747)
The Dubliners (Modern Library) by James Joyce ($14.50, hardcover, 286 pages, Modern Library; ISBN: 0679600493)
Dubliners (Dover Thrift Editions) by James Joyce ($1.00, paperback, 152 pages, unabrided edition, Dover; ISBN: 0486268705)
A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man (Modern Library) by James Joyce ($15.50, hardcover, Modern Library; ISBN: 0679602321)
Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man (Dover Thrift
Editions) by James Joyce ($2.00, paperback, 185 pages,
Dover; ISBN: 0486280500)
A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man: Complete, Authoritative Text With Biographical and Historical Contexts, Critical History, and Essays by James Joyce, R.B. Kershner (Editor) ($8.66, paperback, 416 pages, Bedford Books; ISBN: 0312061706)
This text edition offers notes and other information that helps the reader with a fuller appreciation of the text.
Ulysses: The Corrected Text by James Joyce, Walter Gabner (Editor) ($19.00, paperback, 657 pages, Random House; ISBN: 0394743121) definitely the perfered reader's edition, not likely to stay in print much longer.
Ulysses (Everyman's Library, 100) by James Joyce, Craig Raine (Introduction) ($25.00, hardcover, based on the 1961 revised text, 1088 pages, Knopf; ISBN: 0679455132)
Ulysses (Modern Library Series) by James Joyce ($21.95, hardcover, 783 pages, Modern Library; ISBN: 0679600116)
Finnegans Wake by James Joyce ($16.95, paperback reprint edition, Penguin USA; ISBN: 0140062866
James Joyce Reads: Selections from Ulysses, Finnegans Wake, Cyril Cusack Reading Joyce by James Joyce ($12.00, Audio Cassette edition, Caedmon Audio Cassette; ISBN: 1559945656)
The only recording ever made of Joyce reading from Ulysses. Includes selections from Finnegans Wake and Joyce's poetry. Highly recommended.
The James Joyce Collection by James Joyce, Gabriel Byrne (Performer) ($19.95, Audio Cassette, Dove Books Audio; ISBN: 0787105104)
Poignant and pithy episodes from Joyce's great enigmatic works. Includes selections from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses; poems from Chamber Music; and Araby, Eveline, Clay, A Painful Case, The Sisters, An Encounter, Two Gallants and The Dead, from Dubliners. 4 cassettes.
Dubliners by James Joyce ($16.00, Audio Cassette Cassettes edition, Penguin Audiobooks; ISBN: 0453008453)
In these masterful stories, steeped in realism, Joyce creates an exacting
portrait of his native city, showing how it reflects the general decline of
Irish culture and civilization. Joyce compels attention by the power of its
unique vision of the world, its controlling sense of the truths of human
experience. Joyce creates an exacting portrait of his native city--and a
exploration of the trials and yearnings of the human heart. 2 cassettes.
The Dead and Other Stories from the Dubliners by James Joyce, performed by Danny Huston, Kate Mulgrew ($15.95, Audio Cassette, The Audio Partners Publishing Corporation; ISBN: 0945353383)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, performed by Jim Norton ($19.98, Audio Cassette, The Audio Partners Publishing Corporation; ISBN: 9626340703)
James Joyce's Books, Portraits, Manuscripts, Notebooks,
Typescripts, Page Proofs: Together With Critical Essays
About Some of His Works by Thomas E. Connolly, James Joyce, ($89.95, hardcover, Edwin Mellen Press; ISBN: 0773486453)
Annotations to Finnegans Wake by Roland McHugh ($29.95, paperback, 628 pages, Johns Hopkins University Press; ISBN: 0801841909) An invaluable in studying Finnegans Wake. There is a brief introduction followed by a 1 to 1 mapping of each line and page of the Wake. I've found no other source with a better brief annotative structure than this one.
A Reader's Guide to Finnegans Wake by William York Tindall ($17.95, paperback, 339 pages, Syracuse Univ Pr (Trade); ISBN: 0815603851) An especially good guide to the Irish allusions in the Wake.
Traditional ideas of "cohesion," the phenomenological emphasis on the
experience of reading, Umberto Eco's "openness," Derrida's "dissemination," or
Wakean critics' interest in puns, have all pointed to this aspect of language.
Briefly stated, when meaning stops framing phonic configurations, the result is
that words touch one another, for they share this material foundation. Phonemes
continue to represent sounds, but do not separate words into distinct units;
rather they show the analogies among them.
The difference between "mass" and "mess," for example, says a lot about the distinctive capacity of phonemes and the alphabet, but very little about the many similarities in these two words. It follows that there is something not exactly alphabetical in language that is prompted by similarities like these. Even quotidian reading exhibits non-alphabetic ingredients, for instance when we skip spelling mistakes or typographical errors; for example: when we impose analogies over differences, hermeneutics over semiology, semasiography over the alphabet. Joyce, who once commented that "a few letters will do if you can't read a whole word," just incorporates another system of writing to his "cyclical history," very much in keeping with Vico's idea that each cycle has its own writing system.
The incorporation of this non-alphabetic, semasiographic way of reading also explains the presence of allusions and opens up the apparent conflict between allusion and intentionality. How far can analogies go? or rather, can allusions and intentionality be reconciled? They both reveal the existence of coincidences (facilitated by the narrow range of the alphabet); some of them Joyce surely saw, many others produced by mere chance. Chance, then, is the realm that, far from making them opposite, reunite intentionality and allusion, for both depend on the previous existence of coincidences.
In Finnegans Wake the search for coincidences marks the beginning of awakening. Using Joyce's additions to his drafts as orientation, particularly those that refer to the Egyptian Book of the Dead, it is possible to trace the resurrection process that Shaun undergoes. Shaun finds the keys to conventional language and to his awakening, like in the fairy tale, in an intentional act of love, in a kiss.
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