“The Detective and the Cowboy,” “Wondering Where All the Dust Comes From,” “Ejaculations and Silence,” and “Where the Corkscrew Was”these are Garry Leonard’s chapter titles for his readings of four of the stories, “An Encounter,” “Eveline,” “The Boarding House,” and “Clay.” The titles convey the freshness and thoughtfulness that are indicative of all of Leonard’s new readings of these fifteen often-read stories.
Leonard begins with an excellent overview of Lacan and proceeds to examine each story in a separate chapter. Lacan’s rethinking of human subjectivity plays throughout the book and ultimately unites it. Not only does Leonard’s work preserve the complex interplay between Lacanian theory and Joyce’s texts, but also completes another and no less significant project: the rescuing of Dubliners from the category of “easy Joyce.”
Throughout the readings the relevance of Lacan’s ideas to feminist theory is emphasized in order to examine both what Lacan terms the “masquerade of femininity” and the equally illusory power structure of the “masculine subject.” The frequent and jargon-free explications of Lacan’s terms and theories, coupled with a close reading of each of the stories, makes this a book to be consulted by anyone wishing to explore new ways to approach Dubliners, new ways to read these rich stories again.
Garry M. Leonard is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Toronto. He has written extensively on Joyce for the James Joyce Quarterly, Modern Fiction Studies, and Novel. He was guest editor for the James Joyce Quarterly's special issue on "James Joyce and Advertising."
6 x 9, 388 pages