"A fresh direction in Joyce studies and a rare offering in humanities research as well. The scholarly pairings present sometimes divergent, other times complementary, viewpoints that respond to the editor’s strategy ‘to create a situation in which each critic had to negotiate with a different set of assumptions in a collaborative effort to create a more elastic, responsive, capacious reading of the text.’"—James Joyce Quarterly
"Each essay in this collection is based on the dialogue and interplay of a pair of critics. And what dialogues they turn out to be! Enlisting some of the most accomplished interpreters of Joyce in several generations, the collection brings criticism of Dubliners to a new level of sophistication and begins with an introduction that may represent the best thing ever written on the subject."—Ron Bush, Oxford University
"A stunningly good collection of essays. . . . this volume consistently delivers remarkable innovation and high-quality exegesis."—Robert Spoo, author of James Joyce and the Language of History: Dedalus’s Nightmare
Enigmatic, vivid, and terse, James Joyce’s Dubliners continues both to puzzle and to compel its readers. This collection of essays by thirty contributors from seven countries presents a revolutionary view of Joyce’s technique and draws out its surprisingly contemporary implications by beginning with a single unusual premise: that meaning in Joyce’s fiction is a product of engaged interaction between two or more people. Meaning is not dispensed by the author; rather, it is actively negotiated between involved and curious readers through the medium of a shared text. Here, pairs of experts on Joyce’s work produce meaning beyond the text by arguing over it, challenging one another through it, and illuminating it with relevant facts about language, history, and culture. The result is not an authoritative interpretation of Joyce’s collection of stories but an animated set of dialogues about Dubliners designed to draw the reader into its lively discussions.
Vicki Mahaffey is professor of English literature and gender and women’s studies at the University of Illinois. Her recent books include Modernist Literature: Challenging Fictions and States of Desire: Wilde, Yeats, Joyce, and the Irish Experiment.
6 x 9, 424 pages