“A capacious, generative, and important collection with far-ranging implications for Joyce studies and for our understanding of literature’s relationship to law. Goldman brings together a tremendous group of scholars, critics, and legal practitioners whose rich perspectives set the terms for an enduring conversation on the place of law in Joyce and in culture broadly conceived.”—Ravit Reichman, author of The Affective Life of Law: Legal Modernism and the Literary Imagination
“Gives us a new map of the busy intersection of Joyce and law. This volume’s contributors rise to the challenge, taking on everything from laws of marriage, immigration, and finance to regimes of intellectual property, libel, and obscenity. Joyce and the Law is as varied and surprising as the law itself.”—Paul K. Saint-Amour, author of Tense Future: Modernism, Total War, Encyclopedic Form
“Draws together an international cohort of Joyce scholars with specialist knowledge in legal considerations shaping events and characters’ motivations in Joyce’s writing.”—Margot Gayle Backus, author of Scandal Work: James Joyce, the New Journalism, and the Home Rule Newspaper Wars
Making the case that legal issues are central to James Joyce’s life and work, international experts in law and literature offer new insights into Joyce’s most important texts. They analyze Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Giacomo Joyce, Ulysses, and Finnegans Wake in light of the legal contexts of Joyce’s day.
Topics include marriage laws, the Aliens Act of 1905, laws governing display and use of language, minority rights debates, municipal self-government, rentier culture, and regulations on alcohol consumption and licensing. Joyce and the Law also highlights Joyce’s own fascination with law and legal inquiry and explores how, by adopting a unique visual and linguistic style, Joyce constructed an authorial identity that mirrored the process of trademark. It also offers a deeper understanding of Judge John Woolsey’s decision in the Ulysses obscenity case and reveals the many ways copyright has affected publication of Joyce’s work and the scholarly and aesthetic use of his words. These discussions show how reading Joyce alongside the law enriches both legal studies and literary scholarship.
Jonathan Goldman, associate professor of English at New York Institute of Technology, is the author of Modernism Is the Literature of Celebrity and coeditor of Modernist Star Maps: Celebrity, Modernity, Culture.