Readers and scholars of the writer James Joyce are marking the 100th anniversary of the publication of Ulysses on June 16, the day on which the novel takes place in 1904. Bloomsday 2022 marks not only the 100th anniversary, but also a major milestone for the Florida James Joyce Series. After having guided the series through the last 18 years, series editor Sebastian D. G. Knowles has announced his retirement. This Bloomsday we are pleased to introduce the new series editor: Sam Slote, associate professor and co-director of the M.Phil. in Irish Writing in the School of English at Trinity College Dublin. In today’s blog post, series authors and the new series editor look back at the past century of James Joyce studies and look ahead at exciting new developments in the field.
“A wonderful recent development in Joyce studies is its increased egalitarianism. Because of remote communication, and the digital accessibility of texts, archives, recordings, and videos, there are more tools for reading Ulysses, for example, for non-experts. Joyce studies has become more international and more populist–the good kind of populist–and is as much a community as ever. I look forward to this trend continuing into the next 100 years.”—Jonathan Goldman, editor of Joyce and the Law and president of the James Joyce Society
“Joyce is always more complex than we give him credit for, and every new study of his work that comes out reveals how much we readers always miss. Despite everything we have learned over the last hundred years, we will surely discover a deeper, fuller Joyce amid the research of the century to come. This is a real exciting time to be a scholar of his work.”—Jeremy Colangelo, editor of Joyce Writing Disability
“If the supreme question about art centers on endurance, then Joyce’s works remain some of the most important pieces of literature we still have the privilege of studying and understanding. Over the course of the last century, we have penetrated Joyce’s aesthetic, his cosmopolitanism, his anti-colonial resistance, and his vision of how the individual mind can become the mansion of the most delicately balanced human awareness and empathy. His work has not only survived the changing lenses of both reader interest and scholarship, but is still growing for us in its timeless profundity.”—Neil R. Davison, author of An Irish-Jewish Politician, Joyce’s Dublin, and “Ulysses”: The Life and Times of Albert L. Altman
“A chief fascination in Joyce studies during my career is to see how his stature has grown even beyond what it was—how the major controversies have shifted from ‘whether’ he is a great writer to illuminating debates about where his greatness lies. At times and in some ways he has been ‘commodified,’ but Joyce studies have increasingly recognized and reflected the vast complexities yet even vaster global appeal of his work.”—Morris Beja, coeditor of Bloomsday 100: Essays on Ulysses
“The oral tradition which gave us the Odyssey had the advantage of fluidity—it remained one poem but also continuously changed, as we all do. Joyce somehow managed written works, above all Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, that do the same, and Joyce studies, particularly in its genetic interests and inclusion of translation studies has followed suit. Here’s to the changes of the next 100 years!”—Stephanie Nelson, author of Time and Identity in “Ulysses” and the “Odyssey”
“You could almost trace out the history of literary criticism in the English-speaking world by looking at the history of Joyce criticism. As Terry Eagleton proposed, ‘It is always worth testing out any literary theory by asking: How would it work with Joyce’s Finnegans Wake?’ Since it started in the 1990s, the Florida James Joyce Series has fostered new perspectives and charted new directions in Joyce studies.”—Samuel Slote, coeditor of Renascent Joyce and editor of the Florida James Joyce Series
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