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James Joyce

A Critical Guide

Lee Spinks

Hardback i (Printed to Order)
eBook (PDF) i

James Joyce: A Critical Guide presents a full and comprehensive account of the major writing of the great modernist novelist James Joyce. Ranging right across Joyce's literary corpus from his earliest artistic beginnings to his mature prose masterpieces Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, the book provides detailed textual analysis of each of his major works. It also provides an extended discussion of the biographical, historical, political and social contexts that inform Joyce's writing and a wide-ranging discussion of the multiple strands of Joyce criticism that have established themselves over the last eighty years. The book's combination of sustained close reading of individual texts and critical breadth makes it an ideal companion for both undergraduate students and the wider community of Joyce's readers.

Key Features

  • An extended discussion of Joyce's life, times and historical milieu
  • Detailed close readings of each of Joyce's major literary works
  • A thorough critical introduction to the style, plot and characterisation of Finnegans Wake
  • A comprehensive guide to the critical reception of Joyce's work


Abbreviations and Referencing
1. LIFE AND CONTEXTS: (a) Introduction
(b) Childhood
(c) The University Years 1898-1902
(d) Historical and Political Contexts
(e) Literary and Cultural Contexts
(f) A First Version of Exile
(g) A Year of Living Dangerously
(h) Nora
(i) A Dubliner in Europe
(j) Towards a Portrait of the Artist
(k) Breakthrough
(l) Zurich
(m) Paris
(n) The Scandal of Ulysses
(o) The Road to Finnegans Wake
(p) Last Days
2. WORK: Introduction
Chamber Music
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Finnegans Wake
3. CRITICISM: Introduction
First Responses
Ulysses and After
The Reception of Finnegans Wake
The Post-War Critical Scene
Post-Structuralist Joyce
Joyce and Feminism
Psychoanalytic Criticism
Political Joyce

About the Author

Dr Lee Spinks is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of Friedrich Nietzsche (Routledge, 2003), and has published widely on modern and postmodern literature and culture, post-colonial writing and theory, and modern American poetry and fiction.