James Joyce: A Short Introduction
April 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
2. Master Plots.
4. Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man.
6. Levels of Narration.
7. Homer in Ulysses.
8. Three Dubliners.
9. Reflexive Fiction.
10. Strategic Planning.
Michael Seidel is Jesse and George Siegel Professor of Humanities at Columbia University. He has written widely on narrative form and his previous publications include Epic Geography: James Joyce's Ulysses (1976), Exile and the Narrative Imagination (1986), and Robinson Crusoe: Island Myths and the Novel (1991). He is associate editor of the Columbia History of British Fiction and co-editor of the first two volumes of The Complete Works of Daniel Defoe (2000, 2001). He also serves on the editorial board of The James Joyce Studies Annual.
- Makes Joyce accessible to those coming to his works for the first time.
- Shows that students need to pay close attention to Joyce's words, phrases and sentences in order to read his works with insight and pleasure.
- Demystifies Joyce's style and demonstrates that the books themselves hold all the clues to understanding Joyce's narrative enterprise.
- The introduction points out the amusing ways in which Joyce represents the many voices of twentieth-century narrative.
"Entering the Joycean labyrinth – whether for the first
time, or the twenty-first – one could not wish for a wiser,
more gracious, better-humored guide than Michael Seidel. He ranges
over the full spectrum of Joyce's writing with a lightness of touch
and a sureness of direction that makes being his student an
unmitigated delight." Kevin J. H. Dettmar, Southern Illinois
"In James Joyce: A Short Introduction, Michael Seidel has
pulled off one of the most difficult feats in current publishing.
Seidel manages to capture anew what it is that makes Joyce's
writing unique, and to elucidate even his most abstruse of
abstrusities with a directness, clarity and infectious pleasure
which reminds one all over again why one loves Joyce." Jeri
Johnson, Exeter College, University of Oxford
"In James Joyce: A Short Introduction, Seidel has provided a clear and accessible distillation of the biographical and historical background to Joyce's work as well as a set of methodological tools designed to help the 'general reader' understand and interpret Joyce's use of language and narrative form. Resisting the urge to 'decode' Joyce's style by appealing to content, Seidel has done an admirable job of demystifying some of Joyce's techniques without dismissing or devaluing their importance." Irish Studies Review