E s376L • James Joyce
Please refer to the course schedule for course days, time, room location, prerequisites and possible cross-listings: http://registrar.utexas.edu/schedules/
James Joyce was perhaps the greatest writer of English prose during the 20th century. His novel Ulysses represented a literary watershed when it was published in 1922 and has become the central text of English modernism. Joyce's dazzling experiments with language and form will perplex, amaze and delight us as we work our way through Ulysses. Other aspects of Ulysses may annoy us--such as the erudition that Joyce presumes of his readers, and the elitist assumptions that underlay his work (as well as that of such contemporaries as Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot). Although we will keep our focus on Joyce's texts, we will also engage such matters as the presumptions and implications of literary modernism in general.
Joyce's works pose many challenges to the conventions by his literary predecessorsand to the expectations of his readers, even those of our own time. Accordingly, we will address a number of theoretical issues during our discussions, such as the relationship between art and life, the status of an author's "intention" as the determinant of meaning, the artifices of realism, the nature of narrative, the effects of narrative perspective and voice, and pervasively, the viability of language itself as a medium for the "representation" of "reality".
Joyce is a notably evolutionary author (again, like Ezra Pound), and so we will approach his works in sequence, as he wrote them. We begin with Dubliners (his early collection of short stories), proceed to his first novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and conclude with Ulysses. We may also consider some of Joyce's poems, letters, and critical writings, as they illuminate major works. Because we have only five weeks of class, we will read only designated stories from Dubliners. Three full weeks of class will be devoted to Ulysses.
Grades will be based on a midterm and a final exam (each worth about 30% of the final grade), ten pop quizzes, with no make-up quizzes (15%), an oral report on Ulysses and two-page paper (15%) and class participation. (Such participation is presumed, and is worth 10%). Regular attendance is also presumed (four absences will lower your final grade by a full letter grade; no one absent more than five times will be given a passing grade in the class).