E s376L • James Joyce
8:30 AM-10:00 AM
James Joyce was perhaps the greatest writer of English prose during our 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 observed 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 effect of narrative perspective and voice, and pervasively, the viability of language itself as a medium for the "representation" of "reality.
Your grade will be mostly based on quizzes and exams, although class participation may reflect up to 10-15% of your final grade. (Such participation is presumed.) There will be a mid-term (25%), a final (40%), and a series of unannounced pop quizzes (25%). Their may also be class presentations by individual students. Daily attendance to class is presumedno one absent more than four times will receive a passing grade in the class.
Because of the rapid pace of the summer session, we will concentrate on just two of Joyces major works of fiction. We begin with his first novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and then move on to Ulysses, for a close and detailed reading. A number of handouts and other auxiliary materials will be made available.