- Raising the Wind
I am very pleased to open this issue by gratefully acknowledging the George Kaiser Family Foundation which has just given the University of Tulsa a $250,000 gift in order to support the James Joyce Quarterly's ongoing operations. These funds will be distributed over the next ten years and will permit us not only to keep our subscription rates modest, but to begin developing special projects while accelerating our publishing schedule. Like many academic journals, the JJQ depends upon precisely this kind of support since it enables us to maintain the highest standards of peer-review and editorial oversight in facilitating the international flow of Joyce scholarship. As the JJQ now begins to circulate in digital form through Project Muse, we look forward to pursuing this mission even more vigorously thanks to the Foundation's generosity.
The articles in this issue of JJQ all focus to some degree on creating new kinds of intertextual dialogues, opening up Joyce's major works by placing them in creative tension with a delightfully diverse array of interlocutors. We begin with Michael Groden's "Joyce at Work on 'Cyclops': Toward a Biography of Ulysses," which offers a tantalizing new model for thinking about the complex historical and biographical contexts in which Joyce's work gradually took shape. Joining his extensive knowledge of the manuscript materials to carefully clustered details about the writer's struggle with money, women, war, vision, and other issues, Groden begins sketching what he calls a biography of the text itself. This tale of the text's genesis and constant transformation from manuscript sketches to its final print version integrates genetic, historical, biographical, and critical methods into a compelling new tale about Ulysses itself.
If Groden puts text and context in dialogue to construct a new way of understanding "Cyclops," Michael Sayeau puts Joyce in an equally provocative conversation with Giorgio Agamben as part of his effort to re-read "Nausicaa." In "'Love at a Distance (Bloomism)': The Chance Encounter and the Democratization of Modernist Style," he argues that the thirteenth episode of Ulysses forms the nucleus of a communitarian text which effectively blends discourses to generate a new kind of utopianism at the heart of modernism. "What was a characteristic style of high modernism [style indirect libre] is revealed," he claims, "to be a style of modern life, the literary manifestation of the phenomenology of the chance encounter in the anonymizing [End Page 209] city." Focusing on Gerty and Bloom watching the fireworks explode over the sea, he emphasizes the potentially redemptive quality of this experience which is paradoxically related in an intensely private yet commonly shared language.
Carrying us from the twilit beach to the heart of urban Dublin, Julieann Veronica Ulin focuses not on the utopian possibilities of shared language, but on the enforced intimacy of the boarding house. "Fluid Boarders and Naughty Girls: Music, Domesticity, and Nation in Joyce's Boarding Houses" offers an innovative yet deftly nuanced study of these temporary lodgings as Joyce deploys them in Dubliners and Ulysses. Ulin focuses on debates about nationalism, autonomy, gender, and hospitality to expose the fraught position of the boarding house as a site where all these discourses intersect. "It represents," she writes, "a commercial and commodified domestic space that depends upon the entry of the stranger and flouts the ideals of female sexual purity." Not surprisingly, it therefore becomes a key site and symbol for Joyce, potently condensing many of the most vital themes threaded through his work.
Lily Corwin's essay similarly engages with nation, home, and hospitality by focusing less on historical context than on religious intertexts. "Bloomsday, 5664: Casing the Promised Land, the Torah, and Ulysses" begins by creatively asking what would happen if we translated the traditional date of Bloomsday from the Roman calendar to the Hebrew one. Changing 16 June 1904 into 3 Tamuz 5664, Corwin then reads Joyce's novel against the portions of the Torah and Haftorah which would have been read in synagogues that week. These intertexts—from Numbers and Joshua—generate a surprising array of connections to Ulysses and add yet another mythic layer to this densely woven book.