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The Environmental Imagination of James Joyce

Brazeau,Robert Joseph , Gladwin,Derek

Publication Year: 2014

This collection introduces and examines the overarching ecological consciousness evinced in the writings of James Joyce. Reading Joyce with a keen attention to the manner in which the natural and built environment functions as context, horizon, threat, or site of liberation in Joyce’s writing offers an engaging and fruitful way into the dense, demanding, and usually encyclopedic formation of knowledge that comprises Joyce’s literary legacy.

Published by: Cork University Press

Cover, Back Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

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pp. vii-viii


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pp. ix-x


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pp. xi-xiv

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Anne Fogarty

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pp. xv-xviii

James Joyce is first and foremost an urban writer. All of his revolutionary creations, Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Exiles, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, centre on Dublin, his native city. It is not simply the case that Joyce uses Dublin as a setting or imaginative backdrop; rather he conceives of it as a symbolic locale with universal import. ...

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Introduction: James Joyce and Ecocriticism

Robert Brazeau, Derek Gladwin

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pp. 1-18

This collection brings together fourteen previously unpublished essays that introduce and examine the overarching ecological consciousness evinced in the writings of James Joyce. Although Joyce is one of the most critically examined writers in the English language, and easily the most in all of Irish literature, there has never been a volume that focuses on the environmental themes found in his writings. ...

I - Nature and Environmental Consciousness in Joyce’s Fiction

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pp. 19-20

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James Joyce, Climate Change and the Threat to our ‘Natural Substance’

Fiona Becket

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pp. 21-37

This essay considers whether the conditions of anthropogenic climate change – transhistorical, indifferent to the survival of species and, in relation to human life, indifferent to the claims of deterministic categories such as gender, class and race – can produce a meaningful critical practice. ...

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Joyce and the Everynight

Cheryl Temple Herr

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pp. 38-58

Readers first meet Stephen Dedalus as a child who has wet the bed. His mother puts oilcloth, with its distinctive aroma, under the sheet, and it’s fair to surmise that the boy thinks no more of it. Soon, however, he becomes keenly aware of the anthropological danger zones threatening his physical purity. ...

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Joyce, Ecofeminism and the River as Woman

Bonnie Kime Scott

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pp. 59-69

Despite all the due attention that has gone to modernity, technology, consumerism and ‘making it new’ in modernist studies, the category of ‘nature’ has a persistent, if little recognised, presence in the works of many modernists. As unlikely as this might seem, this includes James Joyce. ...

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Word and World: The Ecology of the Pun in Finnegans Wake

Erin Walsh

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pp. 70-90

Much critical attention has been given to the Wakean portmanteau word as a structuring principle and a source of the Wake's proliferative meanings.2 While Ruben Borg argues that the arbitrariness of the portmanteau exceeds that of the pun, I would argue that the particular linguistic instability of the pun – and specifically the word-world pun – ...

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The Tree Wedding and the (Eco)Politics of Irish Forestry in ‘Cyclops’: History, Language and the Viconian Politics of the Forest

Yi-Peng Lai

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pp. 91-110

James Joyce certainly had the forests in mind when he drafted the above poem in the V.A.6 notebook for ‘Cyclops’, although it is unclear as to the reason why he later disposed of the passage. The transformation from ‘fireland’ to ‘mireland’ in the second line connects the history of ancient land clearings1 to the contemporary landscape of the Irish bog.2 ...

II - Joyce and the Urban Environment

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pp. 111-112

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Negative Ecocritical Visions in ‘Wandering Rocks’

Margot Norris

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pp. 113-122

The ‘Wandering Rocks’ episode of Ulysses is named after what we could call an ‘unnatural’ natural phenomenon described in the Odyssey: rocks in the sea that defied their weight and gravity by clashing together to the peril of boats and seamen. ...

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Joyce Beyond the Pale

Brandon Kershner

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pp. 123-135

Ecological readings of Joyce’s works have not exactly flourished over the past decades, as the field was establishing itself, and for an obvious reason: unlike, say, Thomas Hardy or even George Moore, Joyce is a deeply and determinedly urban writer. ...

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‘Aquacities of Thought and Language’: The Political Ecology of Water in Ulysses

Greg Winston

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pp. 136-158

A noticeable dearth of contemporary ecocritical writing about water belies the significant presence and role of the substance in our daily lives. Water covers more than two-thirds of the surface of the globe and comprises more than half the human body.1 ...

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‘Clacking Along the Concrete Pavement’: Economic Isolation and the Bricolage of Place in James Joyce’s Dubliners

Christine Cusick

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pp. 159-175

Critics concerned with the socioeconomic forces that shape human relationships with nonhuman nature have found an academic home within the fields of environmental justice, urban eco-criticism and the intersection of the two, which is often termed social ecology. While contemporary studies in this field explore literary texts that give voice to the more obviously environmentally charged issues of watershed supplies and air pollution, ...

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Joyce the Travel Writer: Space, Place and the Environment in James Joyce’s Nonfiction

Derek Gladwin

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pp. 176-194

During the years 1907–1912, James Joyce wrote nine articles for the Italian-language newspaper Il Piccolo della Sera. These articles were journalistic pieces intended for Il Piccolo’s local Triestine readership, but Joyce composed them with the ambition to later develop them as a book for wider European readership with the Genoese publisher Angelo Fortunato Formiggini. ...

III - Joyce, Somatic Ecology and the Body

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pp. 195-196

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‘Can excrement be art . . . if not, why not?’ Joyce’s Aesthetic Theory and the Flux of Consciousness

Eugene O’Brien

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pp. 197-212

In the fifth chapter of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Stephen is having a detailed conversation on aesthetics and beauty with his friend Lynch. He is in the process of defining his aesthetic theory, and is explaining how this came about: ...

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Environment and Embodiment in Joyce’s ‘The Dead’

Robert Brazeau

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pp. 213-230

This essay argues that James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’ engages fundamentally with theories of evolutionary biology, and that this previously unconsidered aspect of the story offers important insights into how we might profitably approach this and other works by Joyce. ...

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‘Sunflawered’ Humanity in Finnegans Wake: Nature, Existential Shame and Transcendence

James Fairhall

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pp. 231-245

Critics have long been aware of the near-clinical interest that James Joyce, a former medical student, invested in his descriptions of bodily processes. Indeed, the body as a major theme in Joyce’s writing is a well-established area of inquiry.1 ...

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Ineluctable Modality of the Visible: ‘Nature’ and Spectacle in ‘Proteus’

Garry Leonard

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pp. 246-268

Joyce’s fiction has always been a purifying fire purging various critical approaches of any hyperbole their unexamined assumptions might allow. To put this another way, while all critical approaches seem to find resonance with Joyce’s work, it is a quite separate question as to what Joyce might have thought of various critical approaches. ...

Notes and References

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pp. 269-304


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pp. 305-318


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pp. 319-330

E-ISBN-13: 9781782050735
E-ISBN-10: 1782050736
Print-ISBN-13: 9781782050728
Print-ISBN-10: 1782050728

Publication Year: 2014