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"So it returns," Bloom muses, pondering the cycles of his life, metempsychosis, and Rip van Winkle. The lives of literary journals are seldom circular, but this volume marks the happy reawakening of Joyce Studies Annual after a four-year slumber. We are pleased and honored to be reviving at Fordham University a publication that Thomas Staley founded at the University of Texas in 1987 and edited through 2003, and we are deeply indebted to the Joyce scholarly community whose members have offered us advice and encouragement, critical assessments, and splendid submissions. In reviving JSA we intend to continue its founding aim of providing a forum for ambitious, often lengthy essays on Joyce's work, particularly genetic, historical, and background studies. At the same time, we wish to expand JSA's traditional range by publishing articles that employ a variety of contemporary theoretical approaches and bring new methodologies to bear on Joyce's inexhaustible texts. In doing so, our hope is to produce a yearly publication that will engage established Joyce scholars while also addressing the needs and interests of less experienced readers.

The nine pieces collected in this inaugural volume reflect these intentions. Two of them address issues of textual history and influence that have long been among JSA's defining concerns. Matthew Creasy examines the hermeneutic challenges of Joyce's use of deliberate misquotation and purposeful inaccuracy in Ulysses and demonstrates, through a comparison of evolving written and printed drafts, how these crucial inaccuracies were sometimes mistakenly "corrected" along with unintended errors and inconsistencies. John McCourt persuasively locates a new source for much of the substance and structure of Joyce's 1907 essay "Ireland, Island of Saints and Sages" in James Wills's Lives of Illustrious and Distinguished Irishmen. While revealing how heavily the language of the Trieste lecture relies on Wills's compendium, McCourt also points out how Joyce's [End Page ix] omissions and departures from this "well of the saints" reflect his own complicated feelings about contemporary Irish politics and religion.

Another pair of essays in this volume break new theoretical ground, though in very different ways. Margot Norris provides a fascinating application of "possible-worlds theory," an emerging field of narratology, to the "Wandering Rocks" episode of Ulysses, using Father Conmee as a case study. The priest's double status as a fictional figure and an actual member of the Dublin community reveals incongruities for the attentive reader, posing ethical traps that possible-worlds theory allows us to identify and investigate. Art Zilleruelo, by contrast, offers a provocative extension of a well-established methodology: He brings psychoanalytic paradigms to bear not on Joyce's characters but on the textual psyche of Ulysses itself, diagnosing conflict and instability in the novel's form-warping narrative styles.

While most articles in this volume focus on a single Joycean text, two contributors trace the recurrence or development of complex figures across multiple works. Vicki Mahaffey's elegant essay moves from a meditation on the gathering metaphysical, moral, and amatory resonances of the word bleak in Ulysses to an analysis of their implications in Joyce's often neglected play, Exiles, which she explores as a thought experiment in dramatic form. Frank Shovlin's study of the trope of whiskey in Joyce's work illuminates the historical rise and fall of Irish distilleries-and the attendant political implications-through a close reading of subtly coded references in works ranging from Dubliners to Finnegans Wake.

A final pair of essays in the volume illustrate our commitment to addressing the interests of a diverse Joycean audience. Lorraine Wood, in her intricate analysis of the musical structure of the "Sirens" episode of Ulysses, positions herself in a long-standing and often recondite critical debate about the intended relationship between language and (musical) notes. At the same time, she provides a valuable service for her readers with an appendix that identifies Joyce's adaptation of specific musical techniques throughout the episode. Similarly, Edmund Epstein's new guide to Finnegans Wake provides a fascinating formulation of the Wake's competing spatial/temporal modes of narration, along with a lucid synopsis of the overlapping cast of characters, structure, and events for all readers. Finally, this opening volume invokes the nebeneinander as well as the nacheinander through Leonid Osseny's "Inner Monologue," a visual interpretation of Ulysses inspired by the methods of Sergei Eisenstein. In [End Page x] assembling these diverse contributions, we are delighted to be reestablishing a publication that featured so much distinguished scholarship in its earlier life. We plan to continue the tradition this time around. As Bloom puts it, "Reincarnation: that's the word." [End Page xi]

Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4241
Print ISSN
1049-0809
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-02
Open Access
No
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