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Re/Joycean Mistakes, Misprisions, and Modernist Contexts Suzette Henke University of Louisville 2004 W AS A CELEBRATORY YEAR FOR JOYCE EN TH USIASTS, many of whom (including myself) made a pilgrimage analogous to a m odern­ ist haj to congregate in Dublin en masse for the Bloomsday centenary celebration on 16 June 2004, the hundredth anniversary of the day immortalized in Joyce’s Ulysses.1 Literary legend claims that 16 June 1904 marked the first time that James Joyce and Nora Barnacle stepped out together and took a stroll along the Dublin canal bank, where this bold Galway lass proceeded to “make a man” of young Jamesy. The sacred date is annually celebrated by Joyce aficionados, who delight in organizing serious symposia and scholarly conferences, as well as bibulous banquets, in commemoration of Bloomsweek.2 1 In this review-article, I shall discuss only the following two books: Tim Conley, Joyces Mistakes: Problems o f Intention, Irony, and Interpretation, U of Toronto P, 2003. Pp. 192 [Can $50.00], and Gerald Gillespie, Proust, Mann, Joyce in the Modernist Context, The Catholic University of Am erica P, 2003 [u.s. $65.00]. In reviewing Gillespie’s book, I shall be concerned only with the section on Joyce. 2 In addition to the celebrations associated with the Joyce Foundation’s Bloomsday 100 Symposium (with more than 900 registered delegates), the James Joyce Centre and the city of Dublin sponsored 82 additional events during Bloomsweek. On 13 June, the Guinness Brewery offered a Rabelaisian breakfast for 10,000 on O ’Connell Street. This was a grand civic carnival ESC 30.3 (September 2004): 175-188 Su zette A . Henke is Thruston B. Morton, Sr. Professor of Literary Studies at the University of Louisville. She is the author of Joyce’s Moraculous Sindbook: A Study of “Ulysses” , James Joyce and the Politics o f Desire, and co-editor of Women in Joyce, the first collection of feminist essays to explore the Joycean canon. Her most recent book is Shattered Subjects: Trauma and Testimony in Women’s Life-Writing (Palgrave/ St Martin’s Press). She is currently working on a book entitled Posttraumatic Narrative: Gender and Abjection in 20th-Century Literature and is co-editing a collection of essays on Virginia Woolf and Trauma. Recently, a number of Irish writers complained about the legendary status attributed to the sacred text of Ulysses in the modernist literary canon. In the year 2000, critics and publishers touted Joyce’s monu­ mental text as the greatest novel in English in the 20th century, and readers welcomed a new millennium amidst cheers of jublilation over the book’s canonical status. At the end of the 20th century, no serious contenders had appeared to challenge the work’s centenary status, and Joyce, as deceased author and post-structuralist author-effect, proved to be the winner of this particular Gold Cup race, despite the insistence of many common readers that such an inscrutable text should merit the Throwaway prize. Some contem porary Irish authors echo that sentiment in a series of recent news stories, complaining that Joyce’s glittering prizes have diminished the illumination of their own literary lights, and that far too much fuss has been made over a bulky, laborious and fun fair for the Hibernian populace, even as devoted Joyceans began at­ tending scholarly panels from nine a.m. to six p.m. each day for the duration of Bloomsweek, with the exception of 6/16/04. Bloomsday 100 was a day set aside for general re/joycing. The James Joyce Centre invited a cadre of eminent guests to a sit-down breakfast at 8:00 a.m., even as the hoi-polloi congregated outdoors to feed on pork sausages and diverse inner organs (a delight to Atkins dieters), and still other devotees gathered for festivities at the Martello Tower in Sandymount. At 10:00 a.m., a bagpipe procession inaugurated a Bloomsday wedding in the Summer House of St Stephen’s Green, with bride and groom, dressed in Edwardian costume, claiming to be re-enacting the wedding of John W yse de Neaulan and Miss Fir Conifer in “Cyclops,” and adapting their nuptial vows from Molly Bloom...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1913-4835
Print ISSN
0317-0802
Pages
pp. 175-188
Launched on MUSE
2019-04-03
Open Access
No
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