This essay explores previous editorial approaches to the text of Dubliners by James Joyce, and ultimately recommends significant changes to future editions. Working from a thorough reexamination of the publication history of Dubliners, the essay assesses previous editorial approaches to the special problems posed by this history and proposes changes to the text that build from and hold implications for editorial theory more broadly. These changes intervene specifically in the complicated relationship between authorial orientation and commercialism in editorial theory. It is argued that Joyce’s essay “A Curious History” should be positioned as a legitimate preface to future editions of Dubliners owing to Joyce’s authorial intentions for the piece, which include a combination of commercial prospects and aesthetic design. Overall the essay advocates reading external influences on the text as major factors in assessing the products of Joyce’s mixed authorial intentions for the piece. It proposes that the publicity functions of “A Curious History” contribute thematically to the overall collection to the extent that the essay should be considered as another integral story of Dubliners, as opposed to a separable para-text, and that “A Curious History” should, as a result, be included as a preface to the collection as a whole.


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pp. 297-311
Launched on MUSE
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