Reading James Joyce is a ready-at-hand compendium and all-encompassing interpretive guide designed for teachers and students approaching Joyce’s writings for the first time, guiding readers to better understand Joyce’s works and the background from which they emerged. Meticulously organized, this text situates readers within the world of Joyce including biographical exploration, discussion of Joyce’s innovations and prominent works such as Dubliners, Ulysses, and Finnegans Wake, surveys of significant critical approaches to Joyce’s writings, and examples of alternative readings and contemporary responses. Each chapter will provide interpretive approaches to contemporary literary theories and key issues, including end-of-chapter strategies and extended readings for further engagement. This book also includes shorter assessments of Joyce’s lesser-known works—critical writings, drama, poetry, letters, epiphanies, and personal recollections—to contextualize the creative and social environments from which his most notable publications arose. This uniquely comprehensive guide to Joyce will be an invaluable and comprehensive resource for readers exploring the influential world of Joyce studies.


1 Biography

2 Approaching Dubliners

3 Approaching A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

4 Approaching Ulysses

5 Approaching Finnegans Wake

6 Approaching the Minor Works

Appendices—Debunking popular myths about Joyce’s writings

I. The Uncle Charles Principle

II. The love life of Bloom and Molly

III. The Dream of Finnegans Wake

IV. Definitions of Modernism and Postmodernism

V. Epiphanies, Epicleti, and Epiclets

VI. Satiric and Serious Joyce: "The Holy Office," "Gas from a Burner," and "A Curious History"

VII. Currency Terms with Selected Examples from Joyce’s Literary Works



Miscellaneous: Joyce Foundations and Journals