Useless Joyce: Textual Functions, Cultural Appropriations
Tim Conley’s Useless Joyce provocatively analyses Joyce’s Ulysses and Finnegans Wake and takes the reader on a journey exploring the perennial question of the usefulness of literature and art. Conley argues that the works of James Joyce, often thought difficult and far from practical, are in fact polymorphous meditations on this question. Examinations of traditional textual functions such as quoting, editing, translating, and annotating texts are set against the ways in which texts may be assigned unexpected but thoroughly practical purposes. Conley’s accessible and witty engagement with the material views the rise of explication and commentary on Joyce’s work as an industry not unlike the rise of self-help publishing. We can therefore read Ulysses and Finnegans Wake as various kinds of guides and uncover new or forgotten “uses” for them. Useless Joyce invites new discussions about the assumptions at work behind our definitions of literature, interpretation, and use.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 200 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.6in x 9.0in
Choice Magazine vol 55:10:2018
"Useless Joyce provides an implicit defense of literary pleasure, with the teacher-critic serving as mediator of that pleasure."
James Joyce Literary Supplement, Fall 2018
"...Conley’s insatiable appetite to read Joyce for his usefulness enriches our understanding of his texts and will provoke further research and inquiry."
Eleni Loukopoulou, Independent Scholar
James Joyce Quarterly, vol 55 no 1-3, Spring/Summer '18
"There is little question that this is an outstanding production in the field of Joyce studies, and of very high standard. Tim Conley’s knowledge of the existing critical literature is excellent; his close readings rich and sound. Useless Joyce is also an extremely agreeable book to read – well written, never boring, always thought-provoking, and at times particularly witty."
Valérie Bénéjam, Maître de conferences, Université de Nantes
Author InformationTim Conley is a professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Brock University. His prior work includes Joyces Mistakes, also published by University of Toronto Press.
Table of contents
Note on Abbreviations
Part One: Textual Functions
Chapter 1: Guidance Systems
Chapter 2: Misquoting Joyce
Chapter 3: Limited Editions, Edited Limitations
Chapter 4: Translation, Annotation, Hesitation
Part Two: Cultural Appropriations
Chapter 5: Make a Stump Speech of It
Chapter 6: Win a Dream Date with James Joyce
Chapter 7: The Stephen Dedalus Diet
Conclusion: Means without End
Subjects and Courses