GENETIC JOYCE STUDIES - Issue 6 (Spring 2006)
Joyce and the Case for Genetic Criticism
In a recurring dream, I wake up and genetic studies are no longer the sole province of academics. The whole world has embraced them: there are bestsellers, websites, talk shows, even professional teams like the author-based ITEM équipes in Paris – except with mascots, fans, competitions, cheerleaders, and action figures. Genetic-style dvds teem with outtakes and interviews, genetic critics are household names and respected cultural analysts, and tv listings are studded with perfectly Valéryan shows about the making of other ones: The Making of The Sopranos or the Making of Titanic. Genetic theory and criticism is the new black.
But then I wake up, and as Emily Dickinson (the last person I see in my dream) puts it: "The nearest dream recedes unrealized." Nobody in my family or college community has ever heard of genetic criticism or shows the slightest interest, and everyone encourages me politely but curtly to do something else.
So here is the question: what is stopping genetic criticism from reaching a wide audience of academic and non-academic readers across the globe? Rather than try to answer this by retelling and reinterpreting the history of genetic criticism – those interested might turn to Genetic Criticism – I will start with an obvious observation. Most geneticists are zealously committed to close reading, even more than the New Critics were: we love our texts so much that we want to know what they were like as children. So we read texts, but also avant-textes, and when we get to know those, it turns out that we want to read about their childhoods, too: the sources of the sources of the sources... and there is no natural endpoint. (As a Finnegans Wake critic, I would be interested in detailed source studies of Joycean tributaries like Jespersen, Flood, and all the others that went into the Wake notebooks.) The result, of course, is that as we geneticists affirm and pursue this hermeneutical regress, we shake the text itself (is there such a thing, asks Louis Hay skeptically?) And the final paradox is that, shaken or not, the "text" is still there, even if it has been expanded to include prepublication and source materials; it originally inspired and continues to justify our love of close reading. So in a quieter and more secular way, genetic attention to textual history in the 20th century has simultaneously destabilized and italicized its scriptures the same way late 19th-century Higher Criticism did the Bible.
But that simple paradox cannot be what is holding genetic criticism back. Beyond not really believing in the well-wrought literary urns we call "finished works" while continuing to demarcate and take pleasure in individual textual fields, perhaps we are paying another price for our post-New Critical commitments. The "trouble with close reading," argues Franco Moretti rather bluntly,
(in all of its incarnations, from new criticism to deconstruction) is that it necessarily depends on an extremely small canon. This may have become an unconscious and invisible premise by now, but it is an iron one nonetheless: you invest so much in individual texts only if you think that very few of them really matter... At bottom, it's a theological exercise – very solemn treatment of very few texts taken very seriously – whereas what we really need is a little pact with the devil: we know how to read texts, now let's learn how not to read them ("Conjectures," 57).
To make great leaps forward in interpreting literature, he continues, and to break open new fields of knowledge one must focus on items that are much smaller, larger, or otherwise other than individual authors and texts. (An example would be the ITEM transversal studies of such things as the genetics of literary beginnings and endings). Thus Moretti proposes "distant reading," the practice of ignoring actual texts (and a fortiori their avant-textes) and synthesizing instead the results of other literary critics and historians in order to draw conclusions about broad movements in world cultures and literatures. Moretti uses this method to show how the literatures of England and France "interfered" with other literatures around the world; he even produces a formula for much of world fiction in which three major structures control the process: "local conditions," (usually a non-Western culture); "foreign forms" (usually European novels); and "narrative voice" (usually a contested site of compromise and translation between the other two forces.)
I reproduce that much of Moretti's argument to introduce three points, all related to the potential viability and visibility of genetic criticism:
1) The study of world literature needs figures like James Joyce, and it needs a genetic awareness of them.
Long a test case for virtually every kind of theory, Joyce has played a key role in recent discussions of world literature. He cuts a high profile in the 2006 volume Comparative Literature in the Age of Globalization, Pascale Casanova's The World Republic of Letters, and in the writings of postcolonial theorists like Said, Attridge, Cheng, Kiberd, Jameson, and many others. Yet very few of these critics have taken genetic studies into account, despite the fact that texts like Joyce's prose works will always defy not just distant reading but close reading of the published editions as well. The long gestational periods of Joyce's books and their themes of growth and transformation (of city, self, language, and history) invite critics to link grand historical movements to avant-textual histories, and genetic criticism's attention to the temporal unfolding of textual fields naturally does this better than models like Moretti's panoptic three-variable algebra.
Thus the point is not that one cannot place authors like Joyce into God's-eye perspectives and politico-economico-Darwinistic models of world literature. Rather, it means that genetic critics are well placed to substantiate and nuance the details of any such placements. Casanova's point may be true that Joyce's move to Paris was a decisive transfer to the world capital of literary culture, a way of achieving autonomy from Irish nationalist constraints even as his internationalist aspirations sowed the seeds of a great contribution to Irish national culture. But her method all but characterizes him as the fittest evolutionary species, the necessary byproduct of a nationalist literary culture undergoing a traumatic historical shift:
When the first effects of revolt, which is to say of literary differentiation, make themselves felt, and the first literary resources are able to be claimed and appropriated for both political and literary purposes, the conditions for the formation and unification of a new national literary space are brought together: a national literary heritage, if only a minimal one, has now been accumulated. It is at this stage that second-generation writers such as James Joyce appear. Exploiting national literary resources that for the first time are regarded as such, they break away from the national and nationalist model of literature and, in inventing the conditions of their autonomy, achieve freedom. In other words, whereas the first national intellectuals refer to a political idea of literature in order to create a particular national identity, the newcomers refer to autonomous international literary laws in order to bring into existence, still on a national level, another type of literature and literary capital (324-5).
Such a Hegelian theoretical engine raises but does not answer thousands of practical questions about the processes by which a writer like Joyce could have invented "the conditions of his autonomy" or achieved "freedom," and, especially, how those things emerged and ultimately manifested themselves in his works and life. When one remembers how much effort went into Joyce's major works, and how much they changed as they were written, the process questions loom still larger. The general introduction to the James Joyce Archive summarizes:
Each of the four prose works experienced a complicated prepublication history. Joyce needed seven years to find a publisher brave enough to publish Dubliners, and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man went through three different writings. The seven Ulysses years are complicated and fascinating, not only because Joyce chose to develop a new style for each episode but also because his late shift in artistic aims resulted in an incredible number of additions to the existing text. And an elaborate book like Finnegans Wake, with its myriad perspectives, voices, styles, and forms, could not have been written without an equally elaborate collection of notes, drafts, and manuscripts (xi).
If the time of genesis is when authors struggle toward autonomy from larger literary or historical forces – and do or do not achieve it – then only genetic studies can see, describe, and interpret that process. Without a genetic approach, one could not even notice, much less try to explain, Joyce's "late shift in artistic aims" in Ulysses, for example, or his 16-year struggle with the aims and methods of Finnegans Wake. Since theories like Moretti's interference and Casanova's autonomization are grounded on analyses of historical processes, they require attention to the historical details of composition: one cannot hope to narrate Joyce's move to literary autonomy by aligning his biography with the published editions of his works. Genetic critics, more attentive to Joyce's literary and geographical itineraries as they are inscribed in avant-textes, might legitimately hope to tell these stories better. To date, however, we have not turned our descriptive, empirical, historical approach to full theoretical advantage.
Like Casanova, Vincent Cheng places Joyce's literary autonomization amidst larger forces, but he emphasizes race, class, and religion. Joyce's "de-classed status as a poor, urban Irish Catholic," Cheng argues, or
his failure in British class terms to be "a gentleman," obliged him both to seek other textual models (such as Irish literature, pop culture, and advertising; Flaubert, Ibsen, and other non-English writers) and avenues of publication for his works, as well as to challenge the censors and authorities by writing texts that threatened (and debunked) traditional, "centered," and dominant notions of art and culture (3-4).
As a Joycean, Cheng is more attentive than Casanova or Moretti to the texts themselves, but his studies could benefit from genetic histories as well. Indeed, one point to make is that while critics of all stripes have sought to make Joyce the representative or product of movements in capital, culture, social history, etc. his idiosyncrasies and the aleatory elements of his career are best captured by geneticists. Indeed, to construe Joyce's texts as from the center (because they are European) or from the margins (because they are produced by a self-exiled colonial subject) is to realize immediately that they are too peripatetic and deracinated to be cleanly placed in, out, above, or below Moretti's categories of foreign form, local conditions, and narrative voice. In fact the ways they exceed, deny, and disrupt those frames is the more decisive philosophical and historical event, and one rendered more visible through the techniques of genetic criticism than through those of world-system theorists.
Take the narration of Ulysses. As Declan Kiberd has shown, newspapers and other urban forms of expression were one of many sources Joyce mined for his new narrative modes:
Ulysses was written early enough in the twentieth century for its author to have high hopes of mass technology, and it remains at all times alert to its possibilities. Like a newspaper broadsheet, it juxtaposed discrepant reports and experiences, and it demands a similar technique of reading. In the words of Peter Frizsche, 'mass circulation newspapers posed the real possibility that readers would be left to cobble together a world-view from a variety of unauthoritative sources' – hence entire episodes like 'Cyclops' and 'Eumaeus' are entrusted to unidentified narrators who are patently hostile to Leopold Bloom (Fritzsche 178; Kiberd, Irish Classics, 465).
Add to these narrators the hundreds of other voices and styles that saturate Ulysses – the inward meditations of 'Proteus,' the "fizzing new style" of 'Nausicaa,' the chaotic unconscious of 'Circe,' the écriture feminine of 'Penelope,' and on and on – and we see how limiting it is to approach Joyce's diversity of forms by reducing them to the uncomfortable products of tensions between "local" conditions and "foreign" forms, or indeed as examples of any large-scale theory of ascendant literary autonomization. While Moretti's examples of unstable narration tend to come from sweeping historical incursions of European literature into Asia, Africa, or the Americas in the last 150 years, Joyce's narrative innovations in Ulysses reflect not only the vicissitudes of a 700-year history of Irish-English struggles over power and literary expression, but many other intertwining and overlapping temporal threads, such as the changes in late Victorian culture, his own readings, his personal life, his previous writings, Anglo-Irish politics, economics, and religion, and so on – influences far too varied and at odds with each other to be stabilized by a name like "local conditions." For a critic to understand and communicate the origins and development of Joyce's conditions, forms, and modes of narration, these several times must be grasped and narrated simultaneously, that is, genetically.
2) Moretti's complaints about close reading show that critics lose market share when they hew too closely to theology.
As long as genetic critics restrict themselves to a mode of theological hermeneutics, their studies will appeal only to the converted, that is, to those who agree that their text is sacred. Of course all scholarship devoted to single authors and texts runs this risk, but genetic critics in particular can seem holier-than-thou, hibernia hiberniores. For Joyce, Beckett, Proust, and the other canonical suspects with worldwide readership, the model of secularized Biblical hermeneutics might seem reasonable: geneticists bring new truths to "already-converted" readers. Yet if genetic critics are to engage in significant work beyond the limits of authors and texts, then we should regret tying our methods too closely to fame; surely counting on a reflective light to stay bright is a poor recipe for expanding one's intellectual appeal. And anyway, David Damrosch raises another objection:
...with no fewer than 7,691 books and articles on Joyce published during the past forty years, who is going to want to read number 7,692, even supposing we feel like writing it? Every Irish ballad has already been tracked down, every chapter – almost every sentence – of Ulysses lovingly dissected, debated, re-interpreted: what can possibly be left to say (51)?
Damrosch's antidote for Joyce fatigue is comparative literature: "cross-cultural comparisons prove to be marvelously illuminating and refreshing" (51).
But genetic criticism offers another solution: use pre-publication materials to fertilize new studies of all kinds. Indeed, genetic studies may provide some of the best theoretical support for projects like Damrosch's: the more one knows about the sources of a text, the contents of its early drafts and styles, the socio-historical contexts of its production, etc., the more one expands the potential grounds for comparative analysis. Damrosch's example is a typical one in studies of world literature: on what grounds (other than influence, since none existed) can one compare the Japanese writer Higuchi Ichiyo to James Joyce? Form, first: one can obviously compare elements like style, plot construction, dialogue, and figurative language. And the two authors are comparable "in terms of intertextuality," too, for both were "shaping" their stories "in relation to Ibsen's and Zola's work" (51). Yet in both cases, that process of "shaping" stories over and against other authors took time; a genetic analysis of the avant-textes of the two authors would therefore enable critics to connect formal comparisons to intertextual ones, and ultimately include them in a larger analysis of the ways the stories were shaped.
3) Genetic criticism can take something away from Moretti's call for a more distant, synthetic approach.
The invitation to take problems and analytical units other than individual texts and authors encourages us to think creatively about our topics and our audience. As for projects, new studies with very different foci could well emerge from new encounters with archive materials and new questions put to them. And as for audience, besides expanding our topical repertoire we geneticists might put our results in different forms. In fact in my dream of a renaissance there is a modernist-style explosion in criticism led by genetic-minded Picassos, Saties, Joyces and Becketts who experiment aggressively with the formal, material, and conceptual boundaries of genetic theory and criticism. It is not that I seek a disruption on the level of World War I to trigger a radical rethinking of all art and thought; my point is more "in-house." In my view genetic critics have now reached the point of critical mass in the "preliminary" philological work of the discipline. The old excuses – that we needed to uncover all the sources, put all the manuscripts into chronological order, make them all accessible, and do everything else to establish the dossiers of all the authors we wanted to study – are in many cases, or enough cases, too weak now to stand.
An example for this is the Finnegans Wake notebook series currently being published at Brepols. These books, which I joyfully cajoled my college library into buying, provide great reading: Jespersen, Metchnikoff, J. M. Flood, Benedict Fitzpatrick, Bédier, Schuré, O. Henry, Chateaubriand, The Irish Times, The Daily Mail, The Leader. As we now know, these and hundreds of other sources, published and private, are the visible traces of an amniotic textual fluid that nourished Finnegans Wake before its birth. But here is the question: are those sources themselves fertile? Have they been "used up" by being named and explained as Joyce's sources or can they be productively reread, together with Joyce's texts, in such a way that they might answer live, contemporary questions or speak to a new audience?
It is again time to say something obvious. The eclectic reading list of James Joyce is very interesting to very few people. Without the linking and transforming mechanism of the Joycean signature, it is unthinkable that anyone would have read more than a smattering of them together; and since we come to them through Joyce in the first place, perhaps we do not really read them. What is potentially interesting is the window they open onto larger problems: how do writers read, think, and write? What can sources, notes, and manuscripts really tell us about the ways ideas, texts, images, and language combine and transform over time? In my dream, genetic criticism becomes less a practice of geology or archeology subservient to authorship and more a form of open-ended comparative inquiry. It becomes less about information and more about dynamic, catalytic processes; and perhaps most importantly, it finds expression in new forms. Indeed, I think the question of how we choose to tell what we find in the archives, the narratology of contemporary genetics, is worth more attention than it has received.
In his introduction to the Brepols edition of the VI.B.10 notebook, Vincent Deane writes that the notes Joyce took "serve as a demonstration of how investigation of the sources makes it possible to see VI.B.10 as a sort of chronicle – albeit an extremely oblique one – of popular preoccupations at the time of its compilation" (7). Deane's formulation, careful and clear as always, tacitly assigns to Joyce's roving B.10 consciousness some sifting and shaping powers over the material it reads. The notebook may not be a direct transmission or representative sample of "popular preoccupations," but it does provide an interpretable textual dialectic between mind and culture. And, crucially, B.10 represents one style in a series of differentiable Joycean notebook personae: the B.10 notes are not the same, in content or style, as those of later Joycean arrangers, or consciousnesses.[i] Think of the way B.3 writes! Mr. I'm-so-organized B.3 would have done something far more purposeful with this material; he would never have been satisfied with such sloppy, haphazard lexicographical ransacking (so typical of B.10.)
This leads me to suggest that we experiment with the way we tell our genetic stories. Of course we could continue with empirical descriptions of manuscript data, source hunting, studies of socio-politico-cultural influence and literary history etc. but even then we might also emphasize a compelling underlying dramatic narrative. The (making of the) Wake, for example, is also the story of Irish or European culture in the interwar years and its relationship with one of its major foils, James Joyce. The two main characters might be lovers, buddies, or a hero/villain pair. Or we could create sigla for each of the Joycean notebook-consciousnesses and use them to write a multiple-perspective novel, like Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. Or maybe we need a wandering, surrealist piece that emphasizes the hazards of love and life, like Breton's Nadja. Or perhaps a reality show like American Idol. "You were great today, B.10! Oh, not a very good source selection, B.25!" Those ideas might not be the best, but then as a group we have not been very creative.
I would add that the phrase from Deane quoted above is only one of the many places we can glimpse, in existing genetic work, the possibility of alternative narrations. To see others, it helps to back up briefly and consider the basic commitments of genetic criticism as a literary theory. Let us say, following broad distinctions often made by Louis Hay, that the four pillars of literary experience are the author, the text, the socio-historico-cultural circumstances (however construed) and the reader. Let us also say that most theories have overemphasized one area to the exclusion of the others, trying too hard to describe or explain literary activity through one or another of those lenses.
If, as a group, we geneticists have been conscientious about the author, text, avant-texte, and socio-historical circumstances, then we have not been very good about integrating the reader's experience into our study. In fact, much as I love them, the Brepols Finnegans Wake notebooks leave me with very little idea of the aesthetic, emotional, or cognitive responses of its editors. Does Deane find the myriadminded avant-textes, or the Wake itself, to be gripping? Are they readerly or writerly in the sense of Barthes? Besides the usual pretense to positivism and scholarly objectivity, one reason geneticists rarely discuss readers' responses is that they naturally dislike the more reductive, solipsistic versions of reader-response theory. As Hay has pointed out, the more the literary experience becomes an encounter with one's own mind, the more the avant-texte disappears and the text becomes an effect without a cause.
But readers are still there. Not only that, but the basic orientation of genetic work makes the question of narratology unavoidable. We take our stand on the idea that good interpretation requires an awareness of the history of a text (or as we sometimes put it more semiotically, of the diachrony of signifiers critically arranged in an archival dossier.) In fact we tend to take that stand even more uncompromisingly than do textual critics, who sacrifice so much on the altar of respect for teleology and the sacred Final Text. So at some point the question has to arise: how do we communicate that cherished textual history, and to whom?
If Barthes's comment from the 1960s is still largely true, that the "image of literature to be found in ordinary culture is tyrannically centred on the author..." then I might add (self-critically) that the image of knowledge in the ordinary culture of academic humanists is the thesis-driven critical essay (143). Using the expository essay form, assuming a very scholarly audience, tacitly casting the author in the role of protagonist... such are the completely understandable but conservative choices we tend to make. Still, a smaller number of genetic stories have critics as protagonists. I think of the gripping Maltese-Falcon-esque detective story of Geert Lernout, gumshoe on an international genetic chase through a disordered world for a man named Schuré, or of Philippe Lejeune, who not only cannot stop himself from telling his own story as part of the critical enterprise, but encourages everyone else to do the same:
Insofar as it is possible, one must relate the genesis of one's own search. It is useless to withdraw into impersonality, leaving the reader to face an inert mass of dead, dreary, scientifically described manuscripts. Portraying the movement of my quest, I can offer it as an image analogous to the lost object that we seek in these drafts and erasures: the movement of creation. It is more interesting to visit a digging site with an archeologist than to see shards of pottery arranged in a window. And it is not less scientific. Genetic studies are destined to result in narratives (203).
One might add that no law requires the author and reader to be the only possible protagonists in a genetic story. In fact as admirers of modernism we might sympathize more than we do with efforts to transcend goahead plots, and challenge more frequently the assumed coalition between traditional academic narrative forms and epistemological rigor. And even if we do stick to the mythopoetic, hero-based models, genetic writing might find a larger audience if the work itself took the lead role, or – since so few geneticists believe in "the work" – the work-in-progress, or author-function, or écriture, or culture, or archive: A Portrait of the Artwork as a Young Man, perhaps.
I admit that I am sensitive to the issue of titles. It was I who hastily suggested the title of the forthcoming book, edited by Luca Crispi and Sam Slote: How Joyce Wrote Finnegans Wake: A Chapter-by-Chapter Genetic Guide. I regret both the emphasis on Joyce's Godlike authorial power and the weight laid on the critic's technical know-how (even as I understand the marketing appeal of a title that has a authoritative ring and promises a pragmatic and narrative truth.) Still, titles aside, I cannot help wondering what would have happened if we had teamed up to write Finnegans Wake as a European Bildungsroman, the story of a gifted but troubled young text who, after a difficult start in life, managed to negotiate the chaotic forces of a society in transition, a set of unstable parents, and various other obstacles before finally finding a stable identity (at the age of seventeen, in human years).
I submit that this mode of narration would not be as untruthful, inefficient, or gimmicky as it may sound. In our chapter-by-chapter guide, do we really get at the disappointments, the agonies, the sacrifices, the uncertainties and emotions that go with writing pioneering, large-scale books? A good novel does not leave out the tears, but a critic in thrall to a text or an author tends to hide the pain and rush to a happy ending. Or if the objection is that artworks are not alive like Joyce or a critic, and therefore not subject to the same modes of narration, then I recall Walter Benjamin's forceful words to the contrary:
The idea of life and afterlife in works of art should be regarded with an entirely unmetaphorical objectivity. Even in times of narrowly prejudiced thought there was an inkling that life was not limited to organic corporeality... The concept of life is given its due only if everything that has a history of its own, and is not merely the setting for history, is credited with life.... and indeed, is not the continued life of works of art far easier to recognize than the continual life of animal species (73)?
So we could have told the way Finnegans Wake was born, lives, and has an afterlife in the limbo of translations, criticism, and conferences like ours. In fact all of those afterlives would have worked well as sequels to our movie project.
One last thing, this time a request. If genetic criticism is going to step out of the archive and into the space of world literature and use its resources to address the large questions framed by the Morettis, Casanovas, Damrosches, Spivaks, and Saids, then one new reference book might help. Perhaps a critic who has done a lot of manuscript diving, a true comparative geneticist, might write a Genetic Discourse or Archive Discourse roughly on the model of Gérard Genette's Narrative Discourse. This would furnish all scholars with a powerful set of basic concepts and descriptive vocabulary for the resplendent flora and fauna of the archive. Such a book would not only improve our understanding of avant-textual phenomena from all times and places, it would nourish and help compel what is now only a dream: a Modernist explosion in genetic critical thinking and writing.
Barthes, Roland. "The Death of the Author." Image, Music, Text. Trans. Stephen Heath. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 1977. 142-9.
Benjamin, Walter. "The Task of the Translator." trans. Harry Zohn. Theories of Translation: An Anthology of Essays from Dryden to Derrida. Rainer Schulte and John Biguenet, eds. University of Chicago Press,1992. 71-82.
Casanova, Pascale. The World Republic of Letters. M. B. DeBevoise, trans. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2004.
Cheng, Vincent. Joyce, Race, and Empire. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization. Haun Saussy, ed. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins UP, 2006.
Damrosch, David. "World Literature in a Postcanonical, Hypercanonical Age." Comparative Liteature in an Age of Globalization. 43-53.
Hay, Louis. La Littérature des écrivains. Paris: José Corti, 2002.
Joyce, James. Ulysses Notes & 'Telemachus' – 'Scylla and Charybdis.' Michael Groden, ed. New York: Garland, 1978.
______. The Finnegans Wake Notebooks at Buffalo: Notebook VI.B.10. Vincent Deane, Daniel Ferrer, and Geert Lernout, eds. Turnhout, Belgium : Brepols, 2004.
Kiberd, Declan. Irish Classics. London: Granta Books, 2000.
Fritzsche, Peter. Reading Berlin 1900. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1996.
Genetic Criticism. Jed Deppman, Daniel Ferrer, and Michael Groden, eds. Jed Deppman, trans. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.
Genette, Gérard. Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method. Jane E. Lewin, trans. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1983.
Lejeune, Philippe. "Auto-Genesis: Genetic Studies of Autobiographical Texts." trans. Jed Deppman. Genetic Criticism. 193-217.
Lernout, Geert. "The Finnegans Wake Notebooks and Radical Philology." Genetic Studies in Joyce. David Hayman and Sam Slote, eds. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1995. 19-48.
Moretti, Franco. "Conjectures on World Literature." New Left Review. January-February, 2000. 54-68.
Nationalism, Colonialism, and Literature. Terry Eagleton, Fredric Jameson, and Edward W. Said, eds. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press,1990.
Semicolonial Joyce. Derek Attridge and Marjorie Howes, eds. New York: Cambridge UP, 2000.
[i] To theorize the "authorship" of avant-textual materials like notebooks is a very difficult question, and one which threatens to exceed the grasp of even the most elastic theoretical models. Could the authorship of B.10 be described in terms of Iser's implied author? Do notebook scholars unconsciously use a Foucauldian discourse with an "author function?" If so, what notion of authorship could govern a discourse about transcribed quotations, epiphanies, bits of newspaper language? To pursue such questions here would lead me too far afield.