Edward Everett Root Publishers Co. Ltd.


The Joyce Country:

Literary Scholarship and Irish Culture

​David Pierce

About this book

This new book by the eminent critic provides an informative and timely survey of contemporary approaches to Joyce and modern Irish writing over almost 40 years.

In a fresh opening survey Pierce explores the new departure for fiction heralded by A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and this is followed by essays on the hybrid landscape in Ulysses and on the distinctive style and humour of the ‘Eumaeus’ episode. Other pieces focus on the appeal of Irish short-story writer, Benedict Kiely, anthologies of Irish writing, and Irish writing in the years 2006-9.

The second half of The Joyce Country is devoted to twenty-six reviews of books about Joyce written from the 1980s to the present and grouped under several headings including ‘Joyce’s European Cities’, ‘Joyce, Yeats and the Matter of Ireland’, ‘Ulysses in Perspective’, and ‘Joyce and Modernism’. 

Contents. Introduction; A New Departure for Fiction: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; The Hybrid Landscape in Joyce; Preparatory to Anything Else: The Opening to ‘Eumaeus’; Benedict Kiely Tribute; Anthologies of Irish Writing; History in the Making: Irish Writing in 2007; Joyce's European Cities; Joyce, Yeats and the Matter of Ireland; Joyce and Modernism; Ulysses in Perspective; On Collections of Essays; On a Personal Note; Select Bibliography; Index.

About the author

Professor David Pierce taught at York St John University. He is an internationally noted author, and this is his twelfth book. He has been publishing since 1979. The main focus of his work is Joyce, Yeats and the history of modern Irish writing. His books include the anthology, Irish Writing in the Twentieth Century (2000), his highly-regarded memoir, The Long Apprenticeship (2012), and three books with Yale University Press:James Joyce’s Ireland (1992), Yeats’s Worlds (1995), and Light, Freedom and Song (2005).​


"David Pierce has devoted much of his life to Joyce and twentieth-century Irish literature more generally, and in The Joyce Country: Literary scholarship and Irish culture, he has helpfully collected the best of his essays, lectures and reviews in a single volume. The book is an engaging and idiosyncratic blend of Pierce’s own academic literary criticism and his reviews of other Joyce scholars’ works, with his immense Joycean knowledge worn lightly but effectively. Quoting Bernard Benstock’s perhaps tongue-in-cheek assertion from 1972 that “Ulysses is no more about Dublin than Moby-Dick is about a whale”, he reminds us, for example, that while Joyce’s worldwide fame has never been greater, as recently as twenty-five years ago his Irishness “stood in danger of being diminished or passed over in favour of a world writer whose country of origin was of secondary significance”. - Gerri Kimber, Times Literary Supplement.

“In The Joyce Country, David Pierce brings to bear his deep-seated knowledge of the workings of the novel on Joyce’s works. His illuminating, graceful, and original interpretations of Joyce’s texts and of recent Joycean criticism underscore the importance of attentive reading. To peruse this book is at once to be schooled in how to analyse Joyce’s texts, to be prompted to revisit them in fresh and challenging ways, and to be persuaded anew of their abiding importance.”- Anne Fogarty, Professor of James Joyce Studies, University College Dublin.

“David Pierce’s latest collection represents a new approach to scholarly stock-taking. It is a wonderfully reflexive, discursive, and deeply informative book which will delight scholars of Joyce and modern Irish writing. A tour de force offering a handy access to Pierce’s influential criticism.” -  Jolanta Wawrzycka, Professor of English at Radford University, Virginia and Trustee of the James Joyce Foundation.

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