James Joyce, Science, and Modernist Print Culture: “The Einstein of English Fiction”, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

James Joyce, Science, and Modernist Print Culture

“The Einstein of English Fiction”, 1st Edition

By Jeffrey S. Drouin


166 pages

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This book makes an important intervention in the ongoing debates about modernism, science, and the divisions of early Twentieth-Century print culture. In order to establish Joyce's place in the nexus of modernism and scientific thought, Drouin uses the methods of periodical studies and textual criticism to examine the impact of Einstein's relativity theories on the development of Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939). Looking at experiments with space, time, motion, and perspective, it rigorously surveys discourse of science and the novel in the print culture networks connected to Joyce, with concrete analysis of avant-garde magazines, newspapers, popular science books, BBC pamphlets, and radio broadcasts between 1914 and 1939. These sources elucidate changes that Joyce made to the manuscripts, typescripts, and page proofs of certain episodes of his final two novels. The new evidence establishes for the first time the nature of the material link between Joyce and non-technical science, and the manner in which Ulysses and Finnegans Wake owe their structure and meaning to the humanistic issues associated with science during the wartime and inter-war years. In examining the relationships between Joyce's later work and the popular science industry, the book elucidates the often conflicting attitudes toward science in inter-war British print culture, filling in a piece of the puzzle that is modernism's relationship to the new physics and, simultaneously, the history of the novel.

Table of Contents

Introduction Part I: Ulysses 1: Science and the Novel in the Pre-War and Wartime Avant-Garde, 1914-1918 2: "Wandering Rocks," Physics, The Egoist, and The Little Review, 1918-1919 3: "Ithaca," Post-Euclidean Geometry, and the Mythic Method, 1921-1922 Part II: Finnegans Wake 4: The Novel, Inter-War Popular Science, and the Avant-Garde, 1919-1939 5: Aesthetics and Popular Science in The Enemy, transition, and Work in Progress, 1926-1932 6: The "Final" Form of Finnegans Wake

About the Author

Jeffrey S. Drouin is Assistant Professor of English and Co-Director of the Modernist Journals Project at The University of Tulsa. He has recently published "‘MUTUOMORPHOMUTATION’: Horus and Set as Principles of the Digital and Analog in II.2," in "Finnegans Wake": Polyvocal Explorations / Seventeen New Readings of the Chapters, edited by Kimberly Devlin and Christine Smedley.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature

From Joyce to Rushdie, Modernism to Food Writing, Routledge Studies in Twentieth Century Literature looks at both the literature and culture of the 20th century. This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering literature alongside religion, popular culture, race, gender, ecology, travel, class, space, and other subjects, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
SCIENCE / Physics
SCIENCE / Relativity