In his comprehensive study of love in James Joyce's writings, Christopher DeVault suggests that a love ethic persists throughout Joyce's works. DeVault uses Martin Buber's distinction between the true love for others and the narcissistic desire for oneself to frame his discussion, showing that Joyce frequently ties his characters' personal and political pursuits to their ability to affirm both their loved ones and their fellow Dubliners. In his short stories and novels, DeVault argues, Joyce shows how personal love makes possible a broader social compassion that creates a more progressive body politic. While his early protagonists' narcissism limits them to detached engagements with Dublin that impede effective political action, Joyce demonstrates the viability of his love ethic through both the Blooms’ empathy in Ulysses and the polylogic dreamtext of Finnegan's Wake. In its revelation of Joyce's amorous alternative to the social and political paralysis he famously attributed to twentieth-century Dublin, Joyce's Love Stories allows for a better appreciation of the ethical and political significance underpinning the author's assessments of Ireland.
'DeVault’s new study would be a great resource for new encounters with Joyce … invaluable to burgeoning Joyce scholars … Joyce’s Love Stories shows incredible insight …' Rocky Mountain Review 'Overall, De Vault's book is very insightful and penetrating as a psychological analysis of Joyce's critique of narcissism and his celebration of love. DeVault brilliantly solves the interpretative task set up within the theoretical framework of Martin Buber.' James Joyce Broadsheet
Contents: Introduction; love and socialism in ’A Painful Case’; The strange friendly pity of ’The Dead’; Stephen Dedalus’s market place of love; The artist’s amatory aesthetics; Abjection and amor matris in Ulysses; Richard Rowan’s deep wound of doubt; The Blooms' amatory metempsychosis; Molly’s return to Howth; The politics of the new Bloomusalem; Amatory Darwinism in Finnegans Wake; Arrah Na Plurabelle; Joyce’s amorous collideorscape; Afterword; Bibliography; Index.