Evviva Weinraub Lajoie, Vice Provost for University Libraries hosts our virtual book club exclusively for Loyal Blues.
You’ll have the opportunity to connect with alumni and friends from around the country, all while having an expert educator guide you through several books annually.
Dubliners is a collection of 15 short stories by James Joyce, first published in 1914 and is one of Joyce's most famous works. As you may already know, UB has the largest and most comprehensive collection of James Joyce materials in the world. I hope you will join us as we delve into the UB James Joyce Collection over the next few weeks, while reading this wonderful piece of fiction.
I am so excited to shine a spotlight on the University at Buffalo Libraries and its UB James Joyce Collection. I also am proud to share the expertise of our James Joyce scholars. We have a full schedule of wonderful activities, including a virtual tour of the UB James Joyce Collection and session with Dr. James Maynard, Curator of the Poetry Collection, as well as two lectures on James Joyce from UB-affiliated experts.
There is no cost to participate. Simply purchase a copy of the book and sign up below to receive emails. This title is available as an audiobook, though a variety of vendors as an eBook, and also through the Public Library through Overdrive. If you have trouble finding a copy, just let us know.
Once you've signed up, you will receive periodic emails to guide you through the reading period, which will run from January 12 until February 9. You can also join our Facebook Forum to discuss the book and post questions. We'll conclude with an interactive online discussion with Evviva on February 18 at noon. We will be sharing additional lecture information here throughout the reading period.
Please join us for a video tour of the UB James Joyce Collection and an exclusive question and answer session with James Maynard, PhD, curator of the Poetry Collection and coordinator of the Rare & Special Books Collection. You’ll be amazed to learn how the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of James Joyce materials made its home in Buffalo, NY at UB and to discover all of the literary treasures in the collection – from James Joyce’s canes and eye glasses to his earliest handwritten manuscripts of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake
You can visit the collection here.
Book Launch with UB James Joyce Scholar Joseph Valente, PhD: The Child Sex Scandal and Modern Irish Literature: Writing the Unspeakable
Join UB Distinguished Professor in English and Disability Studies Joseph Valente, PhD, and The John and Rebecca Moores Professor of English at the University of Houston, Margot Gayle Backus, PhD, for the launch of their book The Child Sex Scandal and Modern Irish Literature: Writing the Unspeakable. Dr. Valente will also announce the establishment of the Dr. John Bishop Memorial Visiting Scholar Fund for the UB James Joyce Collection in memory of the esteemed James Joyce scholar Dr. John Bishop who passed away in April 2020.
The Child Sex Scandal and Modern Irish Literature: Writing the Unspeakable is available in open access format at https://iupress.org/9780253053183/the-child-sex-scandal-and-modern-irish-literature/
Joseph Valente is UB Distinguished Professor in English and Disability Studies at the University at Buffalo, Treasurer of the International Yeats Society, and Vice President of NEMLA. He is the author of James Joyce and the Problem of Justice: Negotiating Sexual and Colonial Difference, Dracula’s Crypt: Bram Stoker, Irishness and the Question of Blood, and The Myth of Manliness in Irish National Culture, 1880-1922. Most recently, he co-authored (with Margot Backus) The Child Sex Scandal and Modern Irish Literature: Writing the Unspeakable. He is also the editor of several volumes, including Quare Joyce, Urban Ireland, Disciplinarity at the Fin de Siecle (with Amanda Anderson), Ireland in Psychoanalysis (with Sean Kennedy), and Yeats and Afterwords (with Marjorie Howes). His work has appeared in Critical Inquiry, Diacritics, Novel, ELH, Modern Fiction Studies, Narrative, The Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability, the Journal of Modern Literature, the James Joyce Quarterly, and the Journal of Religious and Critical Theory. His current project is entitled Autipicality: A Complexity Theory of Autism in Literature.
Margot Gayle Backus holds a John and Rebecca Moores Professorship in the Department of English at the University of Houston. She is author of The Gothic Family Romance: Heterosexuality and Child Sacrifice in the Anglo-Irish Colonial Order and of Scandal Work: James Joyce, the New Journalism, and the Home Rule Newspaper Wars.
To register for this event, please click here. Pre-registration for this event is required.
Joyce Papers and the World of Sound
Damien Keane is associate professor of English at the University at Buffalo. He has published on radio broadcasting, intelligence monitoring, and Irish writing and recorded sound and is the author of Ireland and the Problem of Information (2014), which was awarded the Robert Rhodes Prize for best book on literature by the American Conference for Irish Studies.
This paper addresses the Folkways double-LP Meeting of James Joyce Society (1955), which is best known for reproducing Joyce’s own gramophone recording of the end of the “Anna Livia Plurabelle” episode of Finnegans Wake. Yet the bulk of the set is a kind of field recording made at the Gotham Book Mart, home of the New York James Joyce Society and unofficial center of Joyce activity in America. It was here that specialist and generalist, academic and enthusiast, came together and argued about Joyce’s texts. The paper examines “Impressions of Joyce by Dr. Schwartz,” the track occupying most of the second record in the Folkways set. In the course of a rambling, anecdotal, and oftentimes inaccurate talk, Jacob Schwartz, a book-dealer, recounts his limited interactions with Joyce in the late 1920s, but also his sense of the contemporary movement of the modernist literary avant-garde into special collections. Left literally unspoken is the potential role of Irish institutions in this process. This track on the Folkways album thus functions as a recording of the literary field at this transitional moment.
Michael Groden, who was born and raised in Buffalo, taught for forty years in the Department of English at Western University Canada (formerly called The University of Western Ontario) until he retired in 2014 as Distinguished University Professor Emeritus. He is the author of three books on Joyce’s Ulysses – Ulysses in Progress (1977), Ulysses in Focus: Genetic, Textual, and Personal Views (2010), and a memoir called The Necessary Fiction: Life with James Joyce’s Ulysses (2019) – and the general editor of the 63-volume manuscript-facsimile series The James Joyce Archive (1977-79; many of the documents in the Archive come from UB’s Joyce Collection). For the past twenty years, he has led classes on Ulysses for adults at New York’s 92nd Street Y.
James Joyce originally conceived of Dubliners as a collection of twelve stories, ending with the harshly satirical “A Mother” and “Grace.” But long before the book was published (the collection was finished in 1907, but Joyce couldn’t find a publisher for it until 1914), he realized that something was missing at the end in terms of both the kinds of stories he was telling and the way he was presenting the city of Dublin and its inhabitants. As a new close for the collection, he wrote “The Dead,” by far the longest story in the book and, for many readers, one of the greatest short stories written in English. We will briefly consider “A Mother” and “Grace” and then look at “The Dead” both as a capstone to Dubliners and as a story on its own.
Join Evviva Weinraub Lajoie, vice provost of University Libraries, and James Maynard, PhD, curator of the Poetry Collection, for a final interactive discussion of the book.
1. Do you consider “Araby” a conventional love story?
2. Think about the themes that are introduced in these three stories. What do you think they represent?
3. Think about how birthplace determines one’s identity or destiny – how does that play out in these stories?
1. In "Eveline" why doesn't Eveline run away with Frank? Why does that fit with the overall themes of this collection of stories?
2. What does Joyce mean in "After the Race" when he describes Dublin as a city that wears "the mask of capital" (pg. 39)?
3. How would you describe the relationship between Corley and Lenehan in “Two Gallants”?
1. In The Boarding House, why does Bob Doran feel compelled to marry Polly?
2. The idea that in order to achieve happiness and succeed, you must leave has been repeated in several of these stories - in A Little Cloud do you think that's true in the case of Gallagher? Do you think he was a success?
3. In Counterparts, why is Farrington so angry?
2. What is the significance of the poem Mr. Hynes recites near the end of Ivy Day in the Committee Room?
3. Is individual freedom inevitably limited by the social customs of a particular place? What do you think Joyce thinks?
One of the world’s greatest literary treasures resides at the University at Buffalo - The James Joyce Collection. Comprising more than 10,000 pages of the author’s working papers, notebooks, manuscripts, photographs, correspondence, portraits, publishing records, important memorabilia and ephemeral material, as well as Joyce’s private library and the complete body of significant Joyce criticism, the collection distinguishes UB as the leading resource for Joyce scholarship.
This week, we’re sharing a few favorite photos of James Joyce from the UB James Joyce Collection. Enjoy and stay tuned for more collection highlights!
Future plans for the UB James Joyce Collection.
In case you missed it last week, you can watch the tour of the UB James Joyce Collection here:
We also wanted to share this article with you about James Joyce. It's helpful to understand Joyce's history and his relationship with Ireland as you read and analyze these stories.
As well as these images from the UB James Joyce Collection:
Loyal Blues Book Club Lecture: Damien Keane, PhD: Joyce Papers and the World of Sound
Have a book that you think might be interesting for the book club to read? Drop us a note and we'll add it to our list of recommendations.