A Retrospective Arrangement
This introductory chapter provides an insight into the criticism around essays by James Joyce. The early essays on Joyce need periodic review to reaffirm or overturn their efficacy. The concept of Finnegans Wake, articulating the dreams of a single individual, relieved a great deal of interpretive stress that readers otherwise had to engage. Dubliners represents Joyce's earliest published fictional work, with initial versions of some of the stories appearing in 1904 and the collection being published as a book in 1914. Early responses to A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man struggled with differing though equally challenging views. Ulysses offers unique interpretive dispensations for readers because of the narrative's encyclopedic quality, its celebration of digression, and its stylistic innovations.
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