When “After the Race” was conceived, Edwardian Dublin had been for a century the center of colonial administration. On the verge of the electric and automobile age, it was host to a continuous ferment of nationalist agitation and a five-year continuum of nationalist centennial celebrations. Written in instinctive reaction to the arrival of the automobile and in the spirit of these celebrations, this minor work requires a considerable effort of “defamiliarization.” This book is at one stroke a scholarly study which serves as a comprehensive introduction to the Joycean universe. It argues that the effort to appreciate the historical and biographical circumstances under which the story was written and attend to its technique will uncover its deceptive simplicities and reveal its astonishing coherence, subtlety, complexity, and vision.
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