Focusing on the most commonly studied texts, it guides the reader through Joyce's stylistic and thematic complexity and through differing theoretical interpretations of his work. James Joyce's work has, not unjustly, been regarded as some of the most obscure, challenging and difficult writing ever committed to paper; it is also shamelessly funny and endlessly entertaining. "Joyce: A Guide for the Perplexed" celebrates the daring, humor and playfulness of Joyce's complex work while engaging with and elucidating the most demanding aspects of his writing. The book explores in detail the motifs and radical innovations of style and technique that characterize his major works - "Dubliners", "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man", "Ulysses", and "Finnegans Wake". By highlighting how Joyce's texts have been read by recent innovations in literary and cultural theory, "Joyce: A Guide for the Perplexed" offers the reader a Joyce that is contemporary, fresh and relevant. Continuum's "Guides for the Perplexed" are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging - or indeed downright bewildering.
Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material.
Peter Mahon teaches in the Department of English at The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. He is the author of Imagining Joyce and Derrida: Between Finnegans Wake and Glas (University of Toronto Press, 2007).