Greek and Hellenic Culture in Joyce

R. J. Schork

Foreword by Zack Bowen, Series Editor
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"Definitive. . . . This is the first comprehensive treatment of its subject; it is so thoroughly presented that competition is unlikely."--Mary T. Reynolds, author of Joyce and Dante

"A major contribution to the study of the incidence of Greek literary and cultural traditions in Joyce's works. . . . The almost axiomatic deference to Joyce's greatness and virtual infallibility is absent from this hard-nosed and eminently viable study."--Roy Arthur Swanson, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee


Classical allusion in James Joyce's work is staggering--despite the fact that he knew no ancient Greek and had only a minimal grasp of its modern form. This book by R. J. Schork comprehensively examines the essential contributions of Greek language, literature, history, and mythology to the structure and comic aspects of Joyce's fiction.
Like Schork's earlier companion book (the study of Roman culture and Joyce), this work contains the same attention to philological detail, literary nuance, and cross-referencing of sources. And again, the overriding critical emphasis is on the culture and language of ancient Hellas as an essential component of Joyce's genius.
Schork's double expertise--classical and Joycean--reveals new dimensions in the allusive archaeology of the texts, especially in the puzzling verbal strata of Finnegans Wake. Throughout, Schork keeps his focus on Joyce, writing in an uncomplicated, lively style, translating everything, giving the entire context of the allusions, taking nothing for granted in terms of classical background. And, finally, concluding that Joyce's manipulation of the classics in general and Greek in particular was primarily for comic and/or scatological purposes.

R. J. Schork, professor emeritus of classics at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, is the author of more than 60 articles on ancient and modern literature. His recent books are Latin and Roman Culture in Joyce (UPF, 1997) and Sacred Song from the Byzantine Pulpit: Romanos the Melodist (UPF, 1995).

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"A valuable reference tool." -- Choice
--Choice

"The publication of R. J. Schork's Latin and Roman Culture in Joyce in 1997 raised hopes that his task would be successfully completed by a companion volume on Joyce and the Greeks. Now this volume has appeared in The Florida James Joyce Series, and it meets the exacting standards of its predecessor. Together, these books constitute a shining achievement in late twentieth-century humanistic studies. While they can be referred to as source books, or consulted like a dictionary, at the same time they possess the compelling sweep of an historical novel and the precision of a piece of detective fiction. . . . Schork's book treats not only Joyce and the Greeks, but the exhaustive scholarship on Joyce and the Greeks."-- James Joyce Literary Supplement
--James Joyce Literary Supplement

"Based on meticulous archival research and attentive, often inspired close readings of passages from extant texts, drafts, and notebooks, Schork's studies provide incontrovertible evidence of Joyce's command of an impressive range of classical material."-- Translation and Literature
--Translation and Literature

"Schork's approach is "refreshing" in all the senses of the term. He takes Joyce's workds as a continuum from the earliest critical essays to the whole bulk of Finnegans Wake with its attendant notebooks, and leads us through a guided tour of Greek culture, starting with historians, continuing with mythology, concluding with philosophy and literature - all the while keeping us on the alert with precise and convincing cross-references." - English Literature in Transition 1880-1920
--English Literature in Transition

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