Department of English

English Professors Alan Friedman and Charles Rossman Co-Edit Four Journal Editions

Wed, January 20, 2010

English Department professors Alan Friedman and Charles Rossman co-edited four journals together in 2009 for three different titles: Texas Studies in Language and Literature (51.1 & 51.4), James Joyce Quarterly (45.3/4), and European Joyce Studies (18).


Texas Studies in Language and Literature

Spring 2009, 51:1: Samuel Beckett in Austin and Beyond

Alan W. Friedman and Charles Rossman, Guest Editors

Samuel Beckett never made it to Austin—getting no further west than Manhattan on his only visit to the United States (as Alan W. Friedman discusses in his essay, "Samuel Beckett Meets Buster Keaton: Godeau, Film, and New York")—though we invited him to participate in (or at least to write a new work for) "Beckett Translating/Translating Beckett," a conference held in his honor at the University of Texas at Austin in 1984. 

But a vast quantity of his manuscripts and many of his critics have made the journey. This special issue of Texas Studies in Literature and Language is entitled Samuel Beckett in Austin and Beyond for four main reasons: most of its contributions were initially presented at the annual James Joyce Bloomsday conference that was held in Austin in June 2007; its contributors and editors are mainly faculty or graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin; many of the essays feature research based on the extraordinary Beckett holdings in UT's Harry Ransom Center (see No Symbols Where None Intended and Fathoms from Anywhere: A Samuel Beckett Centenary Exhibition); and it not only offers something of a retrospective on Joyce and Beckett but also, in the end, anticipates future Beckett studies.


Winter 2009, 51.4: News of Ulysses: Readings and Re-Readings

Charles Rossman and Alan W. Friedman, Guest Editors

What a difference there is between the experiences of reading Ulysses in 1922 and in 2009. In 1922 readers were baffled by both the form and content of the novel—if they thought of it as a "novel" at all—as they groped toward comprehension. Today's first-time readers of Ulysses have a plethora of periphrastic guidebooks, notes, and "introductions" to help them domesticate Joyce's sprawling fiction. And today's Joyce scholars are the beneficiaries of one of the richest and still evolving critical trajectories in modern literary studies. Indeed, although Ulysses still contains many mysteries and puzzles, the book has been at least partially colonized. Scholars have returned again and again to many interpretive "sites" in the book, refining, extending, and overturning received opinion. These nine essays, all of which derive from the "Joyce in Austin" conference held at the University of Texas at Austin, 13–17 June 2007, bring us "news" of Ulysses by contributing to the evolving, enormously valuable, communal enterprise known as "Joyce Studies."


James Joyce Quarterly

February 2009, 45.3/4: Biographical Joyce

Charles Rossman and Alan W. Friedman, Guest Editors

When Richard Ellmann’s James Joyce appeared in 1959, it was acclaimed both for its wealth of information about Joyce’s life and his works and for its graceful style. Reviewers declared it “definitive” and “masterfully” done. During the ensuing years, James Joyce was widely acknowledged as the model for literary critical biography, and when the revised edition appeared in 1982, Ellmann received a new round of applause. Since 1959, his masterpiece has been a boon for Joyce scholars.

But no biography can be definitive. There is always more to learn about an author’s life and milieu as interpretive contexts for the writing. And, of course, Ellmann’s sources, methods, and interpretations have at times been challenged. The eight essays in this volume—all of them presented in earlier versions at the 2007 North American James Joyce Conference held at the University of Texas at Austin—might well be thought of as augmenting, or filling, gaps in James Joyce. All the studies employ biographical methods that enhance our understanding of Joyce the artist, Joyce’s work, or the link between his work and a given cultural/historical moment.


European Joyce Studies

2009, 18: De-familiarizing Readings: Essays from the Austin Joyce Conference

Alan W. Friedman and Charles Rossman, Guest Editors

Unlike many recent Joyce studies, De-familiarizing Readings eschews the theoretical and ideological and instead plants itself on firmer ground. Its eight outstanding Joyce scholars share a love of the “stuff” of texts, contexts, and intertexts: data and dates, food and clothing, letters and journals, literary allusions, and other quotidian desiderata. Their inductive approaches - whether to Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist, Ulysses, or Finnegans Wake - are thoroughly researched, argued with meticulous, even nit-picking, precision, and offer the pleasurable reading experience of forensic analysis. And in the end they provide the satisfaction of reaching persuasive conclusions that seem both striking and inevitable.

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