The French Joyce, the first book to trace the French critical reception to James Joyce's work, is a major contribution to Joyce scholarship as well as an important historical review of the French intellectual climate from the sixties to present.
Serious French interest in the Irish writer coincided with the rise of poststructuralism, and Lernout pays particular attention to Joycean criticism by Lacan, Derrida, and Cixous, who have provided the basis for psychoanalytical, philosophical, and feminist readings. The French university critics who took Derrida's and Lacan's work as their point of departure are examined, as well as the Tel Quel and Change writers. The author also looks at the effects of French theory on the study of Joyce by American, English, and Irish critics.
The author provides a provocative critique of poststructuralist readings, arguing that such readings are in fact romantic and idealistic, and examines the particularly French climate in which this type of theory could develop and flourish. The French Joyce is essential reading for Joyceans as well as those interested in the historical development of French-born literary theories. It will appeal to students of critical theory and postwar intellectual history.
Joyce Criticism: The Early Years 21
Cixous, Derrida, Lacan 41
University Criticism 85
Joyce and Tel Quel 119
The New Joyce in England and America 169