Quare Joyce

Joseph Valente, Editor
The first sustained analysis of the place of homoeroticism in Joyce's cultural politics


Much of the most influential work on Joyce over the last decade has been devoted to the study of gender representation, performance, privilege, and anxiety. Among other results, this work has made the heterosexual imperative visible as an arbitrary ideological limit. Now, in Quare Joyce, some of the most prominent scholars of Joyce address themselves directly to questions of homoerotic desire in Joyce's work, drawing on and furthering queer theory in a dazzling set of essays.

Beyond simply locating another layer of cultural import in Joyce's endlessly rich oeuvre, this project reconstructs a whole other creative and critical history for his writing. The twelve essays, organized in pairs under the headings "Intersexualities," "Rethinking the Closet," "Homophobia and Misogyny," "Homocolonial Relations," "Joyce's Lesbian Other," and "Recent Controversies," explore the range of Joyce's work, from "An Encounter" through Finnegans Wake, and take on three related tasks: to redress the compulsory heterosexuality that has traditionally hampered even the most sophisticated and progressive scholarship on Joyce; to import a queer theory perspective; and to take up the manifold question of homosexuality as it pertains to the always slippery articulation of Joyce's life and work.

Quare Joyce will directly interest not only Joyceans, modernists, and students of Irish literature, but also scholars in the fields of postcolonial and queer theory, gay and cultural studies. As the only book on its subject, it will be necessary reading for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students and will prove useful in the classroom.

Joseph Valente is Associate Professor of English and Interpretive Theory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Praise / Awards

  • ". . . provides a wide and impressive set of readings of Joyce's life and writing in terms of sexuality and desire. . . . [Valente] has put together an impressive set of scrupulous textual analyses. . . . [A] set of fascinating readings of Joyce and desire."
    --George Piggford, James Joyce Literary Supplement, Fall 1999
  • "It is hard to imagine a more vigorous, productive encounter between queer or sexuality studies and the work of a canonical author than the one found in this collection of thirteen essays. . . . While acknowledging that the bulk of Joyce's personal views on homosexuality followed the conventional terms of his time, they show that Joyce also produced texts profoundly inclined to unsettle the normative ideas about heterosexual and homosexual behavior. . . . All in all, this impressive volume shows that a 'queer' employment of formalist close reading, which has been especially revered in Joyce studies, can radically revise more traditional Joyce criticism while also convincingly demonstrating that queer themes are central to the major sociohistorical issues of Joyce's time."
    --Richard A. Barney, University of Oklahoma , MFS: Modern Fiction Studies, Winter 2000
  • ". . . a large and meaty book. . . . Joyce nearly always portrays desire as mediated, deferred, qualified, fetishized, self-undermining and often self-conscious to the brink of paralysis, and we can be grateful to this collection for highlighting the strangeness of his portrait."
    --R. Brandon Kershner, University of Florida, Novel, Volume 33, No. 3

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 312pp.
  • 2 drawings.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 1998
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-10898-5

Add to Cart
  • $84.95 U.S.

  • Paper
  • 2000
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-08689-4

Add to Cart
  • $29.95 U.S.