Joyce, Chaos, and Complexity

Joyce, Chaos, and Complexity

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Description

Joyce, Chaos, and Complexity studies the manifold relations among twentieth-century mathematics and Science, James Joyce's fiction, and the critical reception of Joyce's work. Calling for profound reassessments, Thomas Jackson Rice compellingly argues that Joyce's work resists postmodernist approaches of ambiguity: Joyce never abandoned his conviction that reality exists, regardless of the human ability to represent it.Placing Joyce in his cultural context, Rice first provocatively traces the previously unacknowledged formative influence of Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries on Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. He then demonstrates that, when later innovations in science transformed entire worldviews, Joyce recognized conventional literary modes of representation as offering merely arbitrary constructions of this new reality. Joyce responded to these developmeats in Ulysses by experimenting with perspective, embedding design, and affirming the existence of reality. Rice contends that Ulysses is a precursor to the multiple tensions of chaos theory; likewise, chaos theory can serve as a model for understanding Ulysses. In Finnegans Wake Joyce consummates his vision and anticipates the theories of complexity science through a dynamic approximation of reality.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 149.86 x 220.98 x 17.78mm | 158.76g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0252065832
  • 9780252065835
  • 2,018,563

Back cover copy

Placing Joyce in his cultural context, Rice first provocatively traces the previously unacknowledged formative influence of Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries on Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. He then demonstrates that, when later innovations in science transformed entire worldviews, Joyce recognized conventional literary modes of representation as offering merely arbitrary constructions of this new reality.show more

Review quote

"This is the fullest, most articulate case I know of for Joyce's dialogue with the new sciences. It is well written, lucidly argued, and readable." -- Robert Spoo, editor, James Joyce Quarterlyshow more

Table of contents

Introduction : James Joyce, from "scientific" realist to scientific "realist" -- The elements of geometry in Dubliners -- The aliments of jumeantry in A portrait of the artist as a young man -- Ulysses, chaos, and complexity -- Finnegans wake : the complexity of artificial life -- Appendixes: A. Joyce, mathematics, and science. B. Modern physics.show more