James Joyce, Hypertext & Technology

by Louis Armand

Corrected edition, with index
ISBN 978-80-246-1382-6 (paperback). 234pp.
Published October 2007
Publisher: Karolinum/Charles University Press

Price: € 12.00 (postage not included)

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While this study is concerned with the question of technology in its relation to the work of James Joyce and theories of hypertext, it is also, and more specifically, addressed to a concept of technology arising from the language of Finnegans Wake. Drawing upon developments in communication theory and information technology, this study attempts to map a parallel development in Joyce's uses of language in the Wake, arguing that Joyce's writing provides a model for re-thinking the relationship between technology and "all forms of cultural production." The purpose of this is not, however, to suggest that Joyce was necessarily in some way cognisant of a future possibility of hypertext, nor is it simply concerned with a retrospective glance at Joyce from the position of current computing technologies. Rather, it is to examine how Joyce's work is aware of its own position against and within contemporary developments in the sciences and electronic media, and that Joyce incorporated material from these developments into his texts.

"Techne is an elaborate and passionate mapping of the ways in which hypertext is, in fact, like Joyce. In this respect it will be an essential benchmark in Joyce scholarship, as seminal as the work of Hugh Kenner in the 1950s and 1960s, which also set the style and tone for a generation of Joyce criticism."
--Darren Tofts, author of Memory Trades

"The main purposes of Armand's important study are primarily to 'trace the historical development of communications technologies in the context of Joyce's writing,' while secondarily examining their effects on Joyce scholarship ... throughout the book he presents an important new understanding of the relationship of Joyce's work to the evolution of hypertext from mechanization and the new electric media ... I strongly recommend this book for its rigorous and illuminationg understanding of the importance of technology to Joyce and for the understanding of Joyce's affinities with major movements of the first half of the twentieth century."
--Donald Theall, James Joyce Quarterly

Louis Armand is director of the InterCultural Studies programme in the Philosophy Faculty of Charles University, Prague. His books include Solicitations: Essays on Criticism & Culture; Techne: James Joyce, Hypertext & Technology; and Incendiary Devices: Discourses of the Other.

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