“Universal Joyce?” – Terence Killeen

We were delighted to welcome our James Joyce Centre Research Scholar Terence Killeen to deliver his talk “Universal Joyce?” on the evening of March 9th 2020 as the second lecture in our Spring/Summer series.

James Joyce’s last work, Finnegans Wake, is meant to be a universal epic, covering the whole of world history, and operating at a level of generality that seems intended to transcend all previous efforts of this type. Does this universality, however, come at a price, in that individual struggles and sufferings, both of people and of nations, are all subsumed under the cover of an extremely abstract schema of history and of human development? This is the question that Terence Killeen explored in his lecture “Universal Joyce?”, with special reference to the function of borders in the work.

Terence Killeen is the James Joyce Centre’s research scholar and author of Ulysses Unbound. He regularly leads seminars and lectures at both the Dublin and Trieste James Joyce Summer schools. Terence’s most recent publication is an essay on the earliest version of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which appears in the collection Joyce’s Non-Fiction Writings. He recently was the keynote speaker at the North American James Joyce Symposium in Mexico City in June 2019. He is a former journalist with the Irish Times, for which he still writes on Joyce-related matters.