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T.S. Eliot's Views on James Joyce: The Harvard Teaching Notes

Nash, John

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T. S. Eliot's teaching notes, made when he taught Joyce's work to a class at Harvard University in 1933, provide the substance for a re-reading of the Eliot-Joyce relationship. This essay shows that the way in which Eliot taught Ulysses and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man to undergraduates in the early 1930s provides compelling and detailed evidence of two substantial changes in his views of Joyce in the decade since "Ulysses, Order and Myth." First, the Harvard teaching notes reveal an Eliot who is determinedly personal, even emotional, in his reading. Second, Eliot now presents Joyce as a Catholic writer, and so the teaching notes represent a significant and previously unrecognized step in the long-running "Catholic question" in Joyce studies. In this respect, the notes provide fascinating preparations for Eliot's 1934 After Strange Gods. The significance of this shift in Eliot's appraisal of Joyce lies, I argue, not in the validity of Eliot's new opinions but in the need for Joyce studies to heed the religious contexts within which Joyce's work has been read.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 11, 2019
Online Publication Date Sep 7, 2019
Publication Date 2019
Deposit Date Jul 11, 2018
Publicly Available Date Sep 24, 2021
Journal James Joyce quarterly.
Print ISSN 0021-4183
Publisher University of Tulsa
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 56
Issue 1-2
Pages 115-131
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (255 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is a pre-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in the James Joyce Quarterly. For citation purposes, please consult the definitive publisher-authenticated version, which can be accessed through Project MUSE, through JSTOR (five years after publication), or through the paper journal. If you do not have access to these resources, please contact Copyright is held by the University of Tulsa, and all rights to reproduction are reserved.

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