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Saturday, February 1, 2020

A new book on Joyce

Out on Feb. 25, 2020, although confusingly, Amazon says it can be delivered right away: Joyce and Geometry by Ciaran McMorran.

"In a paradigm shift away from classical understandings of geometry, nineteenth-century mathematicians developed new systems that featured surprising concepts such as the idea that parallel lines can curve and intersect. Providing evidence to confirm much that has largely been speculation, Joyce and Geometry reveals the full extent to which the modernist writer James Joyce was influenced by the radical theories of non-Euclidean geometry.

"Through close readings of Ulysses, Finnegans Wake, and Joyce’s notebooks, Ciaran McMorran demonstrates that Joyce’s experiments with nonlinearity stem from a fascination with these new mathematical concepts. He highlights the maze-like patterns traced by Joyce’s characters as they wander Dublin’s streets; he explores recurring motifs such as the topography of the Earth’s curved surface and time as the fourth dimension of space; and he investigates in detail the enormous influence of Giordano Bruno, Henri Poincaré, and other writers who were critical of the Euclidean tradition.

"Arguing that Joyce’s obsession with measuring and mapping space throughout his works encapsulates a modern crisis between geometric and linguistic modes of representation, McMorran delves into a major theme in Joyce’s work that has not been fully explored until now."

A copy of the new hardcover costs $80. I wrote to a marketing person at the University of Florida Press and asked if there would be a less expensive paperback or ebook edition. No response, at least yet.

Ciaran McMorran has a Twitter presence.

Hat tip: Jesse Walker.

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