“Please, Mr. Postman”: Joyce’s Expanding Epistolary Novel

  • Michael Groden


Ahead of the publication of an edition of Joyce’s unpublished letters, this chapter considers the place of Joyce’s 3800 surviving letters in relation to his fictional and non-fictional output. Considering the chronology and availability of the letters published so far, as well as case studies from the new letters to add to its narrative, the chapter uses the conceit of the epistolary novel form to distinguish the different kinds of images of Joyce that each volume of letters encourages. It asks and answers questions such as “Why read Joyce’s letters?” and “What kind of story do they tell?” The chapter also considers the gap between life and art in relation to Joyce’s example as letter-writer—how it can be bridged and where it remains unbridgeable.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Groden
    • 1
  1. 1.Western University CanadaLondonCanada

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