Joyce: The Irish Expat and the ‘Loss of English’

  • Michael O’Sullivan
Part of the New Directions in Irish and Irish American Literature book series (NDIIAL)


This chapter reads the later work of Joyce in terms of his experiences as an expat in non-native English-speaking communities in Europe for the last 37 years of his life. Recent criticism has argued that the loss of Irish as a language in Ireland in the early part of the twentieth century was an important influence on Joyce’s language in his modernist works. However, this chapter argues that, on the contrary, it may well be that fears about a possible “loss of English” were far more influential for the work he created in the last 30 years of his life. This chapter drew from work done on the Joyce notebooks and manuscripts at the National Library of Ireland and at the University of Buffalo.


Joyce English Expat Manuscripts Finnegans Wake 

Works Cited

Works Cited

  1. Agamben, Giorgio. The Open: Man and Animal. Cultural Memory in the Present. Stanford, CA.: Stanford University Press, 2004.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso, 1991.Google Scholar
  3. Appiah, Kwame Anthony. Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers. New York: W. W. Norton, 2006.Google Scholar
  4. Bell, Lilian Linda. The Expatriates: A Novel (1900; repr., New York, 2005).Google Scholar
  5. ———. What Are People For? San Francisco: North Point Press, 1990.Google Scholar
  6. Birmingham, Kevin. The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses. London: Penguin, 2015.Google Scholar
  7. Bloom, Harold. The Western Canon. New York: Riverhead Books, 1995.Google Scholar
  8. Boland, Eavan. Outside History. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 2001.Google Scholar
  9. Booth, Wayne C. A Rhetoric of Irony. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  10. Bowker, Gordon. James Joyce: A Biography. London: Wiedenfeld & Nicolson, 2011.Google Scholar
  11. Joyce, James. James Joyce’s Scribbledehobble: The Ur-Workbook for Finnegans Wake. Ed. & Introduction. Thomas E. Connolly. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1961.Google Scholar
  12. Lawrie, Alexandra. The Beginnings of University English: Extramural Study 1885–1910. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.Google Scholar
  13. O’Sullivan, Michael J. Ireland and the Global Question. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2006.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael O’Sullivan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishChinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong

Personalised recommendations