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Sean Lathan’s chapter addresses the recent explosion of article submissions to the James Joyce Quarterly from areas outside Europe and North America, especially Asia, and consider the questions of academic methodology and critical apparatus that this new situation raises. Ulysses, as we know, has been translated into dozens of languages and is read across the world.Approximately half of the submissions that arrive at the JJQ each year come from outside the United States, and over a third are from non-Anglophone countries.In a marked break from even ten years ago, the journal now regularly receives submissions from Iran, China, Sweden, and Japan. What does it mean to think about Joyce in this genuinely global context?This question is itself connected to a larger set of debates now playing out in modernist studies more generally about the intersections between the local and the regional, the national and the global, the marginal and the cosmopolitan, the intra-imperial and the transnational. This chapter explores what it means to see Ulysses from these different critical vantage points and how that, in turn, shapes our perception of the book as a work of art, a piece of globally circulated cultural capital, and an icon that looms over contemporary literary history.The aim of this chapteris not to claim Joyce’s masterwork for any particular critical school, but instead to explore how Ulysses changes when seen from these different perspectives.The chapter concludes by speculating about what this might portend for a new understanding of Joyce, as well as for a modernism no longer organized around national or linguistic coordinates.
“Where do the words come from?” Bob Dylan has been asked some version of this question hundreds of times over the years by journalists, fans, and critics, all hoping to glimpse the origin of his seemingly boundless capacity for lyrical invention. When he first arrived on the New York folk music scene, Dylan typically responded by inventing an ever-more colorful history for himself and attributed some of his early tunes to a life lived on the road. He claimed, for example, to have studied at the feet of a nameless Chicago bluesman after running away from home and also suggested that he gathered material from his (entirely fictitious) years spent working in traveling circuses and carnivals.1 In 1962, just after the release of his first album, he playfully fended off Cynthia Gooding’s initial attempts to explore his creative process by complaining about the studio temperature when she asked how much of “Fixin’ to Die” he had written. When she got him back on track and again pressed the question, Dylan unwound a tale about a woman working in a side show known as the “elephant lady” before explaining that he wrote a song about her called “Won’t You Buy a Postcard” but somehow lost it. Two months later, he employed similar tactics with Pete Seeger when the leader of the folk movement asked about “some of the songs Bob Dylan has made up.” The young man again squirmed a bit before claiming that “I write a lotta stuff. In fact, I wrote five songs last night, but I gave all the papers away … someplace.”2
Is there any writer or performer more haunting – and more haunted – than Bob Dylan? We recognize his songs, his vision, his inventiveness, his poetry, and especially his distinctive voice nearly everywhere: in music and film, popular culture and politics, global protest movements and intimate moments of self-reflection. As he now turns eighty, it’s a shock to realize that, for most us, Dylan has always been there, singing, touring, laughing, snarling, and sometimes even hawking whiskey and underwear. Like the members of the Nobel committee that awarded him the world’s most important cultural prize, we know he is a vastly influential artist. But which Dylan is it? The folk-singing activist who shared the stage with Dr. King at the March on Washington? The rocker in Ray Bans and a leather jacket who faced down hostile crowds by ordering his band to “play it fucking loud?” Is it the country boy who went to Nashville and befriended Johnny Cash? Or the Beat-inspired hipster who took to the road with a ramshackle medicine show? The Christian convert? The brilliant curator of folk and blues? The Sinatra-inspired crooner? Or the weary old man who’s “standin’ in the doorway cryin’?”
Bob Dylan has helped transform music, literature, pop culture, and even politics. The World of Bob Dylan chronicles a lifetime of creative invention that has made a global impact. Leading rock and pop critics and music scholars address themes and topics central to Dylan's life and work: the Blues, his religious faith, Civil Rights, Gender, Race, and American and World literature. Incorporating a rich array of new archival material from never before accessed archives, The World of Bob Dylan offers a comprehensive, uniquely informed and wholly fresh account of the songwriter, artist, filmmaker, and Nobel Laureate whose unique voice has permanently reshaped our cultural landscape.
We now imagine ourselves to be living in an age of nearly frictionless authorship, one in which ideas – both wild and mundane – can be instantly published on a blog, in a Facebook comment, or on platforms from Reddit to Amazon that thrive on what we still awkwardly refer to as “self-published” manuscripts. Authorship – whether defined broadly as the mere production of text or more narrowly as the creation of a work of art – has become ubiquitous. Rapid developments in the field of artificial intelligence, moreover, have eerily extended authorship into the realm of objects and machines: nefarious “bots” flood Twitter streams and, in 2016, an algorithmically generated science-fiction novel advanced past the first round of cuts for the Hoshi Shinichi Literary Award.1 The origin of such ubiquitous authorship cannot be dated exactly, but its effects registered vividly on the cluttered newsstands of the 1920s, where hundreds of magazines, newspapers, paperbacks, gazettes, pamphlets, and books jostled with one another for attention.