What Do I Read Next?
“Eveline” is just one story in a collection of stories, Dubliners, by James Joyce. Many of the other stories remain among the most influential short stories of all time. The final tale, “The Dead,” was filmed, with painstaking detail to the original, by John Houston. The movie is an excellent supplement to the book.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is the most accessible of Joyce’s other works. The prose is reminiscent of the last few pages of “The Dead,” the final story in Dubliners. More experimental than Dubliners, the autobiographical A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is the logical stepping-stone to the vastly more complex Ulysses. Joyce’s first novel is among one of the first instances of modernism and a seminal text in twentieth century literature. The Jesuit school Irish-Catholic upbringing is described with brilliant detail.
Nora, the biography of Nora Joyce, written by Brenda Maddox presents an interesting view Joyce’s relationship with his life partner who inspired many of his characters. There are many similarities between Eveline and Nora, though Nora did indeed leave Ireland unmarried with a man, Joyce. Nora is one of the few works on Joyce to put his wife in the central role and is helpful to anyone planning a feminist approach to Joyce’s work.
To the Lighthouse (1922), by Virginia Woolf, is considered to be a landmark in modernism. Much of the text is presented as a stream of consciousness, often in the head of a woman. In this respect, it is a natural extension of the artistic devices that Joyce employed in “Eveline,” and shows how he influenced an entire literary movement.
Edna O’Brian’s short biography James Joyce (1999) presents a more accessible alternative to Ellmann’s massive biography, which is considered the final word on Joyce. O’Brian, a well-known Irish author in her own right, paints a very lively portrait of one of the centuries geniuses, complete with reverence and an acknowledgment of his flaws. The biography reads like fiction.
James Joyce and Sexuality by Richard Brown reminds us that Joyce’s work is rife with sexuality. Joyce’s work was once banned in the United States and was regarded with suspicion for years in his own native Ireland. For a more detailed account of Joyce’s on-going battles with censors, one can check Bruce Arnold’s The Scandal of Ulysses.