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James Joyce holds a unique position in literature. No writer has a higher reputation, none attracts more ardent devotees, and none poses so many difficulties for the first-time reader. This book is an original and well-informed survey of the whole of Joyce's work. It offers close readings of his early writings such as Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and an extended examination of his masterpiece, Ulysses, as well as a stimulating introduction to that notoriously difficult work Finnegans Wake. Dr Parrinder stresses Joyce's ambivalent relationship to the Ireland of his youth, and his ability to incorporate the most banal and profane levels of experience and language into profound celebration of the human capacity for survival and regeneration. The Joyce who emerges is a writer of innocence and gusto as well as immense artistic cunning.