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AU students explore Joyce archive

On April 22nd, students from Dr. Robert Reginio’s seminar on James Joyce in the English Division spent the day at the University of Buffalo’s extensive Special Collections archive of Joyce materials. The University of Buffalo has the most extensive collection of Joyce manuscripts, letters, and book editions in the world.

Guided by Dr. James Maynard, one of the collection’s curators, students were able to examine some of the original pages of Joyce’s manuscript for Ulysses, to read through a notebook (borrowed from his school-age sister) in which Joyce first wrote an essay that would become his novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, to read through special editions of parts of Finnegans Wake signed by Joyce, and to explore a display of Joyce’s personal effects such as family portraits, his walking sticks, and his glasses.

The students were able to explore in vivid detail how Joyce’s meticulous, idiosyncratic compositional process encourages us to read a novel like Ulysses in new, radical ways. “The connections in the novel,” explained Dr. Maynard, “are only implicit until you make them.”