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Joyce Before Ulysses: Exploring Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man with William Mottolese (Sold Out)

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Four Sessions via Zoom Thursdays, 6:00 pm EST - 7:30 pm EST January 21 to April 22, 2021

This reading group has reached its capacity. To join the waitlist, please email Allison Escoto at

Meeting Dates:
1/21/21, 2/18/21, 3/18/21, 4/22/21
Thursdays, 6-7:30pm ET via Zoom

Only because James Joyce eventually wrote Ulysses and Finnegans Wake do Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man appear easy to read. However, had Joyce written nothing but these two works of fiction, he would still be considered a major writer. Dubliners, the most accessible of Joyce’s works and his only collection of short stories, is coldly realistic and richly complex. In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Joyce offers a bildungsroman and a densely psychological novel that introduces readers to Stephen Dedalus and gives a foretaste of the awesome modernist complexity of Ulysses. In all, James Joyce’s early work teaches one how to read his later masterpieces. Thus, this course will study both works in depth and lay the groundwork for a future reading of Ulysses.

For our first meeting, please read through the end of “A Painful Case” in Dubliners.


Led by

  • mottolesew

    William Mottolese

    William Mottolese

    William Mottolese has taught at Fordham University and Saint Joseph’s College in Indiana and is presently Chair of the English Department at Sacred Heart Greenwich. He has published on such subjects as Olaudah Equiano, Laurence Sterne, and James Joyce and is presently at work on projects on Joyce, teaching critical thinking, and the relation of literary modernism to twentieth-century popular music. He has taught for a decade on the faculty of the Center for Fiction where he has led classes on James Joyce, David Foster Wallace, Salman Rushdie, Irish literature, and postcolonial literature. William is an award-winning teacher, published poet, and proud father of three children.