hypermedia joyce studies

Welcome to HJS vol 4 issue 1.
It is now nine years since HJS was first conceived by Rob Callahan and myself, combining two separate projects focusing on broadening the potential for online publishing vis-a-vis Joyce studies, and on exploring the practical and theoretical implications of Joyce’s work for approaching hypertext or hypertextuality, and vice versa. When Rob and I first met in propria persona, at the 1995 Providence Joyce conference, "Joycean hypertext" was only beginning to emerge as a descriptive term--descriptive, that is, of a particular quality in Joyce's writing (most explicitly Finnegans Wake). of which computer-based hypertext or electronic writing functioned as a crudely empirical realisation.

A great deal has taken place since then. For one, numerous applications of computer-based hypertext to Joyce's work have been attempted. Many of these have since been forgotten, while many others were never achieved. Some have remained famously hypothetical, due to the enormous logistical and technological difficulties confronting such projects as annotated editions of Ulysses, or of the Finnegans Wake notebooks. Others have radically changed in complexion, while most have come up against the impervious barrier of copyright and the James Joyce estate.

In September of this year (12th-14th), many of those who have been associated with Joycean hypertext and textual genetics from the outset will gather in Prague for the first Prague James Joyce Colloquium. Addressing the increased significance of genetic research and hypertext in the field of Joyce scholarship and beyond, this colloquium seeks to bring together the representatives of the major Joycean genetics and hypertext projects of the last ten years in focused discussion and creative exchange in a setting removed from the usual turbulence and distraction of international James Joyce conferences. The colloquium will focus on both the practical and theoretical concerns of Joycean genetics and hypertext, including the on-going publication of the Buffalo Finnegans Wake Notebooks, the Digital Ulysses project, and the recent acquisitions of Joyce notebooks by the National Library of Ireland. The colloquium will also provide the opportunity for review and preview of several ongoing projects in advance of the 2004 Joyce Symposium in Dublin.

It is with great pleasure that HJS will publish extracts of the Colloquium proceedings (later to be published in book-form as JoyceMedia, edited by myself and Mark Nunes). While there remains a degree of resistance to online publishing--an issue HJS has been attempting to address from its inception--there is finally beginning to emerge within the Joyce community, after ten years, a realisation that major cutting edge theoretical work, linked to empirical research, is taking place in the field of genetics and hypertext. This is not a field in which last season’s fashionable theories are applied to Joyce’s texts, or in which Joyce’s books are mechanically scanned into computers and them fed through statistical programmes. This is rather a field in which theory is being originated, linked to the major theoretical, philosophical and scientific endeavours of the last thirty years. It is certainly a field which one expects to see extensively addressed at the Dublin Symposium.

As with the previous issues of HJS, this one seeks to bring together work from across the spectrum of Joycean criticism, while at the same time maintaining a focus on the increased role played by media technologies in Joyce scholarship.  Essays in this volume touch upon a diverse range of subjects from Chrematology (Simon Critchley & Tom McCarthy) to Giacomo Joyce (Sheldon Brivic) and the prehistory of Joycean Hypertext (Louis Armand).

Of interest to Joyceans is the recent publication of PANAROMA DO FINNEGANS WAKE by AUGUSTO & HARALDO DE CAMPOS (SAO PAULO: EDITORA PERSPECTIVA, 2001). PANAROMA includes translations and "transcreations" of Finnegans Wake in/to Portuguese ("from Blasil the Brast to our povotogesus portocall") by two of the major concrete poets & theoreticians of the second half of the 20th century. Contact: Augusto de Campos or the publishers: Editora Perspectiva, Av. Brigadeiro Luis Antonio, 3025, 01401-000--Sao Paulo--SP--Brasil.

NIGHT JOYCE OF A THOUSAND TIERS Petr Skrabanek: Studies in Finnegans Wake (eds. Louis Armand & Ondrej Pilny (Prague: Litteraria, 2002), Preface by Fritz Senn). Paperback, 174pp. ISBN 80-238-8853-6. To order direct from the publisher, send email to the Prague James Joyce Centre. UAA FF UK, Nam. Jana Palacha 2, 116 38 Praha 1, Czech Republic.  --This edition collects the extant writings by Petr Skrabanek on the work of James Joyce, almost all of which deal with Finnegans Wake. It includes a revised version of the highly important Slavonic Dictionary, originally published in A Wake Newslitter in the 1970s. Also included are articles on Anglo-Irish, Cuneiform, Hebrew, Afar, Sino-Japanese and "structure" in the Wake. Skrabanek's contribution to Finnegans Wake scholarship and to genetic criticism in particular is substantial. This, the first collection of his essays in bookform, is essential reading for anyone serious about approaching Joyce's major text.

Beginning with the last issue of HJS the publication schedule is bi-annual, with a rolling site content for each issue defined by a 6-monthly cut-off. This means two issues to appear during each year, in June-July and in December-January. Contributions are welcome on all Joyce-related topics. Please address queries, abstracts or proposals to the editors. Suggestions regarding themed issues or sections of the journal are also welcome.

An attempt has been made to restore the resource database, much of which dates from 1995. At present there are entries for
Audio, Video and Hypermedia. It is the nature of such things that projects evolve or become defunct, that distributors cease operating, or that new productions appear. Any comments/suggestions regarding corrections or additions would therefore again be very welcome.

One addition to the organisation of the journal is a section devoted to
Joycean Genetics. This section is currently under development, but it is hoped that it will eventually serve as a compliment to other sites devoted to Genetics such as Genetic Joyce Studies. As Genetics is one of the fields of Joyce scholarship which has been most heavily engaged with hypermedia, and in which Joycean hypertext received some of its earliest theoretical elaborations, it is only approriate that HJS develop in this direction.

Over the last decade, hypermedia has received increasing attention within the field of Joyce studies. Hypertext projects, and conference panels devoted to hypertext, proliferate. It is one of the objectives of
HJS to communicate to the broader community of Joyce scholars the way in which the discourse on Joycean hypertext and hypermedia has emerged and evolved, and to provide a sense of what has come to be "at stake." In this context it is worth noting that work is currently underway to produce an anthology of essays devoted to this subject--a project initiated by Mark Nunes. Following from the work of Donald Theall and Darren Tofts, the publication of this volume will be a milestone in the evolving discourse on Joyce and media technology. At the same time, the serial publication of the Finnegans Wake Notebooks at Buffalo (eds. Vincent Deane, Daniel Ferrer and Geert Lernout) gives hope of the near future release of a companion hypertext version--perhaps the most elaborate and detailed application of hypertext to Joyce so far envisioned (something which Daniel Ferrer anticipated as long ago as the 1995 conference at Brown University).

Regards to you all,

Louis Armand

July 2003

HJS editorial