Distinguished University Professor Emeritus
Michael Groden was born in Buffalo in 1947 and
graduated from Dartmouth College (B.A., 1969) and
Princeton University (M.A., 1972, Ph.D., 1975). He moved
to Canada in 1975 to teach at the University of Western
Ontario (now known as Western
University) and was Distinguished University
Professor in the Department
of English and Writing Studies there until he
retired in 2014. He is the author of "Ulysses"
in Progress (Princeton University Press,
1977) and "Ulysses"
in Focus: Genetic, Textual, and Personal Views
James Joyce Series, University
Press of Florida, 2010; paperback, 2012), general
editor of ...
I was involved in five different ways at "Diasporic
Joyce: The 2017 North American
James Joyce Conference," which was held in Toronto from
June 21 to 24, 2017. I gave a talk at a panel that I
shared with William Brockman called "Joyce's Unpublished
Letters: A Progress Report." I co-led two "Ulysses
Reading Group" sessions with Austin Briggs. I was the
respondent to the papers presented on a panel called
"Jimtimacies: At Home with Joyce," and I chaired a
session called "The Transnational Genetics of Ulysses."
On March 6 and again on May 11, 2017 I was interviewed
on WNYC radio's Leonard Lopate
Show about Ulysses as part of the Leonard
Lopate Book Club. The March 6 interview can be
streamed or downloaded here
and the May 11 interview, which also featured novelist
Colum McCann, here.
To stream either one, use the "Listen" button. To
download an MP3 file, click the three dots to the right
of "+Queue" and follow the instructions.
I have finished a book, called The Necessary
Fiction: Life With James Joyce's Ulysses, about
spending an adult lifetime with Joyce's novel.
In early November 2016 I completed the first year of a clinical trial at Toronto's Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. I entered the trial after my doctors discovered a recurrence (my 9th or 10th) of the melanoma that I have been living with for over 35 years, since 1981. The targeted-therapy trial involves only pills - no chemo, radiation, surgery, or immunotherapy - and all is going well.
Ulysses in Toronto: Over five mornings in July
2016 (July 18-22) I led a seminar called "'Who's
he when he's at home?': James Joyce's Ulysses"
Pursuits and its Toronto
Pursuits program. In July 2015 (July 20-24) I led
a similar seminar called "'You
Can Do It!': James Joyce's Ulysses." I
wrote a blog piece called "Feeling
at Home with Ulysses" in conjunction with
the 2016 seminar and one called "Ulysses
Can Change Your Life" in conjunction with the 2015
seminar. A video from the 2015 Toronto Pursuits events
is available on YouTube.
"The Joyce of Music." In February 2016, I taught a three-session class called "The Joyce of Music" at the 92nd Street Y's Unterberg Poetry Center. We read and discussed Joyce's poetry and selections from his prose works that feature songs and other types of music. The class schedule is available here.
"Reading Finnegans Wake": In
February and March 2015, I taught a four-session class
called "Reading Finnegans Wake" at the 92nd Street Y's Unterberg
Poetry Center in New York City. We read and
discussed about 100 pages from Joyce's forbidding but
fascinating last book. The class schedule is available here.
My first book, "Ulysses" in Progress (Princeton University Press, 1977), was returned to print in paperback in 2014 in the Princeton Legacy Library series.
On May 22, 2014 at a retirement party in Toronto sponsored by Western Alumni, I gave a short talk called "The Necessary Fiction: A Life with Ulysses – or Why Ulysses Matters to Me"
On April 10, 2014 at a retirement colloquium at Western University, I gave a short talk called "Drafts of a Novel, Drafts of a Life: Looking Back."
On May 6, 2013, I gave a talk called "'Me. And me now': Writing About a Life with Ulysses" at the James Joyce Centre in Dublin.
On April 19, 2013, I delivered a public
lecture, "Ulysses: The Necessary Fiction,"
as part of the Modernist Versions Project's "Year
of Ulysses." The talk was presented by the
Modernist Versions Project and the University of
Toronto's Modernist Reading and Research Group. You can
watch a video of the talk here
- or, if that link doesn't work, here.
Recent Articles and Reviews
I reviewed Luca Crispi's Joyce’s Creative Process and the Construction of Characters in “Ulysses”: Becoming the Blooms (2015) in the James Joyce Quarterly, volume 53, numbers 1-2 (Fall 2015-Winter 2016) [published Fall 2017], pages 131-35.
I reviewed Robert Spoo's Without Copyrights:
Piracy, Publishing, and the Public Domain
(2013) in the James Joyce
Quarterly, volume 51, number 1 (Fall
2013) [published Winter 2016], pages 179-83.
A talk I delivered at the Dublin James Joyce
Centre has been published as “‘Me. And me now’:
Writing About a Life with Ulysses” in a
special double issue of the Dublin
James Joyce Journal, numbers 6/7
(2013-14) [published May 2015], pages 132-47.
I reviewed Kevin Birmingham's The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s “Ulysses” (2014) in the James Joyce Quarterly, volume 50, number 3 (Spring 2013) [published Spring 2015], pp. 843-48.
My article "Writing Ulysses" has been
published in The
Cambridge Companion to "Ulysses,"
edited by Sean Latham (Cambridge University Press,
2014), pp. 3-18.
The first article on Ulysses that I
published, "'Cyclops' in Progress, 1919"
(originally published in James Joyce Quarterly
12:1-2 (Fall 1974-Winter 1975), has been reprinted
in a special “JJQ 50 Years” issue of the James Joyce
Quarterly, volume 50, numbers 1-2
(Fall 2012-Winter 2013) [published Fall 2014], pp.
Books in the 2010s
Contemporary Literary and Cultural Theory: The Johns Hopkins Guide. Co-editor with Martin Kreiswirth and Imre Szeman. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, October 2012.
Praharfeast: James Joyce in Prague. Co-editor with David Vichnar and David Spurr. Prague: Litteraria Pragensia, June 2012.
in Focus: Genetic, Textual, and Personal Views.
James Joyce Series. Gainesville: University Press of Florida,
2010. Released in paperback in April 2012. Reviews
of "Ulysses in Focus"
Honors in the 2000s
In recent years I have received four major honors plus a less serious one:
On Bloomsday (June 16), 2004 I was awarded an honorary D.Litt. degree by University College Dublin (the university Joyce attended), along with Roddy Doyle, Jennifer Johnston, Harold Pinter, and Fritz Senn - photos.
In 2006 I was named a Distinguished University Professor at Western University. The award was presented at a ceremony and public lecture on November 24, 2006 - photos.
In 2011 I was awarded the Hellmuth
Prize for Achievement in Research, Western
University's most prestigious award for research.
In a lighter vein, as part of the 21st International James Joyce Symposium, which took place in Tours, France in June 2008, I was one of five symposium attendees who became Chevaliers de l’Ordre de la Chantepleure. The induction ceremony took place as part of a wine-tasting ceremony at the Cave des Producteurs de Vouvray on June 18, 2008 - photos.
Maintained by: Michael Groden
Last updated: December 12, 2017