In James Joyce and the Politics of Egoism, first published in 2001, a leading scholar approaches the entire Joycean canon through the concept of 'egoism'. This concept, Jean-Michel Rabate argues, runs throughout Joyce's work, and involves and incorporates its opposite, 'hospitality', a term Rabate understands as meaning an ethical and linguistic opening to 'the other'. For Rabate both concepts emerge from the fact that Joyce published crucial texts in the London based review The Egoist and later moved on to forge strong ties with the international Paris avant-garde. Rabate examines the theoretical debates surrounding these connections, linking Joyce's engagement with Irish politics with the aesthetic aspects of his texts. Through egoism, he shows, Joyce defined a literary sensibility founded on negation; through hospitality, Joyce postulated the creation of a new, utopian readership. Rabate explores Joyce's complex negotiation between these two poles in a study of interest to all Joyceans and scholars of modernism.
Foreword; 1. Apres le mot, le deluge: the ego as symptom; 2. The ego, the nation and degeneration; 3. Joyce the egoist; 4. The aesthetic paradoxes of egoism: from egoism to the theoretic; 5. Theory's slice of life; 6. The egoist and the king; 7. The conquest of Paris; 8. Joyce's transitional revolution; 9. Hospitality and sodomy; 10. Textual hospitality in the 'capital city'; 11. Joyce's late modernism and the birth of the genetic reader; 12. Stewardism, Parnellism and egotism.