James Joyce's Techno-Poetics is on the cutting edge of an original and exciting new trend in Joycean studies, as it combines the study of literature, technology, and communication to reveal James Joyce as 'a key figure in the history of cyberculture.' Donald Theall examines for the first time how Joyce conceived of the artist as an engineer and the artist's works as constructions, and reveals the importance of Joyce's understanding of the direction of a developing technoculture. Theall explores the interrelationships between the machinic and the processes of encoding, decoding, reading, writing, and interpreting in Joyce's self-reflexive treatment of the book in Finnegans Wake. By situating this project in relation to memory and cultural production, Theall argues that Joyce's radical paramodern poetic practice has important implications for a wide variety of subsequent cultural and theoretical movements: dramatism, poststructuralism, semiology, and hypertextuality. Theall places Joyce in the context of other modern thinkers, such as Benjamin and Bataille, and draws a direct line of influence from Joyce to Marshall McLuhan and Neuromancer author William Gibson.
This is a remarkable and innovative work that makes an important contribution not only to Joycean studies, but to literary theory, modernism, cultural analysis, the history of ideas, and the relationship between literature, science, and technology.