This book suggests that James Joyce, like Yeats and his fellow Revivalists, was attracted to the west of Ireland as a place of authenticity and freedom. It shows how his acute historical sensibility is reflected in Dubliners, posing new questions about one of the most enduring collections of short stories ever written. The answers provided are a fusion of history and literary criticism, using close readings that balance techniques of realism and symbolism. The result is an original study that shines new light on Dubliners and Joyce’s later masterpieces.
This is a sparklingly written and unflaggingly enjoyable book, founded on a deep and wide-ranging knowledge of Joyce and his times.
Who would think that a new study of James Joyce's first book could break fresh ground? Frank Shovlin has done it. His riveting book on 'Dubliners' shows that Joyce began at his best. After the power and beauty of his short stories, Joyce had nowhere to go except into complexity and length.
Brenda Maddox, Times Literary Supplement
Times Literary Supplement
Shovlin’s book functions as an act of cultural memory in its retrieval of social and historical narratives attached to phrases, names, places, and songs that Joyce deploys. Journey Westward thus is part of a growing area in Joyce studies with cultural memorial concerns.
Oona Frawley, James Joyce Quarterly