James Joyce once wrote, apparently seriously, “The demand that I make of my reader is that he should devote his whole life to reading my works.” Few have actually read all, much less any, of his four major works. Why should we read them? Why did a Modern Library poll rank "Ulysses" as the greatest English-language novel of the 20th century? Why do some rank Joyce as one of the most influential writers of the 20th Century? The answer includes original, beautiful prose of unequalled vocabulary in which the words flow with unparalleled, poetical precision; revolutionary structural and stylistic creativity; encyclopedic content; satire and humor; and deep human insight. Only Joyce could have written these books, in which the particular details of his Dublin and his teeming mind are refracted into the universal. This course provides an overview of Joyce’s life, literary career, works and influence. We will read selected excerpts. Participants will glimpse the extraordinary genius of Joyce. | Lecture + Q&A.