eManuscripts in progress establishing a digital infrastructure for Joyce’s extended mind at work

Tom De Keyser


While modernist writers have long been represented as evoking an internalist model of the mind, the notion of the “extended” mind recently moved to the forefront of both cognitive philosophy and cognitive narratology. These movements suggest that the mind does not purely reside “within,” but instead relies on an interplay with its environment. This insight has radical implications to the view on literary modernism; it may even form the basis for a reconsideration of its acclaimed “inward turn”. My research investigates the latter by applying this concept to a concrete case study: the digital documentation of James Joyce’s traces of reading and writing that seeped into his manuscripts. Genetic criticism plays a key role here, as we are investigating the development of Work in Progress. A practical illustration of Joyce’s extended mind at work creates opportunities to find connections between the writer’s mind and the evocations of his characters’ minds. This paper will present an overview of the preliminary intentions, desired outcomes, and possible pitfalls of this four-year project.


James Joyce; Extended Mind; Genetic Criticism

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