In Memoriam 2021

In Memoriam

Recognizing the passing of members of the campus community who during their careers shared their talents in helping Western students, faculty, staff and alumni to be their best.

In Memoriam - Michael Groden

Michael (Mike) Groden, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus Department of English and Writing Studies, died peacefully on March 25, 2021 in the presence of his wife of twenty-nine years, and friend of sixty years, poet and writer Molly Peacock, at Princess Margaret Cancer Center, Toronto.

Mike was born in Buffalo in 1947. He graduated with an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, where he started out with the intention to study Math but instead discovered Joyce’s Ulysses, a book that would captivate him for his whole life.

He held graduate degrees from Princeton University (M.A., 1972, Ph.D., 1975). Mike joined the Department of English at Western in 1975. While at Western, he taught English, Film, and Literary Theory. He is internationally recognized as a scholar of the work of James Joyce, especially genetic criticism, editing and textual scholarship. He was a member of The Royal Society of Canada and was awarded a Doctor of Literature, honoris causes, by University College Dublin and the National University of Ireland, presented on Bloomsday (June16) in 2004. He was named as a Distinguished University Professor in 2006 and received Western's highest honour, the Hellmuth Prize for Achievement in Research in 2011. He retired in 2014.

Mike published “Ulysses” in Progress in 1977, a book that remains a central text in studies about how Joyce wrote his novel. He was the general editor of the 63-volume "James Joyce Archive," a facsimile collection of the author's manuscripts. In 2010 he published “Ulysses” in Focus, which includes further manuscript studies along with personal accounts of his interest in Ulysses. He was co-editor of The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism (1994) and co-editor of Genetic Criticism: Texts and Avant-textes (2004).

He was on the editorial board of many scholarly journals and the author of innumerable scholarly articles and reviews as well as public commentaries and interviews on James Joyce. He served as a consultant to The National Library of Ireland and The Poetry Collection at the University of Buffalo on acquisitions and exhibits of Joyce manuscripts. He taught courses on Joyce at New York City's 92nd Street Y until this year. In 2019 he published a memoir about spending a lifetime with Joyce's Ulysses, The Necessary Fiction: Life With James Joyce's "Ulysses." Mike was also a long-distance runner, running the Boston, New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto marathons.

Mike met his Molly, the celebrated writer Molly Peacock, when they were both thirteen years old. Reunited in 1984 after twenty years apart, they were married in 1992. Their literary love story is recounted in both Molly’s and in Mike’s memoirs.