A James Joyce Miscellany: Third Series

A James Joyce Miscellany: Third Series

A James Joyce Miscellany: Third Series

A James Joyce Miscellany: Third Series

Excerpt

MARVIN MAGALANER

The impulse to explicate Joyce seems on the wane. Not 'that critics have run out of obscure passages to puzzle over. Quite the contrary, Finnegans Wake alone offers sufficient unassimilated chunks to feed a squad of researchers. But forty years after the publication of Ulysses, the booming Joyce industry, as Vivian Mercier calls it in a recent article, has apparently decided to consolidate its position, take inventory of the material it has produced since 1922, and branch out into relatively untraveled territory. Perhaps this turning point in Joyce studies accounts for the mellow finality of two current publications: the newly reissued critical study by Harry Levin, now augmented by a chapter on "Revisiting Joyce"; and William York Tindall Reader's Guide to James Joyce.

Explication in bits and pieces, without enough evaluative consideration of the meaning of the explication in the entire context of Joyce's work, is scored by S. L. Goldberg in The Classical Temper: A Study of James Joyce's 'Ulysses.' This excellent book itself supplies the best argument against such fragmented exegesis by presenting an extended, beautifully reasoned thesis on the meaning of Joyce's novel. Though the approach is philosophical, the demonstration of the critic's points is concrete, precise, and eminently judicious. Too involved for presentation here, Goldberg's study of Bloom and . . .

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