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Re Joyce Paperback – 1968
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“Recognizing the coming and cosmic in Joyce, [Burgess] proceeds with his self-imposed task of unraveling meaning by scrutinizing the layers of a mind that was encyclopedic in dimension. . . . He has defined the perimeter of Joyce's adventure in both Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake. . . . It took Burgess to place Joyce's satire in its proper orbit.” (Saturday Review)
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Top Customer Reviews
ReJoyce does not attempt to explicate or annotate the entire Joycean canon, nor is it exactly a biography. Rather, it is a very personal "reading" of Joyce; a delightful "companion" and a brilliant illumination of his narrative technique. According to Burgess, "My book does not pretend to scholarship, only a desire to help the average reader who wants to know Joyce's work but has been scared off by the professors." Reassuring, but a bit disingenuous -- Burgess's work, though clear and easy to read, never panders to the "simple," and he stocks its pages with enough insight and revelation to impress even the most demanding professor. His primary focus is Joyce's use of language, and he takes great delight in exploring the structure, intentions, and psychology that underpin Joyce's revolutionary technique. But what differentiates -- and elevates -- ReJoyce from most other works of similar Joyce criticism is the clarity and liveliness of Burgess's own unique style. Burgess writes with a lucidity and wit which is rare in academic scholarship, and he never once comes across as being dry, obscure, or condescending.Read more ›
It is wonderful that the cover of this June 2000 paperback reissue has features an image of Joyce looking away, his face hidden from the reader. Joyce remains an enigma-- a sparkling inspiration to readers who enjoy thinking about the questions and don't care about definitive answers.
If you've read A Clockwork Orange or Nothing Like the Sun and are curious about Anthony Burgess' critical work, this is one of his best performances.
One of Burgess's main theses is that Joyce meant this book for everyone and that readers shouldn't be scared away by academics and others who would set the book above out heads, high in the ivory tower. Yet, there are definitely parts where he presents Joyce's characters (whom he calls "the humble men of Dublin"), in supercilious language, which risks defeating his point. Why potentially further obscure Ulysses and Finnegans Wake in a book meant to make them more approachable?
That said, the book is well written and lucid for the most part. A fan of Joyce should enjoy it. I cannot gush as unequivocally about the book as some other reviewers have, because I am not sure how successful he has been at his goal of bringing Joyce to a new audience that has never previously read him due to intimidation. I think I am too familiar with Joyce to be able to tell how helpful ReJoyce would be for the first-timer. From what they've written, I think the other reviewers may be too familiar also.
In summary, Joyce IS challenging, but one should not be scared away. I believe ReJoyce is more helpful than harmful in opening Ulysses et al to a broader audience.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great book to read to gain insight into Joyce's methods and meanings through the course of his writings.Published 17 days ago by Donald F. Arseneau
Joyce, man of Letters, fluent in Languages, Traveler in circles high and low and places near and far, Scholar of knowledge, Prophet to Mankind. Read morePublished 4 months ago by James C Brandon
Not a story, BUT a brilliant Introibo ad altari of Joyce!Published 6 months ago by Lloyd Klinedinst
Anthony Burgess's "ReJoyce" is simply a great guide for both new and seasoned fans of James Joyce. Read morePublished 8 months ago by transargonaut
By far the best appreciation of Joyce that I have ever read. Mr. Burgess is magnificent with his details, relating them to context and presenting them with his own half sardonic,... Read morePublished on September 24, 2013 by Miranda Martin
Anthony Burgess' Re Joyce is an excellent guide to anyone who is re-reading the works of James Joyce or are discovering him for the first time. Read morePublished on December 24, 2012 by MJHDO10
I am reading Finnegans Wake and I think this book will be valuable
to me for a better understanding of the James Joyce's work.
Burgess is very smart, and he's probably a better scholar of Joyce than writer himself. This book has great insight into Ulysses which I enjoyed learning after reading Ulysses for... Read morePublished on October 13, 2008 by A. D. hodgson
Burgess is a novelist of tremendous linguistic energy and inventiveness, one who searches out many worlds, scholarly and not. Read morePublished on January 20, 2005 by Shalom Freedman