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James Joyce (Penguin Lives Biographies)

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James Joyce (Penguin Lives Biographies) Cover

ISBN13: 9780670882304
ISBN10: 0670882305
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

With all the earthy sensuality and majestic storytelling that have made her one of Ireland's preeminent writers, award-winning novelist Edna O'Brien paints the most passionate, personal, and sensuous portrait of her fellow countryman yet written. James Joyce is a return journey to the land of politics, history, and the saints and scholars that shaped this creator of the twentieth century's most groundbreaking novel, Ulysses. In her beautiful, poetic telling, O'Brien traces Joyce's early days as the rambunctious young Jesuit student; his falling in love with a tall, red-haired Galway girl named Nora Barnacle on Bloomsday; and his exile to Trieste where he met with success, love, and finally, despair. Only Edna O'Brien, with her deft, supple prose, her rebel Irish heart, and her kindred spirit, could capture the brilliance and complexity of this great modern master.

Review:

"The author of this latest short biography in the Penguin Lives Series plops her reader down in the middle of a characterization stylistically inspired by the prose of its subject. The unknowing reader (can there be such a critter?) must surely wonder upon what has been stumbled— these words are not in my dictionary!—wasEdna perchance in her cups? Had Edna no editor? No fear, her narrative soon straightens out into more conventional shape. The pattern and the pain of this prodigy's life is grasped and
felt. Periodically, though, Ms. O'Brien, an unabashed fan, veers off into her own brand of Joycean wordplay. She is having fun with the language (snorkeling where Joyce dove deep) and one senses that this spirit, intensified to ecstasy, is what kept Joyce functioning in a life that seems to have been ever at his throat, that would have undone a man less obsessed. O'Brien gives a taste of all this including a sense that this spirit was occasionally his worst enemy, particularly regarding his relationships with friends and family. One either likes this sort of thing (Ulyssesand Finnegan's Wake) or one doesn't, but it is impossible not to admire the adamantine will of this proud, sad, half-blind, half-mad man to live and write in what must have been the only way that made sense to him, loneliness and hardships be damned. A bibliography is included for those wishing to know more." Reviewed by Andrew Witmer, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)

Review:

"O'Brien's triumph is that while celebrating Joyce and his ecstatic quest to lay image on counterimage...[S]he has drawn the desperation and sadness of the man whose name means joy." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"I much admire this book: It is swift, moving, and brimming with the author's enthusiasms and her well-earned affection for a difficult colleague." Thomas Flanagan, Los Angeles Times Book Review

Synopsis:

With the majestic storytelling that have made her one of Ireland's preeminent writers, novelist Edna O'Brien paints a passionate, personal, and sensuous portrait of James Joyce, the great literary master.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

lukas, April 8, 2015 (view all comments by lukas)
"Of all the great Irish writers, Joyce's relationship with his country remains the most incensed and yet the most meditative. . .He determined to reinvent the city where he had been marginalized, laughed and barred from literary circles. He would be the poet of his race."
James Joyce's magnum opus, "Ulysses" (1922), is often called the greatest novel of the 20th century. It's certainly the most novel of the 20th century, attempting to embrace thousands of years of literature and the city of Dublin. It's an exceedingly difficult book and it's hard to say whether it pointed forward to a new kind of novel or was the summation (and perhaps dead end of the novel). Despite its allusiveness and obtuseness, it has entered popular culture and is one of the few books that merits its own day, Bloomsday, celebrated on the day the novel is set (June 16). "Dubliners" and "Portrait of the Artist" are far more accessible and beloved works, but anyone who cares about Joyce will have to brave "Ulysses" (don't get me started on "Finnegans Wake). Irish writer Edna O'Brien offers a brief, but insightful and witty look at Joyce's life and work. Like many Irish writers, he loved his country but also found the Church, his family (long suffering mother, hard drinking father), and the nationalism of some of his peers stifling. Ireland's greatest novelist would immortalize Dublin while living on the continent, where he spent much of his adult life. O'Brien makes sense of his genius, while offering a look at his writing process and his relationships with his wife Nora, his brother Stanislaus, and fellow writers like Beckett and Yeats. Richard Ellman's biography is considered the definitive one, but this is a fine introduction to Joyce and his work that will encourage further reading. "History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake."-Stephen Daedalus
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780670882304
Author:
O'Brien, Edna
Publisher:
Viking Adult
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Historical - British
Subject:
20th century
Subject:
Joyce, james, 1882-1941
Subject:
Authors, irish
Subject:
Novelists, Irish
Subject:
Novelists, Irish -- 20th century -- Biography.
Edition Number:
1st Amercian ed.
Edition Description:
Hardback
Series:
Penguin Lives Biographies
Series Volume:
106-292
Publication Date:
19991001
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
7.83x5.62x.77 in. .61 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Biography » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

James Joyce (Penguin Lives Biographies) Used Hardcover
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$4.95 In Stock
Product details 192 pages Viking Books - English 9780670882304 Reviews:
"Review" by , "O'Brien's triumph is that while celebrating Joyce and his ecstatic quest to lay image on counterimage...[S]he has drawn the desperation and sadness of the man whose name means joy."
"Review" by , "I much admire this book: It is swift, moving, and brimming with the author's enthusiasms and her well-earned affection for a difficult colleague."
"Synopsis" by , With the majestic storytelling that have made her one of Ireland's preeminent writers, novelist Edna O'Brien paints a passionate, personal, and sensuous portrait of James Joyce, the great literary master.
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