Synopses & Reviews
When a correspondent from Missouri wrote to Hugh Kenner and asked that he elaborate on his assertion that "Joyce began Ulysses in naturalism and ended it in parody," Kenner answered with this book. Joyce's Voices is both a helpful guide through Joyce's complexities, and a brief treatise on the concept of objectivity: the idea that the world can be perceived as a series of reports to our senses. Objectivity, Kenner claims, was a modern invention, and one that the modernists--Joyce foremost among them--found problematic. Accessible and enjoyable, Joyce's Voices is what so much criticism is not: an aid to better understanding--and enjoying more fully--the work of one of the world's greatest writers.
Kenner's work is an achievement of a polymath: it ranges from Jonathan Swift to Flaubert, and from Dickens to T. S. Eliot, circling around its two main concerns: Joyce's Ulysses and the death of objectivity as a privileged style in modern literature.As always, Kenner is original, provocative, stimulating, occasionally perverse, and immensely readable . . . The book offers important new insights into Joyce's art.The volume is easy to handle and a delight to read. And Kenner's leaping wit, his metaphors, his transitions from insight to insight, his lively attention to Joyce's invention--these qualities make it difficult, if you pick it up one evening, not to finish it before turning off the light.
"An original and entertaining study of, chiefly, Ulysses . . . This is a most stimulating book."--Anthony Burgess
About the Author
Hugh Kenner (1923-2003)--born in Ontario, Canada--was one of the greatest literary critics of the twentieth century. He taught at several universities during his lifetime and was a frequent contributor to the National Review. His numerous critical books include The Pound Era, Joyce's Voices, Samuel Beckett: A Critical Study, Flaubert, Joyce and Beckett: The Stoic Comedians, and Gnomon.