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Re Joyce

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  446 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
"My book does not pretend to scholarship, only to a desire to help the average reader who wants to know Joyce's work but has been scared off by the professors. The appearance of difficulty is part of Joyce's big joke; the profundities are always expressed in good round Dublin terms; Joyce's heroes are humble men."

--From the Foreword by Anthony Burgess.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 1st 1968 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published January 1st 1965)
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Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“abnihilisation of the etym”,

roughly meaning, the recreation of meaning out of nothing...


Burgess’s study of Joyce was not a hard sell for me. Joyce is not only my favorite writer, Ulysses not only my favorite book, but Joyce himself is a personal hero, not only for the works he produced but for the manner in which he lived his life, persisting in the face of every obstacle to pursue his art to its very ends, to the limits of what English literature might achieve, on his own terms. He accomplish
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Burgess has set himself a task which is rather next to impossible in today's reading climate when readers might complain about needing to read a second book in order to understand a first book. "My book does not pretend to scholarship, only to a desire to help the average reader who wants to know Joyce's work but has been scared off by the professors." I suspect that the books themselves have already caused the scare. And is it not true that any work which is worth your time and effort and desir ...more
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful so far, and I'm almost at the end.


"If critics will accept the logic of Finnegans Wake, hidden beneath what seem to be mad words and intolerable length, they will still shy at the lack of what they call action. This, they say, is presented to us as a novel, and in a novel things are supposed to happen. Very little muscle is exerted in either Finnegans Wake or Ulysses, but we have to avoid lamenting the fact that Joyce was never strong on action of the Sir Walter Scott kind, that, t
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I've yet to read A Clockwork Orange but from what I know of it and of Anthony Burgess's style and use of language, James Joyce was a major influence, and it only seems natural that he should write an exploration of Joyce's art. The work opens with a bit of biography, all very fascinating, laying down the case that so much of Joyce (perhaps more than is so with other authors) is autobiographical, from his religious upbringing to his relationships (primarily with his father, brother and, of course ...more
Bob R Bogle
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: all-things-joyce
In RE JOYCE well-known James Joyce enthusiast Anthony Burgess (in his youth when ULYSSES was still banned he cut the book into pieces which he taped to his body under his clothing to smuggle it into England) enthuses at length about his literary hero. Nothing wrong with that. Burgess has acted upon an impulse shared with many a Joyce enthusiast. My first question about RE JOYCE is: Who is Burgess' intended audience? The answer is Burgess himself and, to a slightly lesser degree, others who are a ...more
Jan 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
I will read and have read any biography I can find on James Joyce. He fascinates me, so when my library got a new (old) biography in, I was really excited. Once I got it, I realized the author wrote "A Clockwork Orange," one of my favorite books. It isn't as much a biography as just a fellow writer and fan talking about why James Joyce is such a fascinating and enigmatic figure. It didn't give as much insight into Joyce's life as I would have liked, but it was written so well.
Nov 16, 2007 rated it liked it
For a while it actually makes you want to read any of the crap that James Joyce published. The feeling thankfully passes.
This is the third book on Joyce that I've read in the last few weeks--Stuart Gilbert's James Joyce's Ulysses: A Study, Richard Kain'sFabulous Voyager, and now Burgess' take on Joyce's overall work. I read through these as I read through Ulysses itself, and I left Burgess for last because I mistakenly thought it discussed the entirety of Joyce's output throughout. Instead, I found out that, if one wished to, readers of Ulysses could read 2/3's of Re Joyce and find a useful synopsis of Dubliners, ...more
Jan 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Interesting walk through of all of Joyce's works by the man famous for writing a Clockwork Orange. Something like really brainy Cliff Notes that span an entire career. Not sure what kind of reader would best be served by this book, but for me, a guy who is always considering revisiting Ulysses and Finnigans Wake, it helped stimulate the Joyce part of my brain and give me a little more ammo for when I do get around to reading those books again.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a daft book I read on Bloomsday. Couples with Campbell's commentary, you'd think Joyce's works were more important than the Bible (they're certainly better written at least).

Holger Haase
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
First book I have ever read by Anthony Burgess and that mainly because it was recommended to me as a good overview over James Joyce's oeuvre.

This is the American version of the book and the one that is currently available. It was previously published as Here Comes Everybody though that version is now out of print.

The American title seems to have inspired Frank Delaney when naming his excellent weekly podcast on Ulysses REJOYCE. The original title is taken from Finnegans Wake and an indication of
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book, and Joseph Campbell's, are great books if you are intriglued and want to get diaper into Joyce. Like Tolkien's trilogy, the farthair you go the moth there is to find, and in Joyce's case, the more inscrewtapable it often seems. But Anthony Burgess knows his sh-hit. If you want to get a real onderstunding of his most epick bukes (because Joyce is, of course, the most ineffably baffling writer in the English language!) then this is a grape thing to have at your nedside while you attempt ...more
Mar 22, 2009 rated it did not like it
I tried to get into this book. Went over 100 pages. This is just way too analytical for my tastes. I want to enjoy books, and though Burgess clearly lvoes Joyce and he writes well, this is way worse than any high school English class analyzing a book. For those who like that level of intense scrutiny they will likely love this book. But not me.
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf
Read to page 185 as I haven't yet read Finnegans Wake.

Great followup to Ulysses; a good combination of scholarly analysis and appreciation for Joyce's achievement. I waited until I finished the book to read any companion, and Burgess advocates the same.
Apr 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Burgess does not cover a lot of new ground but he does provide a unique perspective as a writer and he provides a complete analysis of the Odyssey parallels. I think this book is best read after you have already read Ulysses.
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Excellent exploration of Joyce's major works. The author puts his personal interpretation of the books at the fore, instead of rehashing previous scholarship, and this is refreshing. The final section on Finnegans Wake is difficult without a thorough knowledge of the work.
Derek Martin
Mar 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
An excellent, easy to understand analysis of all of James Joyce's works. I'm using it now to help me understand Finnegan's Wake, which I plan to re-read soon, and Ulysses. I'm really enjoying this book.
Nov 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Burgess has such fun and got so deeply into Joyce's language and process that it has made me re-evaluate ideas about Joyce that I had harbored since college...a long, long time to go without rethinking those decisions! So, it is a good thing. It was an intense, but interesting read.
May 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
One of the best literary criticisms I've read!
Melbourne Bitter
Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
After reading this, I want to read more Burgess, not try Joyce. Funny that.
Robert Johnson
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding study of James Joyce as a writer.
David Markwell
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting studt of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. Burgess says we should keep Ulysses on our bedside table and enter and exit it often. I may have to try this.
Feb 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
I completed this and still haven;t completed bloody Ulyssess
Tattered Cover Book Store
Brilliant study of Joyce by another master of language(the mind behind A Clockwork Orange).
m. soria
Aug 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
it's not hard to imagine how much fun it is to study joyce's language, burgess just happens to do it better than anyone else.
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Dec 16, 2008
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Oct 09, 2008
Hal Johnson
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Mar 31, 2010
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Finnegans Wake Gr...: Burgess's Re Joyce 4 25 Mar 06, 2015 09:47AM  
  • A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake: James Joyce's Masterwork Revealed
  • James Joyce
  • James Joyce: A Biography
  • A Reader's Guide to Finnegans Wake
  • James Joyce's Ulysses: A Study
  • Joyce's Book of the Dark: Finnegans Wake
  • The New Bloomsday Book: A Guide Through Ulysses
  • Annotations to  Finnegans Wake
  • Nora: The Real Life of Molly Bloom
  • Ulysses Annotated
  • Occasional, Critical, and Political Writing
  • Damned to Fame: The Life of Samuel Beckett
  • A Temple of Texts
  • The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce's Ulysses
  • Samuel Beckett
  • Lysis/Symposium/Gorgias (Loeb Classical Library, #166)
  • James Joyce
  • Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Anthony Burgess was a British novelist, critic and composer. He was also a librettist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, essayist, travel writer, broadcaster, translator, linguist and educationalist. Born in Manchester, he lived for long periods in Southeast Asia, the USA and Mediterranean Europe as well as in Eng
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