Matt's Reviews > James Joyce: The Poems in Verse & Prose

James Joyce by A. Norman Jeffares
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's review
Feb 12, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: poetic-rapture, top-shelf, eire, joycenalia
Read in August, 1997

I'm really pissed that the cover is unavailiable. Joyce is making this great face on the cover, sizing you up-wise.

This to me is evidence of the fact that the man could write pound for pound, para by para, scene by scene and page by page some of the greatest writing you're ever likely to find.

What the editors did was take his actual poems (not too much that's remarkable there, a couple that achieve a potency) and add selections from his other work- Portrait, Dubliners, Ulysses, Finnegans and treat the individual fragments (sometimes a page or a few pages in length, sometimes just a paragraph) and treat them as prose poems.

You find that they are incredible.

Joyce gets a lot of guff from people who find him forbidding and off-putting. Fine, then. Miss out if you must on the basic pleasure and brightness and exactitude of his prose. You're missing something, this I guarentee. Absolutely proves his value over and over again. So much so, that when you get to the Wake itself you're perfectly happy for it to be nonsense. It's like voices popping out of a delicious static, and the turning of the radio dial between snippets of words and references and associations is georgeous, fun, and well worth the fact that it makes no goddamn sense.

Seriously, this is splendid and candid and absolutely worthwhile. Amazing!

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Chris (new)

Chris i think Joyce's comment about that photo was something like " I was looking at the guy (who was taking the photo) and I musty have thinking; I wonder if he'll lend me 5 bob."

Matt yeah, I heard that. Wasn't sure if it was true- guess so. Only makes the whole thing better, for me at least. Thanks!

message 3: by Chris (new)

Chris if 2 people have heard the same story it must be true. That is the basic law of gossip.

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