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ELT 37:2 1994 of the Lawrence canon, summarizing and debating several decades of Anglo-American Lawrence criticism in his notes. Widmer's joy in contentiousness spills over even to his unique index, where critics' names are followed by parenthetical tags, as in "Bloom, Harold (psycho-lit. fantasy)" or "Campbell, Joseph (mythomania)." In my estimation, then, Spilka's Personal Progress is a handy but pricy compilation of essays many Lawrenceans already possess in their files. Anyone seeking to come quickly up to speed on many of the important problematics of Lawrence criticism in the 1990s would spend their time more profitably with Widmer's Defiant Desire. Bruce Clarke ______________ Texas Tech University Scholes and Joyce Robert Scholes. In Search of James Joyce. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992. 213 pp. Cloth $34.95 Paper $12.95. ONE PART scholarly autobiography, one part history of Joyce studies, one part document of critical fashions since the 1960s, In Search of James Joyce provides a rare opportunity to trace the engagement between a major literary artist and a major literary critic. In compiling the essays he has written about Joyce over the last thirty years, Robert Scholes tells us nearly as much about himself—and indeed, about the discipline of literary studies—as he does about his ostensible subject, James Joyce. Ranging from a 1961 portrait of Stephen Dedalus within a framework of Northrop Frye's terminology to two illuminating recent forays in cultural criticism, the essays in this book reveal a critic restlessly revising his methodology. Scholes shows courage in declining to revise these essays, some of which do betray what he calls his "youthful infatuation" with Joyce. Most of them, however, still stand up; in fact, with their original forms intact, the essays offer fascinating moments of dialogue not only between the various incarnations of James Joyce and Robert Scholes, but also between present and past critical trends. At the same time, they exhibit a consistent concern with the relationship between Joyce's texts (especially the early ones, on which Scholes focuses almost exclusively) and their biographical, historical and critical contexts. Moreover, the essays consistently manifest the kind of keen and subtle eye for detail with which few critics are blessed, a laudable resistance to blanket statemente and received opinions, and a firm belief 274 BOOK REVIEWS in the mutually beneficial relationship between scholarship and pedagogy . The pedagogical thrust of these essays is refreshing today, when so much scholarship is remote from what goes on in the classroom. Indeed, the voice throughout the book is that of a patient, sometimes captious, but always stimulating teacher. Applying Frye's mythic typology to Stephen Dedalus, the book's first essay opposes the ironic reading of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and challenges the ironist bias in New Criticism. (Scholes's stance against the "ironic" reading remains consistent throughout the volume.) Though its lexicon is archaic, this elegant little essay is still helpful for undergraduates learning to deal with questions of point of view and aesthetic distance. A1964 piece on Stephen's villanelle (familiar to most teachers of Joyce because of ite placement in the widely-used Viking critical edition of the novel) succeeds less well, perhaps because Scholes seems to strain to discover a coherence and significance that Stephen's immature effort simply will not bear. This is a rare occasion in which the axe Scholes is grinding—a defense of Stephen's talent and vocation —seems inadequate for the task at hand. A cranky companion piece on the Joycean epiphany, however, remains a useful reminder to those of us who have uncritically written the term on the blackboard for student consumption without considering the arrogance and vagueness of the term as Joyce originally uses it. The two articles on the textual history oÃ- Dubliners reproduced here are so seminal as to be virtually beyond criticism. Moreover, Scholes's sensible introductory admonition that authorial intentions or "definitive texts" can "never be determined so fully as to obviate the need for literary judgment on the part of editors" should be tacked on every textual editor's bulletin board, and is particularly timely, given the recent brouhaha over the texts of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 274-277
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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