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ELT 38:2 1995 Joyce's A Portrait for the annals of modernism. The reductio ad nihil initially invoked may stand us in good stood: given the diversity of practitioners in the field, there may not nor ever have been anything even resembling a modernist aesthetic or a modernist philosophy or a modernist worldview. Every modernist artist was both an apostate and a heretic, in rebellion against tradition and orthodoxy, while unable or unwilling to join any other modernist for very long under any particular artistic code. And not just in spite of the spate of manifestos that they communally signed and almost immediately abrogated, but because their intransigence made it constantly necessary to attempt to found schools and establish alliances and co-edit magazines—for the moment. The only determining characteristic of Modernism may be stylistic—the tendency toward innovation and finding one's individual voice—in which case A Portrait qualifies as a modernist text, given the stripping away from the narrative process of all developmental material that does not inherently contribute to the possibUity of the artist, the Bildungsroman superstructure a façade for the symbolic base structure, the linguistic affinity with the language f acuity of the growing protagonist, the undulating rhythms of triumphal resolutions followed by new debasements , the fading away of all participating characters as the protagonist moves beyond them into new realms, the poetic qualities of sound patterns and repetitions and ambiguities that confuse the genres, and the uniqueness of its governing aesthetics. For each work of literary art Joyce experimented with new stylistic forms and techniques. Although A Portrait and Finnegans Wake hardly resemble each other, in no way does the Wake minimize the modernist innovations of the earlier work. Bernard Benstock ______________ University of Miami Joyce's The Dead James Joyce. The Dead. Daniel R. Schwarz, ed. Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press, 1994. viii + 248 pp. Paper $18.95 THE CASE STUDIES in Contemporary Criticism Series recently added James Joyce's masterful short story The Dead" to their fast-growing list of major short literary works accompanied by critical articles. This volume, edited by Daniel R. Schwarz, reveals some of the flaws inherent in the structure of the volumes, but also lives up to the strengths. The stated purpose of the series is pedagogical—they're meant to be used as teaching tools for undergraduates. As such, I think 260 book Reviews it would be foolish to criticize them for being simply what they are. But the specific information they seek to convey, that is contemporary critical theory, tempts the reviewer to treat them as though they were works of literary criticism. It is a peculiar doubleness, so I wUl approach The Dead primarily as a pedagogical tool, and consider only briefly its usefulness as a source of literary criticism on Joyce. The edition contains a fair amount of front matter, nearly all of it attributed to Schwarz. The biographical and historical introduction, covering major events and issues for students who may not be familiar with Joyce, is admirably broad ranging, and includes an intelligent discussion of the influence both Yeats and WUde had on the younger writer. There are some quite interesting individual readings here as well. I found the reference to "Eveline" as a third-person retelling of "Araby" particularly enlightening. Schwarz does have a tendency to let his prose get away from him, however, as when he says of Dubliners, "we see stories in a spatial configuration as if they were stars in a constellation held together by what might be called the magnetism of significance" (9). But a gentle sin is this, and the point about the coherency of Dubliners is no less true for being made in such florid language. There are more major problems here, however. The structure of the opening essay deals with the works as they relate to Joyce biography rather than to a chronology of composition, so it ends up, rather confusingly , discussing parte of Ulysses before Dubliners. Another concern with this introduction was a certain oversimplification of what are stül contested issues. Schwarz asserts that "[Alfred] Hunter became the source for Leopold Bloom, the humanistic Jewish hero...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 260-264
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Ceasing Publication
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