In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

ELT 43 : 2 2000 The final two chapters of Reizbaum's study offer detailed readings of the concluding four episodes of Ulysses—"Circe," "Eumaeus," "Ithaca," and "Penelope"—but it is Reizbaum's general framework for understanding Joyce and Jewishness/Otherness that is most illuminating. She sums up her argument this way: Jews, Judaism, and Jewishness were so evocative that they provided contexts of significance for Joyce's artistic aims in ways perhaps no other symbolic cluster could. To be always an "other," regardless of locale, and by that position to foreground the question of the relationship between the category of identity and cultural construction, was perhaps the most significant feature of Joyce's attraction to the figure of the modern Jew. Replete with a comprehensive bibliography and a useful appendix of the Jewish-related materials to be found in Joyce's Trieste Library, James Joyce's Judaic Other, despite its minor shortcomings, furthers the discourse on a vexing, important, and timely subject. Brian W. Shaffer __________________ Rhodes College Joyce & Music Jack W. Weaver. Joyce's Music and Noise: Theme and Variation in His Writings. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1998. 148 pp. $49.95 THE FIELD OF SOUND can be a fruitful one in Joyce studies because Joyce clearly loved and incorporated a multitude of aspects of music and noise in his oeuvre. The growth in studies of sound in Joyce bodes well for an enriched appreciation of his works, and also for an increasingly harmonious relationship between literary and musicological critical approaches. Jack Weaver's work emphasizes musical influences and devices in Joyce. Although its title promises "noise," the book tends to treat noise in its dissonant employment in music. Joyce's Music and Noise furnishes more identification and classification rather than interpretation. At the same time, the book does not aim to provide an actual guide or index to Joycean musicalia. Professor Weaver examines Joyce's works in their order of creation with an aim to establish the increasingly complex development of "theme and variation" over time, as well as increasingly involved associations with musical compositions. He attempts to show how this rich accumulation allows for retrospection and cross-reference in musical and rhetorical ways. 242 BOOK REVIEWS Starting with Chamber Music and ending with Finnegans Wake, Weaver proposes to augment his close readings by "straying into the realms of comparative literature" and using "psychology, myth criticism, phenomenology, new historicism, and discourse theory where appropriate " (3). Meanwhile, he states his discomfort with "modes of impressionism and application of critical theory simply for the sake of intellectual exercise" (3). Alas, one glimpses only impressionistic traces of some of his proposed approaches in this volume. Take "psychology" as one example : fleeting mentions of Jung or Freud are not followed by actual discussion , analysis, or concrete references. Weaver briefly notes Bettina Knapp's interpretation of "archetypal music" (17) (and her book Music, Archetype, and the Writer: A Jungian View is in the bibliography), but he does not explore the subject of archetypes further, so it is difficult to appreciate how he can claim to "use psychology" in meaningful ways. An overview of the music-scape of Joyce's oeuvre is no doubt difficult to attain. Weaver's knowledge of the texts and extant research in this field is evident. His ability to relate musical devices and forms to those of rhetoric is intriguing. All too often, however, his identifications remain just that, without working towards an understanding of the signification of the musicality in Joyce. For example, Weaver (among others) tries to explain how each work can be seen as an adoption of musical composition —Chamber Music is a "diminuendo suite," A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is seen as a "five-part rondo," Ulysses is a "sonata," andFinnegans Wake another "suite." These identifications have already been made and elaborated by others, and some of them by Joyce himself. Weaver re-presents their discussions, occasionally adding his own cursory observations. While there is nothing inherently wrong with such an approach, especially when one is dealing with such a specialized field of study, the paucity of detailed discussion raises question marks about his purpose and intended readership. Other problems arise...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 242-245
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.