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Book Reviews275 Caspel for settling the question ofthe time of Molly's soliloquy as being 3:15 a.m., rather than the 2:15 a.m. argued by Hart and Knuth (252) — a fact important not only for scholars interested in the interplay between exterior and interior times in the novel but also for the history ofthe circadian novel. Refreshingly, Van Caspel offers no magic key embedded in the rhetoric of Derrida, Lacan, or Foucault. Indeed, he can offer a key of no kind on some occasions, admitting that "What Stephen's singing about sirens may or may not do for Bloom is something Bloom does not know himself, and we, the readers, have no clue either" (231) or "We might as well admit that it is simply too enigmatic in many respects, too difficult for words ..." (233). The book is not free of errors, itself; one noticeable slip of 1984 for 1894 for Rudy Bloom's death mars the early discussion of "Lestrygonians" (124), and Van Caspel, a number oftimes, tangles his own pronoun references and shifts from we to you to Ae in ways that will bring out the blue-pencil in most readers. The work suffers from a somewhat divided sense ofpurpose, trapped uneasily between two audiences. Van Caspel mentions this in his preface, noting: "While still starting out by addressing beginning readers, I gradually got involved in discussions with critics whose analyses ofJoyce's text differed from mine. In hindsight, this may be all to the good, because in this way the scope of the book may have widened so as to appeal to beginning readers as well as to advanced ones" (ix). The ambiguous sense of audience and the materialistically based approach result in several weak passages and at least one weak chapter, the one on "Circe," the chapter where the beginning reader perhaps needs the most guidance. Bloomers on the Liffey will not change the direction of Joyce studies as did Stuart Gilbert's James Joyce's Ulysses (1930), Richard Ellmann's James Joyce (1959) or Robert Martin Adams' Surface and Symbol (1962), but it never aspired to do this. The work calls for an attentive return to the words on the page, and it offers so many solid insights and sound explanations that no one striving for a fuller comprehension of Ulysses will use this book in vain. Bloomers on the Liffey is entirely accessible, forcefully argued, and written out ofan affection — indeed a love — for the multifarious shapes of the words and twists of the temperament evident on the pages of Ulysses. DAVID LEON HIGDON Texas Tech University MATTHEW H. WIKANDER. TAe Play of Truth and State. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986. 287 p. The complex relationships between literature and history have at least since the Renaissance intrigued humanist scholars who describe the diverse paths of the human pilgrimage. Sir Philip Sidney, for instance, spent a good deal of time in his "Defense" arguing the superiority of literature to history. In the twentieth century many academics have seen a cloudier boundary between literature and history, the most fruitful position that of Hayden White in his exposure ofnarrative patterns in the telling ofhistory that influence its truth. Matthew Wikander, on the other hand, reverses White's analysis of literary form in history and, instead, explores changing attitudes toward history as embedded in European dramatic form of different periods and authors. Wikander's book is particularly strong in its analysis ofthe shift in the model of history from a Providential to a pragmatic empirical one. 276Rocky Mountain Review The study has two major sections, which the author entitles "The Pathos ofPower: English Historical Drama after Shakespeare" and "Redeeming Time: Drama in the Great Age of History." Obviously he takes a chronological approach, nevertheless selecting within the history ofdrama important figures such as Shakespeare, Jonson, Strindberg, Brecht, and others as case studies for the shifts in cultural values that are reflected in the manipulation ofhistory in various plays. Dealing first with Shakespeare's dramatic historiography, Wikander emphasizes the authority with which Shakespeare combines history and drama. Particularly vivid (and impossible apparently for later authors) is his paradoxical acceptance ofthe providential Augustinian view of history...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-2833
Print ISSN
1948-2825
Pages
pp. 275-276
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-06
Open Access
No
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