Autumn 1942 • Vol. IV No. 3 Book ReviewsOctober 1, 1942 |

Bright Disorder

James Joyce: A Critical Introduction by Harry Levin. The first volume in the Makers of Modern Literature Series. New Directions. $1.50   Mr Levin's book about Joyce is most valuable, I think, for its patient and ingenious exegesis. He gives the keys already available for decoding the work of the most difficult of authors, and supplies many new ones of his own. He has suffered greatly but vicariously, for the sake of all devoted readers, and the consequence is that now, by labors no longer heroic though still hard, we can translate the language back into its English—or, better, we can “follow” the language—and identify most of the dizzily-assorted symbolic allusions. He has also furnished an excellent critical thesis, to the effect that Joyce meant to unite in his work the divergent-looking modern streams of naturalism and symbolism. The fusion is not successful and not always even attempted in Ulysses, where for example the adventure of Bloom in the house of the w

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