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By William Tindall

First released in 1959, William York Tindall's Reader's consultant remains to be thought of to be the simplest advent to the advanced writings of James Joyce. From Dubliners to Finnegans Wake, Tindall's wisdom is as finished because it is authoritative.

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Extra info for A Reader's Guide to James Joyce

Sample text

This encounter is attended and its nature disclosed by the two ~ystems of images I have spoken of. Those of fire and light 20 cQIJ}mence when, after an overabundance of good-nights, Gabriel goes out into the yellowish dark. As his lust bums, he appropriately recalls a bottle maker at his roaring furnace. Tedium of life with Gretta has almost "quenched" their "souls' tender fire," though fires of lust keep hot enough. Enlightenment, despite, or maybe because of, those fires, is difficult. The electric light at the Gresham has failed, but whether the trouble is local or at the Pigeon House is unclear.

D'Arcy, the reluctant guests, serves to link them-but why crow? Let your ingenuity work prudently on what still baffles mine. I think it enough sometimes to point things out and question them. Providing answers, pretending assurance where none is justified, could be of disservice to text and reader alike. The text is not a system of mathematical equations but a flexible relationship of possibilities. The reader, whether common or critical, is no business machine. Unworried by crow, I point to other things: the metaphorical beast, for example, that like Henry James' beast in the jungle or James Duffy's in the Park, pounces on its victim: "A vague terror seized Gabriel ...

EVELINE One of the earliest of the stories, "Eveline" may have set the theme and tone of the book. Many of the later stories seem elaborate variations upon it or its extensions. I think of this story first when thinking of Dubliners not because it is the best story in the book but because it is the most nearlyist~aightforward expression of paralysis and one of the most movi~g:'Though m~ny like to place ;,J~~i~ the high region of complexity and obscurity, "Eveline" offers proof that value, not permanently established there, can visit the lowlands too.

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A Reader's Guide to James Joyce by William Tindall


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