Fiery Joyce

The books he received for review were almost more welcome than the paltry cheque

Reviews of Joycean Works
This page will collect links to reviews, both "classic" reviews of Joyce's fiction and poetry, an reviews of the many books written about Joyce and his work. A fairly new page, it is heavily weighted in favor of The New York Times, which has an excellent Web site and online database. You may have to register to get in; it's free, and only takes a minute, and it is very much worth it. As other newspapers and journals start placing their archives online, I will be sure to flesh out these sections.
Do you know of a review I could add? Or would you like to submit one to me for inclusion? Please mail it to me!

Reviews of Joyce's Work

Wistful Verse -- (Chamber Music) New York Times, April 27, 1919. A short review priasing these lyrical verses.

James Joyce's Amazing Chronicle -- (Ulysses) New York Times, May 28, 1922. Joseph Collins' balanced and positive reception of a future masterpiece.

James Joyce's Linguistic Catch-All -- (Ulysses) New York Times, January 11, 1931. Hewrbert L. Matthews looks at a fragment from Work in Progress, "Haveth Childers Everywhere," and finds it esoteric and incomprehensible.

James Joyce's Poetry Does Not Suggest 'Ulysses' -- (Collected Poems) New York Times, October 10, 1937. Horace Reynolds looks at Joyce's verse.

A New Work by James Joyce -- (Finnegans Wake) New York Times, May 7, 1939. Padraic Colum takes a surprisingly perceptive look at this sprawling "crossmess parzel."

Stephen Dedlaus in the Rough -- (Stephen Hero) New York Times, February 11, 1945. William Troy looks at the precursor to Portrait.

Revaluing James Joyce's Exiles -- (Exiles) New York Times, July 21, 1946. James T. Farrell takes a second look at Joyce's only extant play.

An Irish Dante's Pilgrimage -- (Portable James Joyce) New York Times, March 7, 1947. Richard Watts, Jr, reviews the new Penguin anthology.

The Daytime World of James Joyce -- (Letters Vol. 1) New York Times, May 26, 1957. An honest look at this complex set of letters by Stephen Spender.

Self-Portrait of the Artist -- (Letters Vol. 1) New York Times, December 18, 1966. Stephen Spender returns to the Epistles of Shem the Penman.

Portrait of the Artist As a Special Kind of Hero -- (Selected Letters) New York Times, November 23, 1975. Irving Howe examines winnowed collection of letters.

How the Trick Was Done -- (Ulysses manuscript) New York Times, January 11, 1975. Joyce Scholar Hugh Kenner discusses the facsimile of the Ulysses manuscript.

Making the Wrong Joyce -- (Reader's Ulysses) New York Review of Books, September 25, 1997. John Kidd's wry dissection of the "ill-starred" Danis Rose revision of Ulysses.

Reviews of Books about Joyce

James Joyce: A Life (By Edna O'Brien, 1999.)

James Joyce -- The Brazen Head, December 28, 1999. The Brazen Head review.

Weekender Australian Review --November 27-28, 1999. Mary Rose Liverani presents a fair description of O'Brien's book.

Ireland's Homer -- December 1-7, 1999. Rodney Welch's review from the Columbia Free Times. Mostly positive, this review also serves as an outline for the book.

A Slim, Savory Volume -- San Francisco Chronicle, December 9, 1999. David Kipen takes a frustratingly unfocused look at James Joyce, and the Penguin series in general.

The Motherless Child -- New York Review of Books, December 16, 1999. Irish author John Banville evenly critiques O'Brien's book, and adds some intelligent commentary on Joyce's life as well.

LA Times Review -- A short but positive review; though I would certainly recommend a different set of guides to reading Ulysses!

London Times Review -- Online at the "Joyce Luck Club," this is a scathing review of the original British edition

Oh Joist, Poor Joist -- New York Times, January 6, 2000. Robert Sullivan lauds the book, and though it's a humorous review with a few good insights, I find it annoyingly patronizing and a bit too forgiving. (Who cares about facts and objectivity if it's a good read?)

Cast of Characters (By Paul Schwaber, 1999.)

Putting 'Ulysses' on Freud's Couch -- New York Times, December 16, 1999. A positive review by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt.

A Look at the Cast -- The Brazen Head, December 22, 1999. Bob Williams looks at Scwaber's psychoanalytical reading of Ulysses.

John Stanislaus Joyce (By John Wyse Jackson and Peter Costello, 1998.)

Portrait of the Father as a Crotchety Man -- Mary Blume's Tribune Herald review of the new book about Joyce's father, John Stanislaus Joyce.

James Joyce (By Richard Ellmann, 1959.)

All Life Was Grist for the Artist -- New York Times, October 25, 1954. Stephen Spender's insightful review of Ellmann's great biography.

My Brother's Keeper (By Stanislas Joyce, 1958.)

When the Artist Was a Young Man -- New York Times, February 2, 1958. Vivian Mercer examines Stanislas Joyce's infamous look at his brother.

Ulysses on the Liffey (By Richard Ellmann, 1954.)

Book review -- New York Times, April 11, 1954. John Gross reviews Ellmann's work about Ulysses.

James Joyce (By Herbert Gorman, 1940.)

The Man Who Wrote Ulysses -- New York Times, February 18, 1940. Horace Reynolds looks at one of the first biographies about Joyce.

Other Online Collections

The New York Times -- This page collects all the reviews and articles about Joyce that have run in The New York Times. A highly recommended link!

The TLS Centenary Archive -- A subscriber-only databse of the Times Literary Supplement.

The New York Review of Books -- They are currently placing their archives online; but you may find more recent reviews here.

Northern Light -- This will search the excellent Northern Light site for online articles, papers, reviews and sites about Joyce and his work.


--A. Ruch
26 January 2001


He seemed to have laid an ear against the muscle of his own heart, feeling it close and quail, listening to the flutter of its ventricles. -- Send email to the Great Quail -- comments, suggestions, corrections, criticisms, submissions . . . all are welcome!

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