New Reviews for James Joyce and the Revolt of Love

The newest issue of College Literature (39.1; Winter 2012; 131-139) has run a review essay on James Joyce and the Revolt of Love along with Declan Kiberd’s Ulysses and Us. Here’s an excerpt:

Declan Kiberd and Janine Utell both recognize that Ulysses is concerned with love as the most complex and the most human of emotions.  Each text offers a critical reappraisal of Joyce’s work emphasizing what one can still learn from reading Joyce in the early twenty-first century, and how one might learn again to love reading Joyce.  As a result, their books represent an important step in restoring a sense of humanity to an author whose texts have been relegated to the status of relics for specialists. (p. 132)

Utell provides a fascinating and well-argued analysis of Joyce’s evolving attitudes toward love in the contexts of marriage and adultery…[She] does a thorough and admirable job of substantiating her argument with specifics from Joyce’s text and ultimately provides a very convincing argument that Bloom’s quest is a quest for a genuinely ethical love through her careful analysis of selected episodes. (pp. 136, 138)

Then there’s one in the recent English Literature in Transition (55.1; 2012; 120-124):

Utell’s project offers a fresh perspective on how Joyce imagines an ethical love within the space of infidelity–thus-re-envisioning illicit desire as a positive site for transformation instead of a negative space established by more orthodox systems.  Utell’s study also offers insightful close readings of Joyce’s texts, especially the long chapter on Ulysses that is valuable in itself. (p. 123)