This review was taken from last Saturday’s Irish Times, Oct 14 and it reviews a book by our own Tony Jordan.
This book about James Joyce is an interesting amalgam of excerpts from Joyce’s works, letters by, to or about him, and anecdotes and recollections by acquaintances, as well as a very basic biography. A considerable portion is devoted to Joyce’s relationship with Arthur Griffith, founder of Sinn Féin, for whose newspaper Joyce contributed a number of articles. Naturally, Joyce’s much commented-on relationship with his wife, Nora, is further commented on.
his writing proves that ‘it was a mistake to establish a separate university for the aborigines of the island’
The author, a biographer of a number of Irish figures, has some interesting insights about Joyce as well as some debatable opinions, especially his argument that Joyce was really an Irish republican. He includes this reviewer’s favourite comment about Joyce, from the provost of Trinity College Dublin, that his writing proves that “it was a mistake to establish a separate university for the aborigines of the island”. This entertaining book may well encourage wavering would-be readers to finally tackle Ulysses.