MY BROTHER'S KEEPER: James Joyce's Forty Years by Stanislaus Joyce

MY BROTHER'S KEEPER: James Joyce's Forty Years

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Professor Joyce's posthumous recollections of his older brother follow James' development as man and artist up to his 22nd year, with emphasis upon his home life and the literary and intellectual influence which the two brothers so forcibly exerted upon one another. Stanislaus describes as well the moral and religious defiance of the young man, his early writing habits, his explosive irony and moments of stony withdrawal, his choice of companions, his boisterous sprees and budding romances. But the memoirs are designed less as autobiography than as a searching contemplation. Stanislaus is above all intensely himself. Where he writes of an alcoholic father's brutish braggadocio, or his abused mother's patience and endurance, of the continual struggle with poverty and especially the ruinous effects of the clerical system- these are his own observations filled with his own bitterness and contempt; his brother here figures only by influence. It is a great pity that Stanislaus' projected study of James' maturity, when the two were so closely identified and shared so much together, was never completed. T. S. Eliot makes some prefatory remarks and there is a very helpful explanatory introduction.

Publisher: Viking