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While James Joyce was a central figure of high modernism, Malcom Lowry spoke for the next generation of modernist writers and, despite his denials, was almost certainly influenced by Joyce. Wherever the truth lies, there are correspondences and differences to be explored between Joyce and Lowry that are far more interesting than the question of direct influence. Despite numerous differences, their works have much in common: verbal richness, experimentation with narrative structure and perspective, a fascination with cultural and historical forces as well as with the process of artistic creation, and the inclusion of artist figures who are in varying degrees ironic self-portrayals.
The contributors to Joyce/Lowry examine the relationship of these two expatriate writers, both to each other and to broader issues in the study of literary modernism and its aftermath. This collection embraces a variety of approaches. The volume begins with a consideration of Joyce and Lowry as practitioners of Expressionist art and concludes with an essay on John Huston’s cinematic interpretation of works by both writers. In between are explorations of nationalism, anti-Semitism, syphilis, mental illness, and authorial design.
Patrick A. McCarthy, professor of English at the University of Miami, is the author of Forests of Symbols: World, Text, and Self in Malcolm Lowry's Fiction and the editor of Malcolm Lowry's La Mordida.
Paul Tiessen is professor and chair of English at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario and the editor of the Malcolm Lowry Review.
"Essays that insightfully explore the relationship between James Joyce and Lowry as well as the modernist era in which they wrote."—American Literary Scholarship
"All the essays discuss the larger issues . . . . Valuable to readers looking at literary modernism and its definitions."—Choice
"A highly suggestive and useful collection that enlarges out received conception of (a monolithic) modernism and enriches the critical and intertextual dialogue between the two practitioners of its title."—ELT
"On firm ground, the authors of the collected essays open new portals of discovery for the reader through a metonymic juxtaposition of two masters of modern literature. . . . McCarthy, Tiessen, and company offer their reader much to ponder and enjoy."—James Joyce Literary Supplement
"It is fair to say that there is not a rotten apple in this barrel, and if Patrick McCarthy's introduction focuses tightly on the questions of affinity and influence that provide the immediate critical context for these new considerations of Joyce and Lowry, the entire volume will be of interest to any reader concerned with modernism as a whole."—Letters in Canada
"Provides fresh insights into the art of Joyce and of Lowry as well as new understandings of the nature of literary obligation."—Morton P. Levitt
The University Press of Kentucky
Place of Publication
James Joyce, Malcolm Lowry, Modernism
Literature in English, British Isles
McCarthy, Patrick A. and Tiessen, Paul, "Joyce/Lowry: Critical Perspectives" (1997). Literature in English, British Isles. 94.