From reviews of the first edition:Magical. The satisfying mood that this book creates, and sustains with near-total consistency throughout, carries the narrative flow as jocoseriously as Bell credits Joyce with doing in Ulysses. This is original,MoreFrom reviews of the first edition:Magical. The satisfying mood that this book creates, and sustains with near-total consistency throughout, carries the narrative flow as jocoseriously as Bell credits Joyce with doing in Ulysses.
This is original, incisive, and enlightening criticism, a fresh approach to Ulysses that analyzes the levels and depths of its humor in a language that is consciously witty.--Bernard BenstockBell joins the very thin ranks . . . of those critics who can both capture the humor of Ulysses and communicate its often serious function within the narrative.
In the process, he offers new insight into many familiar characters and episodes.--Morton P. Levitt, Journal of Modern Literature[Bells] witty and lucid prose is a pleasure to read, . . . [written] persuasively and fluently.--Austin Briggs, Modern Language QuarterlyFinally, someone has sanctioned our fun. . . . This book is chockablock with information, references, discoveries, and insights.--Marilyn Reizbaum, James Joyce Literary SupplementStudents of Ulysses will find Robert H.
Bell to be a deft dissector in demonstrating his case for Buck Mulligan as a brilliant clown in the Shakespearean tradition, in proving Bloom a holy fool, and in making Molly a sublimely ridiculous figure whose contradictions represent the ultimate ascent of folly.
. . . Professor Bell shows his good sense by quoting at one juncture from the late Jimmy Durante. This is an intricate but humane treatise on folly in Ulysses which finds the three major personae richly consistent and the sources of their selfhood surprisingly familiar and traditional.--C. J. Fox, Times Literary SupplementFrom the foreword to the paperback edition:Part of the original design of Floridas James Joyce Series was to keep a few of the landmark Joyce studies in print and accessible to the growing audience for Joyce scholarship.
Jocoserious Joyce is one of these: an informative and entertaining treatment of the dual nature of Joyces comedy in Ulysses. . . . The embellishments of Bells arguments, consisting often of a number of examples for a given point, regularly put new and delightful twists on passages that have never been examined under a comic lens. We are delighted to include in our list this lasting contribution to Joyce studies.--Zack Bowen, Series EditorRobert H. Bell is William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of English at Williams College.
He has written widely for academic journals as well as for newspapers and popular magazines.