The Ethics of Love

An Essay on James Joyce

By Benjamin Boysen

The Ethics of Love reads the entire output of James Joyce, from Chamber Music to Finnegans Wake, in the perspective of the Irish author's wish to celebrate secular love as the all-pervasive power that can be experienced in a "post-metaphysical" world. Boysen grounds his outstanding essay on the table-turning thesis that, far from abolishing the power of love, the "death of God," this essential staple of twentieth century continental philosophy, makes mutual love all the more necessary to us; it warrants, in fact, the universality of our encounter with the Other. -- Gian Balsamo, author of Joyce's Messianism: Dante, Negative Existence, and the Messianic Self (2005) and Rituals of Literature: Joyce, Dante, Aquinas, and the Tradition of Christian Epics (2004) *** An avid student of literature and thought from Antiquity over the Middle Ages and Renaissance down to the present, Dr. Benjamin Boysen, in The Ethics of Love, brings stupendous erudition to bear, with immense verve, on the entirety of the great Dubliner's creative works and critical utterances. The "essay," a courageous exercise on a scale that honors its subject, brings a parade of original and authoritative insights, as well as constructive adaptations of other scholars' views. Virtually half of Boysen's hefty volume is devoted to the Wake, and in his intensity and meticulousness as an informed analyst, Boysen proves to surpass himself in his amazing mastery of Joyce's difficult final masterpiece. The intellectual power of Boysen's book on the complex ethics of love in Joyce significantly advances our understanding of why Joyce has become canonical in world literature. It also signals the appearance of a young rising star in comparative literary studies. -- Gerald Gillespie, former president of International Comparative Literature Assn. and author of Proust, Mann, Joyce in the Modernist Context (2010) and Echoland: Readings from Humanism to Postmodernism (2005) (Series: University of Southern Denmark Studies in Literature - Vol. 59) *** "The study will prove interesting to seasoned Joyceans and new readers alike, as it includes both theoretical chapters and persuasive individual readings of Joyce, and offers an original way of unifying Joyce's work. Highly recommended." - Choice, Vol. 51, No. 03, November 2013

656 pages

Publication Date: 3/8/2013
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9788776746919