Books: Bloomsday's Child

MY BROTHER'S KEEPER: JAMES JOYCE'S EARLY YEARS (266 pp.)—Stanislaus Joyce —Viking ($5).

"Lives of great men all remind us friends .will make them less sublime." Thus most literary memoirs might be described, but James Joyce was lucky in his friends: at worst, they merely carved their initials on the giant oak of his literary reputation. He was even luckier in his late brother, Stanislaus. With candor, insight and a remarkable lack of rancor toward the man who arrogantly dubbed him "my whetstone," Stanislaus was content to draw what is easily the best portrait of his legendary brother as a young man.

Though he...

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