Spanning decades, LAMENT FOR THE AFTERLIFE follows one man as he negotiates the hostile territory of life after combat. Peytr Borysson comes from a long line of soldiers, but isn’t born for fighting. His ’wind is better shaped for poetry than bullets. Even so, at sixteen he follows the local boys into battle — and never quite leaves.
Interweaving Peytr’s struggles with those of his family, Lament for the Afterlife takes readers to the frontlines and far beyond, telling a story of ordinary people persisting in extraordinary circumstances. A novel of human survival, guilt, and the devastating power of memory, Lament for the Afterlife examines the physical and psychological distances we travel when beliefs are threatened—or held too tightly.
'riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs'
Joyce's final work, Finnegan's Wake is his masterpiece of the night as Ulysses is of the day. Supreme linguistic virtuosity conjures up the dark underground worlds of sexuality and dream. Joyce undermines traditional storytelling and all official forms of English and confronts the different kinds of betrayal - cultural, political and sexual - that he saw at the heart of Irish history. Dazzlingly inventive, with passages of great lyrical beauty and humour, Finnegans Wake remains one of the most remarkable works of the twentieth century.
James Joyce (1882-1941), the eldest of ten children, was born in Dublin, but exiled himself to Paris at twenty as a rebellion against his upbringing. He only returned to Ireland briefly from the continent but Dublin was at heart of his greatest works, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. He lived in poverty until the last ten years of his life and was plagued by near blindness and the grief of his daughter's mental illness.
If you enjoyed Finnegans Wake, you might like Virginia Woolf's The Waves, also available in Penguin Classics.
'An extraordinary performance, a transcription into a miniaturized form of the whole western literary tradition'