"This book reads the entire output of James Joyce, from Chamber Music to Finnegans Wake, in the perspective of the Irish authors 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 Joyces 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 Dubliners creative works and critical utterances.
The "essay", a courageous exercise on a scale that honours its subject, brings a parade of original and authoritative insights, as well as constructive adaptations of other scholars' views. Virtually half of Boysens 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 Joyces difficult final masterpiece. The intellectual power of Boysens 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.