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Acocella Reviews Shloss' Book on Joyce's Daughter

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In this week's The New Yorker (8 Dec 03) dance critic Joan Acocella reviews Joyce scholar Carol Loeb Shloss' book, "Lucia Joyce" To Dance in the Wake," a biography of James Joyce's daughter. Most of the dance Shloss talks about in the book is modern: studies at Dalcroze Institute and with Isadora Duncan's older brother, Raymond; professional appearances with a small troupe; the author's contention that Lucia's dancing was the inspiration for the themes in Finnegan's Wake.

However, Acocella also mentions that Lucia Joyce, at the age of 22, began to study ballet seriously with Lubov Egorova, for six hours a day, and that her failure at it caused her to give up dance. It was very interesting to read Acocella's dissection of the dance history in the book. For example, the author implies that a diary entry by one of Joyce's friends was a description of one of Lucia Joyce's performances, while Acocella identifies it as a description of Balanchine's Prodigal Son !

The links to individual reviews expire each week -- this one probably on 8 Dec -- but to find the complete review, go to The New Yorker website, and from the left menu scroll over "THE CRITICS" and select "BOOKS."

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Thanks so much for posting this. The article is a good read. As Acocella mentions, Egorova also taught Zelda Fitzgerald. Zelda was a more persistent pupil than poor Lucia, however. (Egorova said in response to inquiries from Zelda's shrinks that she could have been a soloist in a small company. The docs didn't tell Zelda. Bad for her, don't you know.)

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