Ruth Bauerle, 1926-2011 by jjqblog
February 7, 2011, 2:52 PM
Filed under: People

Bauerle 87

Sadly, our community has lost one of its leading scholars of Joyce and music.  Ruth Bauerle, the author of four books and a regular contributor to the James Joyce Quarterly, died on 1 February after a lengthy illness.  An obituary for Ruth that appeared in the Delaware Gazette, the paper to which she contributed a regular column, can be found here.  It details an admirable, generous, and wide-ranging life that included her work as a teacher and her vigorous community activism on behalf of education and free speech.

For Joyceans, of course, Ruth’s scholarship has proven an invaluable and much-cited resource.  Her James Joyce Songbook holds an valued place on many of our shelves, offering ready access to the vast array of music that wends its way so powerfully through all of the major texts.

This work continued, first in Picking Up Airs and then in the Joyce’s Great Operoar, the book she co-wrote with Matthew Hodgart.  Like the many essays, reviews, notes and letters she published in our pages, these works match impressive scholarly rigor to creative critical readings.  Her most recent contributions to JJQ appeared, as one might expect, in our special issue on “Joyce and Opera.”  To this volume she contributed not only a detailed and rigorous bibliography on the topic, but a fascinating argument about the ways in which Joyce modeled the Wake‘s HCE on Enrico Caruso.

Ruth was an outstanding and active scholar who, over the course of a forty-year career, helped lay the foundations for the Joyce industry while expanding considerably our understanding of Joyce’s experimental attempts to cross music and in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.  She will be missed.

As is our custom, the comments section of the blog will remain open for our readers to share their memories of Ruth.


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