A review of James Joyce’s The Cats of Copenhagen :
“Alas! I cannot send you a Copenhagen cat because there are NO cats in Copenhagen.”
Originally a letter to Joyce’s grandson, The Cats of Copenhagen was only recently discovered, and this marks its first publication. Short as it is, the decision to publish this little entertainment was a worthy one. The Cats of C. is an intriguing glimpse of a playful and human Joyce that readers of his novels may not have seen but will immediately recognize.
The dozen or so quirky, modern illustrations accompanying Joyce’s lines do a great job enlivening the comedy and filling out the book (which would otherwise have been too bare and overpriced, I’m afraid). I worry that some will want to look for and say profound things about this little work–how strong the prose, how tight and self-conscious the plot, this or that about the Swiftian mode–but that would be pretentious and miss the point. This letter to a child is not Ulysses; it is meant purely to delight, and it did.