Saturday, January 28, 2012

James Joyce - Ulysses IV

"Ok, this is meant to be a masterpiece, and I know it is based on the Odyssey, but I don't get it. Stream of consciousness, is it that exciting? Joyce, was he really a genius or yet another man held up as some kind of marvel within a patriachal society just because he's done something different?
There are whole sections that seem like drivel to me."

"What would I achieve by reading something I'm not enjoying?

I'm not sure what Joyce was aiming for with the audience for this book but it isn't your average reader and I'm sure it wouldn't be the average reader of the times."

"Created, or so I have read, as a joke upon the literary critics of the time - an attempt to subvert by means of pseudo-pretentiousness, pandering to the supposed pretentiousness of those who might be drawn to read such a work. In my view there should be no intended audience for any work of art - it should be created purely for the selfish purpose of the creator ... However, it is my belief that this work was intended as a 'spanner in the works', and certainly not to be taken seriously. It's a joke on anyone - other than those versed in multitudinous mythologies and languages - who purports to understand it. Life is too short for this book."

"Ulysses is for people with lots of time on their hands whose education cost £20,000+. It is up there with the toughest of Opera, black and white French movie 'classics', and (insert largely unpopular passtime requiring doctorate here). We are intelligent people, I am university educated. I have enjoyed most other 20th century classics. But this is a different creature. I wonder how much patience you guys would have if I put a page of Maths equations infront of you- how long would you spend looking for the beauty within?"

"You don't want to remove the cash cow from all those academics who write papers about this author do you? Remove their sense of superiority? They might have to go off and study useful things like physics and engineeering instead of wallowing in the la-la land of Joyce and Dublin."

"Ulysses is/was an important book, in setting the scene for a lot of modern novels. It claims to be a novel, but it's very hard to see how it could be. The characters and story are virtually nonexistent ... He has a tremendous vocabulary and a mastery of all the styles _ever written_ in the entire history of English, but somehow overlooks the whole point of the effort, which was (I think) to write a novel, not a catalog of parodies or a pastiche of Homer or whatever you want to term this fashionable mess. It got worse: his next book was Finnegans Wake, and the rule he 'overlooked' in that treat of a book was that it needed to be _written in English_. That was too limiting for our Great Artist, so he wrote FW in any old language(s) he felt like.

I have an MA in English and I have worked as an English teacher. In my honest opinion, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake are not necessary to read. They are not novels. They're SOMETHING, I grant you. They're very hard to read, and all that. You can really get snobbish about having read them."

"A truly impenetrable and tedious 'novel'. Yes the language is beautiful, but this is closer to an epic poem than a novel. My advice, treat it as such; pick it up, read a passage and put it down, don't ever try to read it as a whole because it is simply not worth the effort."

"who would want to read a book following the outline of Homer's Odyssey...set in DUBLIN????"


"Why has Ulysses been held in such high regard by many eminent authors (Yeats, Eliot and Hemingway are mentioned on the cover of this edition)? This is what I call 'literary snobbery'; it makes people almost afraid to say 'I think this is nonsense' because they don't want to seem foolish or ignorant. I wonder what would happen if an author sent the first forty pages to an agent today - one of the standard rejection letters?"

"I believe good art should be able to be appreciated by everyone, the lowest pit man to the greatest king can look at a painting, listen to music, recite a poem, or read a book and say it is beautiful."


"I think anyone who says they liked this book is either lying to appear intelligent or just mad!"

"This book in truth is an eruption of verbal flatulence, a screech in the literary void by a man who was not capable of doing what lesser writers could: compose a plot."

"what a pile of rambling nonsensical tripe . without doubt the worst book i have ever read . i believe Joyce must have invented crack and smoked it 24 hours a day"

"Proclaiming this the greatest novel of the 20th century is arguably correct for the technical structure, language use, observation etc but that is like stating Citizen Kane as the greatest film - technically brilliant but does anyone really enjoy or even truely understand it?"


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