Saturday, June 16, 2012

James Joyce - Ulysses V


"Reading Ulysses sucks up a great deal of time and maybe I must devote months to read and enjoy his work. I cannot do that considering my busy schedules and of course most of people too.

I have to stop at every word and look up in the dictionary for its intricate meaning and try to analyze.

I hate to read the textbook type these days. I do not read it just a few academics prescribe at some universities.

This is an outdated book and in today's fast life style few want to be academically oriented and corner themselves to enjoy this book except a few old styled ones who are still living in their past ideals."

"Quite frankly, I think the 'narrative' (if you can call it that) is a fucking mess. It was/is confusing, disjointed, the flow is totally screwed up repeatedly. This has a you-shouldn't-write-when-you're-drunk warning all over the pages.

And this book's a case of: some people don't want to say it stinks because they think they'll look like they're stupid. I despise when people call what qualifies as unintelligble gibberish great writing and act as if those calling it gibberish are just too dumb to see its brilliance. Or people claim the writer's mind is just so superior, so brilliant, no one else can understand what comes from it. I've heard Ulysses lovers brag that no one can understand the book.

Um, in my opinion, writing is foremost about communicating. If NO ONE can understand a written work, maybe it's because the writing just SUCKS?"

"I almost vomitted over this abomination! Piece of trash."

"This book is the biggest scam in the history of scams and books. Utterly nonsense from the beginning to end, and everyone keeps pretending that this book is the greatest ever written. What utter tosh!"

"If Joyce had access to a little Ritalin for his apparent ADHD, Ulysses might have been a short story, as he initially intended"

"I hate Ulysses. I'm not about to waste my time reading a book in which 'sentences' are composed like a Pollock painting."

"Ulysses is an unoriginal, pretentious, boring novel. Yes, the merits ... are true - if you are a writer or an academic. It is perfect masturbatory material for serious writers and academicians who write for each other and only read those things written for them. But for the average layperson, who is looking to put his hands around, and his eyes in front of, a good story to enrich his life and pass some quality time, Ulysses is nothing but a waste of a few good twigs.

Ulysses is structured on the template of Homer's Odyssey. Well, that's very original. I suppose that its taking place over a 24 hour period rather than 24 sections of an epic poem is somewhat original. If you are 5 years old. The Odyssey was written over 2,000 years ago and is still enjoyed today by millions of readers. Note to Joyce: we do not need a re-hashed Odyssey. We need a story that originates from your imagination, from that great brain that rests inside your myopic skull! Hey, I have an idea: I will write a novel based on Hamlet and sell that to people. Oh, wait a minute, nobody wants to read Hamlet again ... But Ulysses is great because of its word-play, its use of stream-of-consciousness, its inventive dialogue, its allusions to past great works of literature, its use of symbols as based on The Odyssey, Mark. Not really. All of this is unnecessary window-dressing on an otherwise boring - no, wait, BORING! - story. A writer doesn't need word-play, stream-of-consciousness, inventive dialogue, allusions, and symbols to write a great story. No, what he needs is an enthralling beginning, middle, and ending; complex characters; conflicts and crises; and the ability to choose words that tell his story and no one else's. Anything else is overcompensation for a story so thin that skeletons call it anorexic.

Ulysses is boring. I alluded - ha, look, I'm James Joyce, I made an allusion! - earlier to this aspect of Ulysses' total failure as a novel, which is probably the hardest point to show and justify. But then again, it's Ulysses - no, it's not hard. It takes place over the course of one day in Dublin. A guy goes to a funeral, jerks off on a beach, gets drunk, goes to a brothel, meets up with a young guy he doesn't even hit on, pisses in the yard with said guy, then goes to bed, only to have his story taken over by his shrill, sorry, cuckolded wife. And it takes over 700 pages for all this to happen. Wow. Great stuff, huh? Maybe if you are a corpse. But like Judge Woolsey famously said of Ulysses in the obscenity trial regarding it, ' must always be remembered that his locale was Celtic and his season Spring.' Well, thank God (who doesn't exist, by the way; I have looked for Him and found only his Husk, which I kicked to ashes and blew into the wind), that I'm not Irish - I would have died from boredom upon being born (or hatched, as my dear mother would say).

In conclusion, Ulysses is the greatest novel ever written. I sincerely believe that. But I would suggest that no one worth his salt read it so that it remains so."

No comments:

Post a Comment