James Joyce: Ulysses

I’ve heard from more than one source that many praise it but few are able to actually read it to the end. So I decided to find out what it was all about.

The beginning isn’t altogether unpromising. Even after Stephen Dedalus begins to hallucinate (his so-called stream of consciousness would better befit a junkie than a teacher), you can read on; that is to say, follow the lines with your eyes, every now and then realising that your mind has wandered, but safe in the knowledge that you couldn’t have missed anything important or interesting. Nevertheless, after some time spent with Mr Leopold Bloom, who’s barely able to finish the shortest possible thought, I decided I was wasting my time with a heap of rubbish.

Maybe there were, are people who genuinely find the book marvellous. But I suspect that 99% of those who call it a masterpieces either have never read it, or make this claim because they’re paid to do so, or out of sheer snobbery. The kind of people who doze through a concert of modern classical music and then call it sublime.

 

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