Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I am so confused. I just read the ebook (via Project Gutenberg) of Ulysses by James Joyce. This is one of those books that are so critically admired and yet I am convinced that few people have read. I was lost from the word "go". But, I read it. Not every word and not with great care because once I realized this novel made very little sense, if any, I started skimming and then picking up again to see how things have progressed. The kicker is that I have no idea what the novel was about, who the characters were (I know there is some chap named Stephen Dedalus, whom I believe is the stream of consciousness narrator), or what the big deal is. I skipped words, pages, and sections before rejoining the story and I understand that this may not officially count as "reading" Ulysses in the sense of doing a good thoughtful read, but forget that. I gave it my level best and I feel I can honestly mark this as read. I got as much enjoyment and understanding of Ulysses as I would have if I had not skipped words, and that is a sad testament to this novel. Ulysses is a turgid slab of prose. Call it experimental or what you will. I call it a mess.