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Old 10-05-2016, 09:37 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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Location: Lincoln, IL
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Originally Posted by Knowed Out View Post
Sheez, I didn't realize reading Ulysses would require such extensive research beforehand. How did it become regarded as a classic? I can't imagine typical readers at the time were both enlightened and educated enough to appreciate it. I suppose it intrigued the literary experts and artsy-fartsies, but not enough to fly off the bookshelves.

I'll try to envision the work more as a river with a web of tributaries than a single flow and hope I can recognize the spots where the narrative jumps. There might be a pattern here I can latch on to. On to part II.
I haven't read Ulysses and have no opinion on it, but it makes sense to me that a Great Novel might not be all that easy to read or widely accessible. It might be one where the author put a lot into it, and the reader is required to do a lot of work or have a lot of preparation to get out all that he put in—provided all that effort on the part of the reader is rewarded.

That said, I think part of the reason Ulysses became so famous is because of its racy content and supposed "obscenity" at a time when that could make a work notorious. The head coach wants no sissies.

Have you read Joyce's earlier, more accessible A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man? If not, it might be best to start with that, and/or Dubliners, rather than making Ulysses your first encounter with James Joyce.