Five authors tell us why you should read ‘Ulysses’, by James Joyce… or not

Not a few have stayed on the path of reading the novel that opened the doors to modernity. Naturally, nothing happens if you are not able to read a work that never made it easy for the reader. Laura Fernández, Rodrigo Fresán, Javier Pérez Andújar, Agustín Fernández Mallo and Kiko Amat answer our question.

For the pleasure. For the writer it is perhaps the best (and most passionate) toolbox there is, it contains all the forms, and in its most exuberant and luxuriantly crazy format! And for the reader it is a challenge, a stylistic jungle adventure! Every word in Joyce seems to be screaming like an adorable baby, it’s in its exact place and in a way almost newborn at the time. It is the map of everything she has tried to expand the (literary) battlefield since then, and therefore a ‘must’ for any avid and trained reader.

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One of the best reasons to read the ‘Ulysses’ is no longer having to think that one would have to read ‘Ulysses’. Another reason is -from then and now and to infinity and beyond- to face a unique and transformative moment in the history of the novel and, therefore, if given opportunity and concentration, also unique. and transformative in the story of a reader. That is, learning to read again even if you already think you know how to read. Then, of course, think about reading ‘In Search of Lost Time’ and ‘The Man Without Qualities’ and ‘Moby-Dick’ and…

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You have to read ‘Ulysses’ for the same reason that you have to climb Everest. Because he is there. And you like to climb. And feel that the book is always bigger than you. And that deep down you get along with him. Books are read to see what they say but also to talk about them. The fascinating thing about ‘Ulysses’ is that he takes all the readers you’ve been out of your head and sets them in motion.

Agustin Fernandez Mallo

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The importance of Ulysses lies not only in the fact that it founds the novel that would be made in the 20th century (avant-garde and postmodernism), and 21st century (online literature), but also because it is the living expression of an entire cultural era, the beginning of the 20th century. , in which the arts and sciences align and hatch simultaneously with a power perhaps only comparable to that of the Age of Enlightenment.

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‘Ulysses’ is gibberish, plain and simple. Reading it reminded me of the cascade of nonsense that the crazy people of my town spewed down the street. No, coherence or intelligibility is not Joyce’s forte. And yet there is technique in his madness. We could say that this novel is only technical. Style in its purest form and the history that mends it. After all, only the vulgar are interested in mundane things like sentiment and plot.

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Five authors tell us why you should read ‘Ulysses’, by James Joyce… or not


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