Is ‘Ulysses’ by James Joyce an overrated book? Some writers think so – Bookpaths

Ulysses by James Joyce is probably one of the most controversial books in the history of literature, and the one that has achieved a further distance between critics and public. Although today we will talk about the writers who disdain (or disdained) the work, the truth is that most writers It is considered one of the great masterpieces of the 20th century. (from Nabokov – who nevertheless detested Finnegans Wake – to Salman Rushdie, from Faulkner to Geoge Orwell).

But although positive reviews are much more constructive (at least to encourage reading), the bad ones always have more chicha. And also one feels a little better knowing that writers of the stature of Virginia Woolf or DHLawrence also got stuck in reading the complex and voluminous work.

From Virginia Woolf’s opinion We’ve already talked at length, but we’ll summarize it in a phrase from the British author: “It’s the effort of a nauseous student popping pimples.” DHLawrence wasn’t much more accommodating, and stated: “My God, what a coarse ‘rotten pot’ James Joyce is! Nothing but old cigarette butts and bits of cabbage from Bible quotes and the rest stewed in the juice of deliberate journalistic obscenity.” As for his compatriot Bernard Shaw, He said: «I have read several fragments of ‘Ulysses’. It is a disgusting record of a disgusting phase of civilization.

One can believe that being a contemporary of James Joyce it was not so complicated to criticize his work (after all, it was almost unanimously considered obscene at the time). What has merit is daring now, that Joyce is a reference for any intellectual, to call into question his main contribution. One of those who has dared is Paulo Coelho, although we will not be the ones to say that we trust his opinion a lot. And it is possible that some will reaffirm how cool Joyce is just knowing that Coelho thinks otherwise. The Brazilian writer criticized that today, writers write in many cases for other writers, and not for the public. And the one who started all this was James Joyce: «One of the books that has caused the most damage has been James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’, which it’s pure style. There is nothing there. If you take the paint off, ‘Ulysses’ is stupid.”

Of similar opinion is Irish writer Roddy Doyle Booker Prize winner, who called the story about Leopold Blom overrated, too long and unable to move: “People are always putting ‘Ulysses’ up as one of the 10 best books ever written, but I doubt any of those people were the least bit moved by it.”

Of course, if instead of the opinions of literary men we look for those of ordinary and molten readers, We found bad reviews galore. In fact, it is one of the “must have” books that has managed to garner the lowest scores on Goodreads. Although many readers understand its influence from literature, they wonder if it makes sense extol a book that cannot be enjoyed on its own. Some comments are as follows:

  • Ask yourself if you are going to enjoy a book in which you need your literature teacher next to you at all times to explain its “sophistication” to you.
  • Technical prowess is not a sufficient condition for a book to be great or even good.
  • It must be sad for Ireland that their most important work of fiction is unreadable. I know it is. I tried to read it several times.
  • This is one of those books that “smart” people like to “read.”
  • A stammering and absurd book supported by intellectual luminaries who fear being thrown into the darkness of the bourgeoisie of bad taste for dissent. Yes, that is the essence.

Although in that respect, the best/worst criticism was made by his own wife Nora Barnacle when asked: Couldn’t you write books that people could read?

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Is ‘Ulysses’ by James Joyce an overrated book? Some writers think so – Bookpaths

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