Page 1 of 8 123456 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 108

Thread: Why the hell James Joyce's Ulysses always tops the list of best novels?

  1. #1
    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Kathmandu
    Posts
    4,959

    Why the hell James Joyce's Ulysses always tops the list of best novels?

    It is all a foolery and judges whoever they are and what academic height they have ascended are foolhardy guys to select James Joyce for his aesthetic excellence, in fact artistic claptrap. I had been a wastrel to devote the rarest moments of my life to this arty idiocy. I will henceforth not give any attention to it. I have read a few chapters to waste my time.
    I have to rack my brains to read his outlandish words. It is a wordy book and written out of his hubris sophisticating it to the degree getting even scholars or professors of English giddier and giddier.
    Why cannot a great piece of art simple and why the panel choose a book them for the highest score. I have some friends pursuing higher academic courses who find the book really disgusting.

    “Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature””

    “If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

  2. #2
    Voice of Chaos & Anarchy
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    In one of the branches of the multiverse, but I don't know which one.
    Posts
    6,919
    Blog Entries
    337
    Because it is very interesting. If you want outlandishness, then read Finnegans Wake. Ulysses is quite straighforward.

    Rather than reading those, you might try writing something like what Joyce might have written. There is a market for grest literature, and the sales will continue for a long time unlike popular fiction that is usually forgotten when the press run ends.

  3. #3
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Near Chicago, Illinois USA
    Posts
    8,454
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by blazeofglory View Post
    It is all a foolery and judges whoever they are and what academic height they have ascended are foolhardy guys to select James Joyce for his aesthetic excellence, in fact artistic claptrap. I had been a wastrel to devote the rarest moments of my life to this arty idiocy. I will henceforth not give any attention to it. I have read a few chapters to waste my time.
    I have to rack my brains to read his outlandish words. It is a wordy book and written out of his hubris sophisticating it to the degree getting even scholars or professors of English giddier and giddier.
    Why cannot a great piece of art simple and why the panel choose a book them for the highest score. I have some friends pursuing higher academic courses who find the book really disgusting.
    I like the sound of "arty idiocy". Nice choice of words. I probably would have said "artsy idiocy".

    At least you only read a few chapters. I haven't read any of it yet, but now I wonder if I should even bother. I'm sure it is a million pages long as well.

    One rule of thumb I have when selecting movies is to check if the movie has won any of those artsy film festival awards. If it has, I don't bother with it. However, I've probably missed some good stuff with this technique.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    102
    possibly you chose the wrong chapters to sample.

  5. #5
    Inexplicably Undiscovered
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    next door to the lady in the vinegar bottle
    Posts
    4,873
    Blog Entries
    72
    In the purest sense of the word "novel," Ulysses was absolutely brand new, both in terms of subject matter and artistic expression. No other single prose work of the twentieth century transformed literature as much as this masterpiece did. That's why the novel tops so many lists.

  6. #6
    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Eugene, OR
    Posts
    2,052
    Joyce is one of the great literary geniuses. Although some might prefer his simpler works (try his brilliant story "The Dead", the last paragraph of which comprises some of the most beautiful prose ever written), he is probably the single most original and brilliant novelist of the twentieth century. I'll grant that Ulysses is difficult -- but so are a lot of things that are worthwhile.

  7. #7
    Card-carrying Medievalist Lokasenna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    In a lurid pink building...
    Posts
    2,768
    Blog Entries
    5
    It's fundamentally a matter of taste. I think Joyce is massively overrated, but that's only my opinion - I'm sure there are plenty of Joyce-lovers out there who would dismiss my medieval gumph as horrible.

    As for Joyce being a literary revolutionary, well, let's just say that change isn't always for the better in my opinion!
    "I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!" - Nietzsche

  8. #8
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    5,046
    Blog Entries
    16
    I can see why someone wouldn't enjoy the works of Joyce, but if someone can't appreciate it and how much thought and detail went into a piece of work like Ulysses, I'm sorry, but you're just being dense.

    Anyways, the OP offers nothing of real criticism, or even reasons as to why Ulysses is so horrible. It really just comes off as an extremely bitter "I don't get it" rant.
    Last edited by Mutatis-Mutandis; 04-27-2011 at 11:38 PM.

  9. #9
    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Eugene, OR
    Posts
    2,052
    Quote Originally Posted by Lokasenna View Post
    It's fundamentally a matter of taste. I think Joyce is massively overrated, but that's only my opinion - I'm sure there are plenty of Joyce-lovers out there who would dismiss my medieval gumph as horrible.

    As for Joyce being a literary revolutionary, well, let's just say that change isn't always for the better in my opinion!
    I think that disliking Joyce's books is quite different from claiming he's "massively overrated". I've never been a big Dostoevsky fan -- my tastes run more toward Tolstoy. But I would never say, "Dostoevsky is massively overrated." (Or, I might say it, but I wouldn't think it.)

    Joyce's talent is so apparent that even if it doesn't appeal to someone personally, I find it hard to believe that it's easily dismissed. So I disagree. Whether you like the books personally is "fundamentally a matter of (personal) taste." But I always thought my antipathy for Dostoevsky's novels is MY failing, not Dostoevsky's. I can recognize his talent, even though it may not appeal to me.

    Here's the last paragraph of "The Dead":
    A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.
    Here's the last bit of the famous run-on sentence at the end of Ulysses:
    O that awful deepdown torrent O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and the pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.
    Joyce's novels may not appeal to someone's personal taste. Certainly Ulysses is overblown, snooty, deliberately obscure, etc., etc. Nonetheless, the literary talent -- the feel for sounds, words, and images -- is so massive that calling him "massively overrated" (based on one's own personal taste) seems extreme.

    Personally, I can't read either of these exerpts without feeling the chills.

  10. #10
    riding a cosmic vortex MystyrMystyry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Under the trees deep in a cave
    Posts
    3,318
    Blog Entries
    25
    The book is bloody hilarious! There's at least one belly laugh per paragraph!

    The reason it's always featured in the best books is because it's one of the best books!

    You're not supposed to sit in a quiet corner and read it solemnly as though it's some sacred religious text - you're supposed to laugh out loud - that was his intention and that is what he achieved

    But maybe this thread should be called Why is Ulysses so Funny?

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    134
    Ulysses is the best novel ever made, and may be the only piece of original writing in Western civilization.

  12. #12
    Card-carrying Medievalist Lokasenna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    In a lurid pink building...
    Posts
    2,768
    Blog Entries
    5
    I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you, Ecurb!

    Joyce is, in my subjective opinion, massively overrated - and I believe that I am justified in saying that. I'm not setting myself up as any sort of iconoclast, but as someone who has read widely I honestly do not rate Joyce, and I find it slightly baffling that anyone else does. I accept, however, that taste comes into it - those two passages that so move you leave me feeling rather cold.

    As such, I think it's entirely possible to claim that someone is overrated, while understanding that their work will appeal to some people.
    "I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!" - Nietzsche

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by MystyrMystyry View Post

    You're not supposed to sit in a quiet corner and read it solemnly as though it's some sacred religious text - you're supposed to laugh out loud - that was his intention and that is what he achieved
    Did you see the scene in Lost where Ben Linus was reading it on a plane? The actor played it with a solemn facial expression no doubt trying to convey the profundity of his intellect.

  14. #14
    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Kathmandu
    Posts
    4,959
    James Joyce is an overrated novelist and just because of his experiment with language or arty or artsy linguistic use and a little innovative swings he must be ranked above the rest of other epoch making writers.

    Most of us are hooked to a certain stylistic vehemence and form and we like Miltonic prose and yet few really enjoy reading them. We are accustomed to applaud a certain piece of literature and we are always admiring the Shakespearean mold or biblical fervor but in actual fact that remains to be limited to the textbook type. We are always told to read some great classics but in actuality do not enjoy them. Great epics have always been subjects of admiration and they cannot engage us when we read them.

    In the same vein we tirelessly admire James Joyce but I do no think anyone really can enjoy reading this mass of nonsense.

    James Joyce' s main motive is to startle his reader with his elegance art.
    Kafka for instance was a great novelist yet Kafka has simplicity in his style

    Tolstoy's war and piece is so beautifully written even style-wise but he was capable of engaging our minds with his grand thought.

    Joyce' is a paragon no doubt as a novelist but we need to read and read and read at least 10 times each sentence or else he is such a bore and of course repulsive.

    I have tried to read his Ulysses with a dictionary in front of me but I always found it arduous job and I realized I have been a wastrel.

    I do not suggest to any aspiring readers to read especially his Ulysses. There are so many other great books you can enjoy reading and learn.

    “Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature””

    “If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

  15. #15
    www.markbastable.co.uk MarkBastable's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,447
    Yet again I'm going to challenge one of your generalisations.

    Tolstoy's war and piece is so beautifully written even style-wise but he was capable of engaging our minds with his grand thought.

    Oh no it's not. War and Peace is very very dull - in Russian and in English - and Tolstoy doesn't engage my mind at all. Who were you including when you said 'our'?

Page 1 of 8 123456 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. William James Redux: "The New Atheists" v. "The Will to Believe"
    By AuntShecky in forum Philosophical Literature
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 10-04-2013, 03:57 PM
  2. On Tackling Bloom's Western Canon
    By milktea in forum General Literature
    Replies: 77
    Last Post: 01-23-2013, 02:54 PM
  3. Modern library´s best novels of 20 century
    By JoanS in forum General Literature
    Replies: 95
    Last Post: 08-03-2010, 11:33 PM
  4. Best 150 Novels
    By jlb4tlb in forum General Literature
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 05-15-2008, 01:23 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •