I finished Ulysses yesterday. It feels good, mostly to be able to now move on to other more engaging books. If you’ve been thinking about reading it, just know that it’s tough. I got very little visceral joy out of reading it. None of the feeling that I was with the story. It was more like the story was being read to me in a lecture hall with bad acoustics and I was way in the back row and the mic was out.
Paradoxically the book’s become my without-question desert-island booksolely because I know that it’s maybe the world’s densest novel and it would last over many, many re-readings.
So, kudos, Joyce. You wrote a novel that has more of the world itself in it maybe that is far more work than pleasure to read. I don’t necessarily need easy breezy writing. Or what my students often call “flow.” But come on.