I’m reading “Dubliners” by James Joyce at the moment, and I am listening to “Ulysses”.
The difference in style, language, accessibility between the two books is hard to describe. It is like comparing reading Latin or Greek with English.
“Dubliners” is a collection of short stories and gives a beautiful glimpse into Dublin and Dubliners around the early 1900s. Anyone could, and should, read it.
“Ulysses”, on the other hand, is a different proposition. I am only just hanging on to complete the novel but I am determined to do so.
And I have found much of it funny, interesting, puzzling, infuriating, brilliant, ostentatious, perplexing, inaccessible, dense.
But I will return to it again. And the next time I will read it and take my time over the words, the passages of Latin, French, Spanish, and, of course, English.
And I will probably ask myself the same questions including whether Joyce was having a bit of a laugh at the literati and academics. This is a question that has popped into my head quite frequently as I wade through this masterpiece of Joyce’s.
And notwithstanding that I am not yet finished the book I am actually looking forward to going back and reading it again.