DorianGray said:I have tried on two occasions to read 'Ulysses' and have never made it past page 100. When I encounter words like 'contransmagnificandjewbangtantiality' it tends to render me a bit disheartened.
I really wanted to enjoy the book as I'd heard good things about it but all I really got from it was a sense that Joyce enjoyed rubbing people's noses in the fact that he was too profound for most people to understand.
Joyce took years off his life writing that book...I don't think he risked body and soul just to show off. However, what he did do was create a deeply complex, densely layered narrative that pushed the limits of what is writing and indeed, what is reading. When I first read "Ulysses" I was given six weeks to do it as part of an English Lit. course at uni. I wept and cursed and swore I would hate that prof forever and all time. But over the summer, I felt an odd compulsion to go back to that humongous paperweight of a book and have another go. Something about the fluidity of the writing, the memorable phrasing, the layers of history, mythology, psychology, and imagination, wouldn't let me discard it. Having an entire summer to read it made a tremendous difference. I know it isn't an "easy" read and, having read it twice more in the course of my life, I know it's impossible to glean everything from the book in one go. Personally, I've found the more age and experience I have, the more I "get" out of "Ulysses." People ask what's that one book that changedyourlife/madeyouloveliterature/willstaywithyouforever/whatever, and for me that book has always been "Ulysses," so I try to encourage people to stay with it, go back to it, and give it another try. And many thanks to Prof. Pollack, wherever she is!