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View Poll Results: Ulysses: Yea or Nay?
Nay - Too difficult 0 0%
Nay - Too pretentious 0 0%
Nay - Too boring 1 3.70%
Nay - Too long 0 0%
Nay - More than one of the above 7 25.93%
Not yet - But I plan to get around to it. Someday. 6 22.22%
Never tried it; never will 8 29.63%
yes I said yes I will Yes 5 18.52%
Voters: 27. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-11-2022, 09:42 AM   #1
issybird
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Ulysses: Yea or Nay?

Yesterday, the Guardian published an appreciation of James Joyce’s Ulysses to mark both its centenary this year and Bloomsday next week. The verdict is that it’s a masterpiece.

Guardian tribute

So, what say we all?
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Old 06-11-2022, 10:53 AM   #2
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I voted for the multiple nay.
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Old 06-11-2022, 11:09 AM   #3
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Never tried and never will. Not interested.
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Old 06-11-2022, 11:12 AM   #4
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I've seen enough reviews to know that I will never try a book by Joyce.
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Old 06-11-2022, 11:20 AM   #5
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I voted for the multiple nay.
How much of it have you read? People can vote as they wish, naturally, but I envisioned the “Nay” options as reflecting having at least taken a stab at it. The “Never” option is for those who think it’s difficult, pretentious, dull and long and for that reason will not. That’s my reaction to Finnegans Wake.
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Old 06-11-2022, 12:15 PM   #6
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I said 'Nay too boring', but it wasn't all boring for me. It was a long, long time ago that I read it, but I mostly remember several slightly to moderately interesting passages connected by sections of intense 'meh' (if intense 'meh' is even possible). I don't remember feeling it was overly long, so I guess 'too boring' seems the best fit. I didn't hate it by any means, or even really dislike it overall. It just didn't give off any 'this book is special' vibes. Happy to allow the literary world to disagree with me though. It's no skin off my nose.

Being a fan of The Odyssey in general, I think was hoping for a more direct retelling: Like how Michael Hughes' reimagined The Iliad in his novel Country.

It did help me to determine that 'stream of consciousness' writing is not my cup of tea, though. So I thank it for that.
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Old 06-11-2022, 02:54 PM   #7
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For anyone wanting to read Ulysses, what's the best edition/version?

Last edited by JSWolf; 06-11-2022 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 06-11-2022, 03:20 PM   #8
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For anyone wanting to read Ulysses, what's the best translation?
From the original English/Irish, you mean?
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Old 06-11-2022, 08:29 PM   #9
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The only James Joyce I have read is Dubliners, which I have to say I didn't love. Still, I'm prepared to have a go if enough people are interested and are prepared to participate in a discussion.
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Old 06-12-2022, 10:05 AM   #10
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I chose "Not yet - But I plan to get around to it. Someday." but I must admit that "plan" may be too strong a word.
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Old 06-13-2022, 10:46 AM   #11
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I voted for masterpiece, but I also think DiapDealer has a point.

I’ve read it twice. The first time was in Freshman English paying attention to the particulars, so it was interesting but not compelling. Then, a few years later, post college, I decided to read it again for the grand sweep and it was great; however, I don’t think that would have worked without the background from my first reading.

How hard should you have to work at a great book? There’s no right answer.
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Old 06-13-2022, 10:54 AM   #12
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How hard should you have to work at a great book? There’s no right answer.
Didn't Joyce say that it took him ten years to write Finnegan's Wake, so it should take you ten years to read it? If so, we know his take on how hard you should work at it.
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Old 06-13-2022, 11:21 AM   #13
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Didn't Joyce say that it took him ten years to write Finnegan's Wake, so it should take you ten years to read it? If so, we know his take on how hard you should work at it.
With more effort then I am willing to give any book.
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Old 06-13-2022, 11:42 AM   #14
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I would have also have considered selecting an option like, "Yes. Based just on the sheer number of people who DO consider it a masterpiece, it must be one."

After all... a "Masterpiece" of literature has never been defined as a work that "Everyone, everywhere loves utterly."
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Old 06-13-2022, 12:36 PM   #15
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I read for pleasure and am not willing to work at any book, hard or otherwise. I'm lazy and hate anything even faintly smelling like a challenge. Nothing turns me off faster than the prospect of having to make an effort. No thanks.

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