Nolamike wrote:See, that's the problem - Young Man is good, but is nothing compared to Ulysses. Finnegan's Wake is something that almost nobody has read, let alone understood - Ulysses is a much, much, much better read, and is the only Joyce book I have any interest in returning to time and time again. You will never know a literary character the way you know Leopold Bloom by the end of it - it truly is stunning.
I agree. Portrait
feels very transitionary to me - it's Joyce broadly working in the same 'traditional' vein as Dubliners
, but branching out with the style of the diction and the psychological interiority of Stephen Dedalus. Unfortunately, neither of these feel fully fleshed out, and both are trapped by the fact that it's a callow, pretentious young man that he's characterizing. You kind of want to slap him. With Ulysses
both of these aspects become more radical and deep as they cut across society and the middle-aged Leo Bloom - who (again agreeing with Nolamike) is one of the all time great personalities in literature.
But there's no forcing the issue with Ulysses
. Even the most enthusiastic fan has to work hard for the book, but unless you're getting some pleasure and excitement from it too, I doubt that any perseverance and diligent schlepping through the companions will help you see the light. It's an earthy, bawdy book, remember.