James Joyce (1 Viewer)

Hi, he seems to divide most into love or hate categories, but I was wondering what Bukowski fans think of James Joyce?...a great writer? or plain over-rated?
I got thinking about Joyce right now, after working my way through War all the Time which came in the post today...in the poem The Last Generation he name checks Joyce. Admittedly he mentioned dozens of other writers, so I don't know whether he was a fan or not? or perhaps just acknowledges his status as a writer (didn't think so initially - not that it really matters anyhow)

Myself, I read The Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist as a Young man (this actually reminded me of Fante at points - in style and theme) about two years ago and enjoyed them a lot. Well, late last year I finally started Ulysses and have finished it recently...wow, that was something else. He sure was one eccentric guy (verging of genius, pure insanity and often somewhere in between). It was a bizarre but highly captivating reading experience, which had me hooked pretty early on - once I got the gist of what he was trying to do. I've gotta say that a few of the chapters I almost felt like giving up and throwing the huge godamn brick of a book out the window - but the good parts were greatly rewarding and worth sticking for. In particular I enjoyed his quirky, often profane sense of humour and his sharp observational mind.

Well, I'm just about to watch the movie interpretation. I am interested to see how it the puts Joyces idea across on film.
I dig Joyce. But I'm Irish--so there's a certain cultural bias/obligation. For my money, THE DEAD (the final story in The Dubliners)...is a masterpiece...and at novella length, makes for a good in depth yet approachable read.

In the novels, Joyce was very ambitious...and his readership suffers some as a result. But a really intriguing writer if you are willing to really dig into the work...which, even with cultural obligations, I am not always willing to do. It's like reading Whitman today--some of the language is so thick that you have to take it slow, and research a bit while you read...which isn't as fun as just reading.

At the very least--read it all to figure out WHY you dislike it, I say!
Dubliners and Portrait... are quite readable to me and I liked them both. Ulysses is far more complex but nothing compared to Finnegan's Wake, which dropped me like a stone about five pages in.
Yeah, A Portrait for me is the most rewarding Joyce novel. definitely somewhere in my favourites list. A lot more honest and focused. Ulysses is too big and too conceptual to be my favourite. But that aside it's well worth trying if you liked A Portrait. It's not actually too much of a mind fuck once you shed the preconceptions of a novel, and just lose yourself in the imagery, quirky humour and playful, creative way of writing a novel. (the narrative is just a day in Dublin seen through different reocurring local characters) Okay, it is a mind fuck at times! but I found it an enjoyable book - purely for the amazing stream of conscious style Joyce often drops into (used a lot in his previous works) and the way he captures the ongoing thought processes of the mind. It is very bitty though...it definitely requires patience.

I haven't tried Finnegan's Wake...but yeah, at a glance it seems like he got completely lost in his own world there haha.
Yeah, why not - seems a reasonable excuse for Guinness time! I've gotta say that reading the book made me want to go back to Dublin again.

(argh dammit, you've given me a thirst for the beautiful black stuff now and it's not even 11am)
big Joyce fan, but Finnegan's Wake gives me fits. although it has the best first word of any novel ever: riverrun.

so says me.
Ulysses kicked my ass like no other novel, in ways both good and bad. There were passages that took flight and utterly amazed me and there were sections that just made me want to give up reading for good. There's a lot of mocking humor and digs at the Catholic church, plus tons of Latin phrases that went over my head. Overall, I'm glad I read it, though there's not much comparison style-wise between him and Buk.

Both of them enjoyed flipping the finger at the literary establishment and breaking the rules, that's for sure.

I saw the film, enjoyed it, but have to admit - I was well-fortified with Guinness at the time, so....;)
Portrait is the only Joyce I have read, it was probably about 10 years ago. I read it after reading some list of the greatest novels of all time. I enjoyed it, but it didn't spark me to read anymore Joyce. Some of your guys posts here have re-peaked my interest. I've always wanted to read Ulysses and it sits on one of my shelfs. Maybe I'll try that one soon.
Read Dubliners in college and loved it. So I thought... Hey, what else has he written? Five pages into Ulysses, I quit and never looked back. I keep thinking about trying again, but there's so much out there to read... Still, maybe some day.
I've read Dubliners, Portrait...,and Ulysses, at my own will per say, and in the end all I can say is that Joyce was without a doubt talented beyond belief. But when it comes to enjoyability, not so much. In general I would rather not "work" to finish a book, esp. when there's a pile of unread Bukowski sitting on my shelf. But Joyce's chapter in Portrait... that deals with what he believes hell is like... is INTENSE, and I'm an atheist.

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