Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tweeting Ulysses

I wonder if any of you missed the pontifical declamation by Paulo Coelho asserting that “Today writers want to impress other writers . . . One of the books that caused great harm was James Joyce’s Ulysses, which is pure style. There is nothing there. If you dissect Ulysses, it gives you a tweet.”

What pomposity from someone who churns out such banal pseudo intellectual mysticism.

A great supporter of Joyce and the modernists is Will Self and I would recommend reading his article in the Guardian Saturday Review on 4 August in which he quotes JG Ballard who wrote that it is 'impossible any more to suspend disbelief in those omniscient and invisible narrators of naturalistic fictions, whose tendency to play god with their characters had surely always been a function of their own status as personations of God'!

I would further recommend everyone to read Will Self's new novel, Umbrella, not an easy read but surely one of the most exciting novels to appear on the Booker list for years.   Self does excoriate himself that despite his best efforts to escape the strictures of naturalistic fiction by 'diving into the dangerous waters of the continuous present' and embracing 'the slippery evanescence of the stream of consciousness' he thinks he has failed again.   Read it and judge for yourselves.

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