Reading it in college a few years ago, the aspect of Ulysses that struck me hardest was the sheer modernness of it; famously structured like a Greek epic, awash in exacting period detail of 1904 Ireland, and written nearly a century ago, Ulysses still feels contemporary in its bawdy and frank sexuality. As someone who loves the book, I’d prefer this aspect of the novel to be spoken of more, rather than the silly and anti-intellectual discussions of whether it’s “unreadable” or too difficult to enjoy.
Enough telling me what it’s like to read a book by Vollmann; at this point, if I’m reading the review, I probably already know. How about engaging the man’s ideas head-on, and not simply expressing your mild distaste for the presentation?
As an industry philosophy, his perception about reading as a communal activity is both heartening and seemingly irrefutable. But what practices, specifically, does Nash advocate? Has he outlined these practices elsewhere?
This press-release-ish Bloomberg article on Chad Harbach’s staggering $650,000 advance for his debut novel, The Art of Fielding, leaves the most pressing question unanswered: Why? The writer gives many reasons why the book could be a low-seller (long page length, a niche topic, Infinite Jest-level ambition,no vampires) without explaining why on earth Little, Brown spent [...]
The structure makes every character’s thoughts and actions feel preordained, befitting Spark’s thematic preoccupation with Calvinist philosophy. We get to know “the Brodie set” as women and girls simultaneously, which gives the narration an almost cruel omniscience; no one has any recognizable agency, since their stories are all complete from the introductions onward.