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.
A couple of days ago at my own blog I briefly mentioned a new collection from Columbia University Press of the letters of Sylvia Beach, owner of Shakespeare and Company, publisher of Ulysses, and champion of Moderns. The book offers the expected mix of straightforward business letters–
I enclose a letter that I have just received [...]
Great news Joyce-lovers: after 30 years of hard work, scholars will be publishing a definitive, corrected edition of Finnegans Wake. Just don’t expect to be able to afford it.