Friday, March 09, 2007

James Joyce

Dear Mr Joyce,

I want you to know that I think your book, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, is the stupidest book I have ever read. I only read it because it was on the reading list for my Twentieth Century Novel course. I was bored from start to finish (except for a few pages where it looked like some semblance of a plot was forming), and from about page 200 I was counting the pages until the end. I don't know why you "artistic" types feel that to be a real artist you have to bore any normal people to tears. Stephen Dedalus is an arrogant twerp and the rest of the characters seem to me just to be shadow-like plot devices to use whenever you get sick of the sound of your own voice (which, believe me, is not often). No wonder the book was only $8.

I have heard before that Ulysses is the greatest novel ever written in English. Although I have not read that novel, my scepticism is now unbounded. Do you write these books simply to torment English students who already have too much reading to do anyway?

Yours sincerely,


LEstes65 said...

Oh my goodness, this cracked me up. And almost (I repeate, ALMOST) makes me want to go read Mr. Joyce's missive. But if it bored you? I wouldn't even make it past page 3.

Love the letter!

(PS - found you through Darlene & Sarakastic)

Stacy said...

You are so funny. I actually liked Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, but I'm okay with books that lack an obvious plot and I can completely understand why other people wouldn't like it.

I haven't read Ulysses. I've always wanted to so I could feel smart, but actually doing so seems so tedious. Maybe it'll be a 2008 resolution for me.