Friday, June 11, 2004

In what ultimate ambition had all concurrent and consecutive ambitions now coalesced?

I mostly suffered through Tim Cavanaugh's Reason Online article on Ulysses, which in the end is not quite the condemnation you expect from the pull-quote at the top. Cavanaugh actually seems to be tearing the book down only to build it back up.

Personally, I think all the controversy over the book is silly and useless. I mean, it's interesting, of course, all thse people like Dale Peck getting it off their chest how much they hate the book, but it's a bit like people who say Bob Dylan can't sing. It doesn't matter, you know? It's like throwing palm-frond nuts at the Taj Mahal. It's there, it's a fact, it's immortal, and you can't move it.

Obviously, there's a lot to hate in the book; anyone who reads it will find patches of boredom (here's the chapter that fucks with my little brain) just as -- hopefully, and certainly in my case -- there will be greater and more intoxicating sections they find they can't live without. The Ithaca chapter, for example, is maybe one of the two or three greatest things I've ever read in my entire life: it's a symphony of words that breaks the heart every time. I love reading it aloud. Parts of Nausicaa too, and others.

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