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Ulysses Bores Me So: First Reactions to Joyce's Masterpiece

Length: 20 pages21 minutes


The publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses was met with both hyperbolic praise and scorn: was Joyce’s evocation of a day in the life of Leopold Bloom’s Dublin a work of genius?  Or was it drivel?  Was it “an entirely new thing” (W. B. Yeats), or “a turgid welter of pornography” (Edith Wharton)? A “work of high genius” (Edmund Wilson) or something rather slighter: “Never did I read such tosh,” Virginia Woolf wrote. In “Ulysses Bores Me So,” a selection from the Bloomsday compendium yes I said yes I will Yes., the evidence is laid bare: the first reviews, letters, and reactions to the book that would change the course of literary history.

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