chapter  100
4 Pages

Review, Dublin Reviewseptember 1922, Clxxi, 112-19

This absence of the ordinary guide-posts of literature injures author as well as reader, for one may fairly assume that the author has something to say to his reader or he would not go to the trouble of writing and printing his work. He knows also that he is saying it in a new way. It seems gratuitous to put unnecessary difficulties in the way of a proper understanding of his message, story or record. For instance, much of the action of Ulysses is sub-conscious. Innumerable passages, and often whole pages together, record inward mental impressions, reactions from some external happening-a word, a sight of thing or person, a smell, a sound,—no hint or guide is given as to where these interpolations begin or end. They run on without warning from the known and familiar to the unknown and strange, on the assumption that the reader is as well-informed on the subject as James Joyce. The result is that the reader is continually losing his way and having to retrace his steps. Ulysses is like a country without roads. But it is a novel, and if it will not amuse the idle novel reader, or even attract the lewd by its unsavoury franknesses, it must claim the attention of those who look upon fiction as something more than confectionery. With all its faults, it is the biggest event in the history of the English novel since Jude.