chapter  95
Review in Daily Express 1922
Pages 1

Mr. James Joyce, an Irish novelist to whom no one would deny originality, has followed it in Ulysses . . . to recesses which few of us altogether care to probe. It is significant that most of the younger writers defy conventional reticences in so far as they describe all that most of us do and say. Mr. Joyce goes much further: from his pages there leap out at us all our most secret and most unsavoury private thoughts. Our first impression is that of sheer disgust, our second of irritability because we never know whether a character is speaking or merely thinking, our third of boredom at the continual harping on obscenities (nothing cloys a reader's appetite so quickly as dirt); our fourth, of real interest at watching the vagaries of a mind sensitive to all scents and sounds and colours. But art (if this is art) consists no longer in selection . . . Reading Mr. Joyce is like making an excursion into Bolshevist Russia: all standards go by the board: reading Mr. Coleridge's excellent selections [in Letters to my Grandson on the Glory of English Prose, by Stephen Coleridge] is to be soothed into sanity again and to be made aware of the necessity for putting up a fight to preserve the noble qualities of balance, rhythm, harmony, and reverence for simple majesty that have been for three centuries the glory of our written tongue. . . .