Britain's first book blogger (November 2000)

Monday, May 16, 2005

A letter to the TLS about an obscure and experimental novel

From this week's TLS letters page.

Sir, – Apropos Justin Beplate’s essay on James Joyce (April 29): looking for a book to keep me busy over a weekend in my first year at the University of Cape Town in 1958, I found a fat green book among the novels of the Jagger Library, by someone I hadn’t then heard of. I read it through, not quite in one sitting, but in twenty-four hours. On Monday, I sought out Professor Guy Howarth to tell him I had found this marvellous novel, Ulysses, by an Irish writer called Joyce. Did he know it? Howarth was as always very kind: yes, he had heard of it – and he was glad I had enjoyed it. Thank goodness no one had told me it was difficult; and ever since then I have tried to persuade pupils to read Ulysses just like that, as fast as they can, sliding over anything they can’t at first understand, without worrying about any critical expositions; my hope is that some of them will have reacted as I did all those years ago: with delighted hilarity.

JONTY DRIVER
Apple Yard Cottage, Mill Lane, Northiam, East Sussex.

2 comments:

  1. Terrific! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is almost prophetic! I've been planning to read Ulysses for long and just now ordered a copy from http://www.firstandsecond.com

    Amrit
    http://www.writingcave.com

    ReplyDelete

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