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Why did I say I was reading Ulysses?

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Offline Notoriety Reading Five Days in May by Andrew Adonis
14 Jul 2011, 07:39 PM | Post: #11

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RE: Why did I say I was reading Ulysses?

Hi Leelee,

You're right classics are written differently. Pre 1900 novels were usually written with longer and more complex sentence structure and using more abstract nouns. All pretty much due to the effect of education in Latin and Greek. The result of this is that we are slightly distanced from the characters in a more formal world not just of the prose but of the society they inhabit. Pre-Freud novels were less interested in characters' inner world and more in the interaction between them and their outer worlds. Probably the greatest example of this and one of the finest English novels ever is of course Middlemarch which charts the social pressures on the lives of "respectable" people like Dorothea, Casaubon, Lydgate and Bulstrode who try to lead "successful" lives but end up experiencing their own and others' hypocrisy and failure. Although their inner struggles are less prominent than in more recent fiction - and certainly far from the "misery memoirs" - we share their predicaments and feel for their constricted selves. On a very different tack The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman is a rumbunctious and at times bawdy account of domesticity that rambles hilariously through various ideas and social mishaps, though famously containing very little of the life of Tristram Shandy, yet written in a style that repays dense attention. Its apparently shapeless structure and self-referencing have even led it to be called the first post-modern novel. So let's hear it for the classics!

Now Ulysses - that's a different kettle of fish!

Tony

Currently Reading:Five Days in May by Andrew Adonis Last Book I Read:The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes Favourite Genres:Classics, politics, foreign language, "lit fic", funFavourite eBooks:
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