This book was suggested by my book of the day calendar. I thought, why not? I like Anthony burgess and have never read Joyce, this might inspire me. Well, I read over 125 pages and gave up. Oh, it was written well, but my God! The detail of analysis of each of Joyce's works was like the worst of High School and College English.
I mean, I understand the elements of a story like symbolism, metaphors, similies and what not are important in why people connect. But guess what? I dont care. And probably most people who are not English teachers or writers dont care either. Either they enjoy the story or they dont. They dont care why they enjoy it or not. They just are concerned about the experience itself. I also think this is why the majority of Americans never read a book again after graduation. They are not allowed to just enjoy brilliant stories. They have to pick them to pieces and worry about whether they are getting all the metaphors right or what not. Blah blah, it is work not fun.
I would have qualified for AP English in my High School but opted not to even try because I heard they analyzed tons of poetry to the extreme and it seemed horrible to me. And I lucked out because in my English class I did take, I was exposed to Childhood's End and Brave NEw World and the genre of SCIFI was opened for me. Yay! So, my teacher came to first period reeking of booze and marlboro reds. I was reading. And enjoying it. I answered questions on qiuizzes and tests that were mostly regarding plot points and character traits. It was fun. I finished books early took all the quizzes and then read the other selections for the unit (there were always 5 choices in a unit) read them and took those quizzes too. Not for credit but for fun. Well that and I had time to kill because the rest of the class were still reading their one book for the unit. But I remember that class fondly. The other English classes I took? Not so much...
Maybe teachers need to do BOTH instead of just anaylizing. Maybe they need to understand how offsetting it can be. I dont know, but I do know. I could not finish this book because the minutia (sp?) made me HATE it.