Ulysses Criticism

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Highlighting both the strengths and limitations of the novel, Edmund Wilson’s 1922 review in New Republic is an excellent starting place for evaluating the critical reviews garnered by Ulysses. Wilson applauds the work for its “high genius,” and at the same time, he asserts that Joyce “has written some of the most unreadable chapters in the whole history of fiction.” Wilson calls Joyce’s “technical triumph . . . the most faithful X-ray ever taken of the ordinary human consciousness.” Wilson explains that Joyce shows all the ignobility of common people in such a way that readers sympathize with and respect them. According to Wilson, Joyce demonstrates “his extraordinary poetic faculty for investing particular incidents with universal significance.” Yet Wilson faults Joyce’s work on two counts: first, its form is dictated by the form of the Odyssey rather than...

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This section contains 646 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ulysses Study Guide
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