JOYCE AND VIRGINIA WOOLF (COMMENT). When I posted on Virginia Woolf’s view of Joyce, I had been struck by the vehemence of her feelings about the lower classes. Nick and Rebekah posted differing comments about how Virginia Woolf felt about the Irish. Spurred by the comments about Woolf and the Irish, I went to Google and found that her feelings about ULYSSES were much more complex than I had realized. This post on the Blogging Woolf website sketches some of them. I had quoted from Woolf’s Diary: “I finished ULYSSES….Genius it has, I think.” I had not realized that the full sentence was much more negative: “I finished Ulysses, & think it a misfire. Genius it has I think; but of the inferior water. The book is diffuse. It is brackish. It is pretentious. It is underbred, not only in the obvious sense, but in the literary sense.” I also had not realized the extent to which Virginia Woolf felt a sense of competition with the another literary genius of the same age. Some quotes from the Diary on the blog post illustrate this. She acknowledged that she had her “back up on purpose” against ULYSSES and at another time wrote in a letter that: “what she was attempting was probably being better done by mr joyce.”

This entry was posted in Literature. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.