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Prismattic comments on Three Worlds Collide (0/8) - Less Wrong

48 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 30 January 2009 12:07PM

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Comment author: Prismattic 01 July 2013 04:47:51AM 0 points [-]

Interesting choices to represent better literature.

Personally, I think James Joyce's work is the Sokal hoax of highbrow literature, but YMMV. (I'm not kidding.)

Comment author: [deleted] 07 August 2013 10:55:14PM *  2 points [-]

I don't think you're kidding, but my response to this will vary depending on whether you have made an honest effort to read Joyce. Have you actually sat down with any of his books? Which ones, and how long did you give it?

Personally, I feel that Ulysses delivered one of the single most transporting experiences I've ever had as a reader. However, the book is deliberately hard in places. It's kind of like "The Neverending Story" -- Joyce is writing about The Hero's Journey but he aims to make you, the reader, experience that journey on a visceral level along with the protagonist of the book. So when things are hardest for the protagonist, the book also becomes difficult to decode and to read.

My opinion is that this trick pays off in the end, when I as a reader experienced a sense of relief and homecoming just as the protagonist did. The last line of Ulysses can be endlessly quoted ("yes I said yes I will Yes") but the sweetness and the power of it is something that has to be experienced, by going on the journey.