So I guess the answer for me would be yes, Ulysses is worth reading if only to find out what all the fuss is about. I would agree that The Portrait is great, but that's an easy read and not the same investment of time, and not great enough to convince me about the other two novels. As I said originally, it's my solely my respect for Campbell that even makes me consider them. I've always connected with the objectivist idea that honorable people don't distort communication. I just don't have much respect for those who deliberately make themselves obscure, especially when their ideas are finally those religious ideas that are actually not obscure but lie implicit in everything around and within us. But maybe Joyce had a reason that can't be seen from the outside, so I'm leaving that open. One possibility I see is that the difficulty is something like an initiation, that is preparatory for some revelation. So I'll see for myself.
20 years ago I might have asked the same thing. Now, I judge that Campbell was flat out wrong in several areas, and that his persona covered over what I consider some serious weaknesses in his method and scholarship. Regardless, if I had a chance to spend a day talking with any one deceased person, barring my family he's the one.But I would have a hard time understanding how anyone can be a Joseph Campbell fanatic, like me, and not enjoy the book that Campbell claims was the most enjoyable book he has ever read.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Robert G. on 2005-04-03 15:03 ]</font>
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Robert G. on 2005-04-03 15:05 ]</font>