Sunday, September 13, 2015


A superficial undergraduate seminar on Joyce's Ulysses presented in lightly novelized form, The House of Ulysses might be of interest to first-time readers seeking a reader-friendly guidebook to Joyce's great novel, but experienced Joyceans will learn little here. Considered as a novel, Rios' book is even less interesting. He gestures toward character-creation but fails to sufficiently differentiate his multiple speakers; he never successfully turns them from 'speakers' to 'characters.' And the book overall fails to achieve even the most limited autonomy from the far, far superior text it parasitizes. Rios seems to have been shooting for a Calvinoesque novel-as-seminar, an If On A Winter's Night a Traveler... of Ulysses; but he clipped the target on a corner, flipped it upside down, and produced this seminar-as-novel, a readable, jargon-free intro to Ulysses, and nothing more than that.

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