Non-Objective Writing

I have had the misfortune of reading Virginia Woolf and James Joyce this past week for an sophomore level English Literature class.

First, let me state that I am NOT in favor of censorship, as James Joyce’s work was censored at one time, and I am totally opposed to that.

Unfortunately, as a proponent for free speech, sometimes I am left to defend the vilest folks.  Instead, tonight, I will briefly discuss how much I hate non-objective writing, not from the point of view of banning it, but from the problems in reading it.

James Joyce’s Ulysses has one section titled, Penelope.  It is an eight-page, vulgar, run-on sentence.  This is regarded as an amazing literary masterpiece.

I’m not offended by vulgarity.  I’m a former night-shift truck stop cashier.  However, Joyce rambles on like a 12 year old who learned a new set of dirty words or found a new porn magazine.

I’m not offended by bad writing.  However, Joyce has one run-on sentence. FOR EIGHT PAGES.

Literary critics like Joyce because they believe that if they, “can’t understand it, it must be deep.”   This allows all manner of nonsense to be passed off as art.  By that definition, a drunk mumbles an unintelligible phrase, and it will pass as art.

By denying the connection between reality and art, the lazy artist can demand the same treatment as the productive, objective artist.  He or she can puke on a canvas and demand that it be treated as Mona Lisa, and if you don’t see the connection, it must be deep.

I read James Joyce in an anthology that also contained such works as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  Compare these two, and you’ll see that one is art, and one is garbage.

Thank you for reading my post.

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