Reading this fun piece about books that have been “described, whether by critics or the authors themselves, as the Ulyssi of their respective cultures” made me remember how much I loathed James Joyce’s masterpiece when we spent what seemed like five years studying it in a graduate school seminar. Maybe it was our professor’s vaguely fascist insistence that this was a masterwork surpassing all others, or my exhaustion at the tautological discussions of the gorgonzola theme in the book, but this class may have influenced my decision to forgo getting a Ph.D. and venture into the publishing business instead.
We’ve all come across books that other people consider the most, the best, the greatest and that we found unreadable. Here are my top five what-are-people-thinking-when-they-rave-about-them-or-force-you-to-study-them-in-school books (the list is, of course, subject to change):
The Scarlet Letter
The Catcher in the Rye
What are yours?