Classics Club May Meme

The Classics Club question for May is:
Which classic work has caused you to become a master in avoidance? It’s not necessarily because you’re intimidated but maybe there are works out there that just cause you to have the Dracula reaction: cape-covered arm up in front of face with a step back reaction?

You know, I think it might be Ulysses, by James Joyce.  I'm planning to read lots of things someday, including Proust and Les Miserables and so on---I'm no longer nervous about any of those.  Solzhenitsyn can't scare me any more, and I might even read Moby Dick sometime, though American literature is not my big favorite.   But I have no desire whatsoever to read Ulysses.  Just none. 

Or maybe Clarissa.  I did it once, I don't need to do it again.  At the time, I really got into it, and so did my roommate.  Clarissa kind of hypnotized us, in that we got immersed in it and the premises of Clarissa's behavior made total sense at the time.  It was only a few days afterwards that we sort of came out of it and realized how crazy the whole thing is.  I didn't do that with Pamela last year, which is another book I shall never read again.

Just a cartoon I like, by Wallace Tripp


  1. Great cartoon. That's exactly how I saw library (my Brooklyn accent).

    So is Clarissa not good or is it that her behavior is offensive? I have not read it, nor anything about it.

  2. Clarissa is the epitome of 18th century virtue. Unfortunately, that means that when Mr. Lovelace has his way with her, she orders her own coffin, locks herself up with it, uses it as a desk to write her letters on, and then sets herself to die of sorrow. This makes total sense in the book, but not so much if you are a 20th-century person.

  3. YEP. Ulysses is one of them for me too. I can't think of any reason I'd at any point feel a desire to read Ulysses. Same goes for Hemingway. I read one book by him because I had to in college, and that was PLENTY.

  4. OH. Hemingway. HIM TOO. I read Farewell to Arms, that was enough.

  5. Ulysses is on my list & I'd like to think I will read it one day.
    For me it's Hemingway - I read A Moveable Feast - I can't imagine I will ever want to read anything by him again (although books about his wives are fascinating A Paris Wife).


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