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"...still driveling in slack-jawed blackguardism..."

George Bernard Shaw was once invited to pre-order a copy of James Joyce's then-forthcoming novel, Ulysses. He declined, making this marvelous reply.

To you possibly it may appeal as art...but to me it is all hideously real: I have walked those streets and know those shops and have heard and taken part in those conversations. I escaped from them to England at the age of twenty; and forty years later have learnt from the books of Mr. Joyce that Dublin is still what it was, and young men are still driveling in slack-jawed blackguardism just as they were in 1870. It is however, some consolation to find that at last somebody has felt deeply enough about it to face the horror of writing it all down and using his literary genius to force people to face it...

Praising the author, while damning the subject matter. Well done, GBS.

June 12, 2014 in Books | Permalink

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