Jest vs Joyce

by Conor Friedersdorf

Alan Jacobs compares Infinite Jest to Ulysses, and writes that "I am coming more and more to suspect that Infinite Jest would be a great book at half its current length." I agree with that judgment, though I very much enjoyed Infinite Jest.

I also enjoyed A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, but Ulysses is the single novel that I've started and been unable to finish. Even as I came across delightful turns of phrase, I hated the it, despite usually loving long, ambitious, unorthodox novels from Don Quixote on down. Given the opportunity to study it under Professor Jacobs, I'd give it another try.