I had started reading this book way back in 2009, but I thought I misplaced it, only to find it 8 months later in the inner zip of a travel bag. From...moreI had started reading this book way back in 2009, but I thought I misplaced it, only to find it 8 months later in the inner zip of a travel bag. From what I had read back then, I remember liking it, though finding it tremendously difficult to read. This time when I read those first 115 pages again, I found them very lucidly written and I absolutely loved his style of writing and Stephen's earlier life. But as he aged, I was able to connect at a lesser level with him, not as much as I could connect and relate to the younger Stephen who was afraid of the Prefect who, with his "swish of the soutane", would inflict corporal punishment, as was the norm in those days in the highly Catholicised schools. His gradual disenchantment from religion and the conventions holding him back and trying to forcibly mould him into something that was expected of him and into something "he was not", as he mentioned in a conversation in the later half of the book, was what attracted me to his character a lot.
But towards the later part of the book, it kind of loses its steam for me. Even though some characteristics of Stephen's nature like having the feeling of being different from others around him, his belief in the importance of being intellectually independent in pursuit of art, the loneliness which he feels at times, his estrangement from Religion as he grew up - these were some of the things that I could relate to, having developed a predilection towards noticing the horror that religion has the ability to inflict, and not able, so far, to see the beneficent role that religion plays in one's life. But as he grew up, I felt I could relate less to him than I could to a younger Stephen. May be because he grew out of what I expected him to become, or maybe because of my limited ability to follow the highly complex stream-of-consciousness prose that Joyce excels at - whatever be the reason, I found the first half of the book much more gripping and profound, even though his deep discourse on aesthetics comes only in the second half of the book.
A good book, a brilliant writer nonetheless. I would like to come back to this book sometime again. I know I would absorb and appreciate much more.(less)
Wuthering Heights is a dark tale of love in all its madness, possessiveness, narcissism and cruelty. It is very tempting to wave away the work for the...moreWuthering Heights is a dark tale of love in all its madness, possessiveness, narcissism and cruelty. It is very tempting to wave away the work for the utter incomprehensibility of the characters seems immense, the other-worldliness of the whole scenario removed from our understanding of this world, and the extremely sinuous style of narration with the characters so greatly intertwined with each other. But every reader who dislikes this work of genius is bound to walk away with a feeling in his/her gut that there was something about the work which passed me by, like the train which you expect to stop at your station but honks by, haughtily, with a contemptuous disregard for your feelings. The precociousness of the way in which Emily expresses or rather carves out this hateful and dark world is something to wonder at. With its originality of content, characterization and narrative, this book stands out. (less)