Lit snit over ‘twit’ hit (Paulus Cunīculus vs. Oolissays)
Story in The Christian Science Monitor –
The latest literary matchup pits Brazilian modernist novelist Paulo Coelho against Irish novelist James Joyce and his seminal work, the epic “Ulysses.”
“Today writers want to impress other writers,” Coelho told Brazilian newspaper Folha de S Paulo. “One of the books that caused greatest harm was James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses,’ which is pure style. There is nothing there. Stripped down, ‘Ulysses’ is a twit.”
A reader of The Guardian (“Paulo Coelho’s attack on Ulysses insults readers”) has commented :
Joyce pronounced his book “Oolissays” in the manner of an Irish classicist.
He told me that a man had taken Oolissays to the Vatican and had hidden it in a prayer-book, and that it had been blessed by the Pope. He was half-amused by this and half-impressed. He saw that I would think it funny, and at the same time he did not think it wholly funny.
. – Harold Nicolson, diary, 4 February, 1934