S.G. Browne

U is for Ulysses

Yes, originally I said this post was going to be U is for Undead.  But Z is for Zombies, like that’s a big surprise, and it seemed kind of silly to preempt zombies with the undead, so I tried to come up with something else and, well, this was it.

Why Ulysses?  Because I have a confession to make.  I’ve never read it.  I don’t even know what it’s about.  And I have never understood any of the obscure references Dennis Miller has made about James Joyce in his stand-up routines.

And it’s not just James Joyce.  I’ve never read any Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, W. Somerset Maugham, Joseph Conrad, Jane Austen, Henry James, John Milton, H.G. Wells, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, or William Faulkner.  And I hated Crime and Punishment.  Read it in my Western Lit class in high school.  The crime was that the book was ever written and the punishment was that I had to read it.

Oh, and I think Hemingway sucks.  Yes, he sucks.  His writing blows.  I don’t know how the man got published.  Yeah, I know.  His writing style had a significant impact on the development of 20th century fiction and his works are considered classic American literature, blah blah blah.

But A Farewell to Arms?  Absolute crap. It’s filled with run-on sentences, repetitive use of qualifiers (like VERY lame), and frequent stretches of dialogue involving multiple characters with no indication as to who’s speaking. Plus, the death scene at the end, where Catherine is in the hospital and the main character, Frederic, is trying to comfort her.  I don’t have the book in front of me, but I seem to recall the dialogue going something like this:

“I love you,” he said.  “I love you.  I love you.  I love you.”
She smiled weakly. “And I love you.”
“I love you so much.”
“I love you.”
“I love you. I love you. I love you.”
“I love you.”

And don’t tell me that’s how they wrote back in the 1920s.  Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, published four years prior to A Farewell to Arms, had beautiful language and believable dialogue.  Hemingway is an overrated hack.

So what is this blog entry actually about and what the hell does it have to do with Breathers or zombies?  Nothing.  Except for the fact that I am obviously not a student of literature and have drawn on none of the famous literary giants in my own writing.  Well, except maybe for Fitzgerald.  Though someone wrote a review of Breathers and mentioned something about channeling Faulkner, which is funny since I’ve never read him, so I have no idea how I channeled the man.
Oh, and I also don’t know what a gerund is.  Though I’m pretty sure I know how to use it.

(Next entry: V is for van Gogh…or maybe Vampires)

Filed under: Breathers,The Writing Life — Tags: , , , — S.G. Browne @ 5:05 am