Joyce, James. Letter, 1928. Caresse Crosby Collection, Southern Illinois University. Box 53, Folder 2. Image with permission.
becoming a literary snob takes practice and dedication. for instance, making the wrong JRR TOLKIEN reference at a tolkien party could make you a pariah for life… AND heaven help you, if you manage to mix up HENRY JAMES and JAMES HERRIOT. that is a fast ticket to book snob hell.
SO; for all the aspring lit snobs out there (or those who want to impress girls/boys in bars) here is a quick primer.
1) read at least ONE page of “ulysses” by JOYCE. luckily, the english language does not distinguish between “reading” and actually finishing a book (unlike russian, which does a brilliant job of trapping aspiring lit snobs) then, talk about how you have read “ulysses”. everyone will be amazed.
2) next, make a brilliant reference to the fact that a large portion of his collected papers are held at southern illinois university as part of their extremely groovy “irish collections”.
3) after which, you can point out that mister JOYCE’s handwriting is like chickenscratch, and that he would re-write over his page proofs, making them UTTERLY incomprehensible and making HIM the scrouge of long suffering publishers everywhere
in all seriousness however, you (dear readers) should read “ulysses” if only to see creative ways of using the word “gripes”…