Would You Read 'Ulysses' Over and Over Rather Than "Read" a Graphic "Novel"?

Christian Lorentzen is an editor and writer  for The London Review Of Books, and a regular contributor to New York Magazine and Vulture. He's liked by a fair few folk, has just under 10,000 followers on Twitter – but this week, his reach extended quite a bit further than that.

Replying to a now-deleted critique of James Joyce's classic "Ulysses" by Adam Serwer (staff writer for The Atlantic and known to read a comic book or two in his time), Christian posted:

Well, just as Adam was being attacked (a lot) by James Joyce fans, so was Christian under social media assault from comic book fans. Who, stripped of the original context, felt their medium was being besmirched.

I saw it as a little false equivalence, along the lines of someone saying 'I'd rather eat lobster Thermidor than ever 'listen' to musical 'performances" but some people wanted to do the equivalent of condemning him for never having heard of Bach.

Here are some of the more entertaining responses.

And he replied to a few, too.

Didn't put quotes around them though, Christian…

But this didn't help

Neither did this.

I'm mean – they're actual people. That's an even more unfair comparison.

But it turned out that Christian was going to read a comic book…

Would You Read Ulysses Over and Over Than Ever 'Read' a Graphic 'Novel'?

Damn, it had to be that one. I'd have gone with Al Davison's Minotaur's Tale. It works, honest.

But there was a celebrity in the house.

And it was a reply to him…

That got a concession from Christian,

Though probably not one that would contradict his original point…

Good luck with Moonshadow, Christian. It's getting a nice new hardcover any day now. But you know, if you were still minded, I'd recommend trying Longshot Comics by Shane Simmons. It's got hardly any pictures at all… and the first two volumes are free on Kindle Unlimited.

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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