Anthony Burgess on James Joyce’s gift.
A mark of Joyce’s genius was to recognise the smallness of his poetic talent and to see how a fine ear and a weak lyrical impulse could revolutionise the prose of a whole era.
Joysprick: An Introduction to the Language of James Joyce
C.D. Lewis The Lyric Impulse.
It would be difficult to overestimate the harm done to language by modern advertisement. Amongst other things, the flowery, cynical appeals of publicists have set up a strong but undiscriminating reaction. If a man speaks eloquently, with panache, we at once suspect him of insincerity: we feel he is trying to get at us. This attitude of ours has spread over into literature. To many critics and younger writers in Britain, ‘charm’, ‘grace’, ‘style’ are naughty words […] Here again the lyric suffers. A lyric poem must have some sort of grace; and charm is after all, carmen — a lyric song. If we so distrust charm and grace and style, and will have nothing but honest rugged poetry with no nonsense about it, we are discouraging the lyric impulse, and in doing so we cut off the main stream of poetry from one of its tributaries.
Joyce’s Bloom in Ulysses was an ad man.
And so for day 1307