There are many pages, and not a few whole scenes, in Mr. Joyce's book which are undoubtedly the work of a man of genius, nevertheless, it leaves us combative. The reader - who is as much ignored, and as contemptuously as it is possible for him to be in a printed work - revolts and asserts himself from time to time, and refuses to sit down passively under the writer’s scorn.
This is part of one distinguishing feature of the book - its astounding bad manners. Not all the scenes are touched by genius. Some read like disagreeable phonographic records of the stupid conversations of ill-born and ill-bred youths, compact of futile obscenities, aimless outrages against reasonable decencies - not immoral, but non-normal in a bad-mannered fashion. One is driven to the conclusion that this gifted and very modern writer who rejects old theories so contemptuously is slave to a new and particularly stupid one.