Should Mrs. Dalloway be demoted?

Yeesh. I bet this Andre Aciman fellow is going to have a great time at parties for the next long while.

What book would you elevate to the canon, and what book would you remove?

I would remove “Mrs. Dalloway,” by Virginia Woolf, and elevate “Nightwood,” by Djuna Barnes. As is the case with “Ulysses,” everyone speaks very highly of “Nightwood,” but few read it cover to cover. “Nightwood” is a bold, exceptionally well-written modernist prose poem, and remains the closest thing to James Joyce. No wonder T. S. Eliot wrote the introduction for it. “Mrs. Dalloway” is an overrated novel that I don’t find particularly gripping or interesting. I’m not even sure it’s well written.

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