It is here that Mr. Joyce’s parallel use of the Odyssey has a great importance. It has the importance of a scientific discovery. No one else has built a novel upon such a foundation before: it has never before been necessary. I am not begging the question in calling Ulysses a ‘novel’; and if you call it an epic it will not matter. If it is not a novel, that is simply because the novel is a form which will no longer serve; it is because the novel, instead of being a form, was simply the expression of an age which had not sufficiently lost all form to feel the need of something stricter. Mr. Joyce has written one novel — the Portrait; Mr. Wyndham Lewis has written one novel Tarr. I do not suppose that either of them will ever write another ‘novel’. The novel ended with Flaubert and with James. It is, I think, because Mr. Joyce and Mr. Lewis, being ‘in advance’ of their time, felt a conscious or probably unconscious dissatisfaction with the form, that their novels are more formless than those of a dozen clever writers who are unaware of its obsolescence.
TS Eliot, ‘Ulysses, Order, and Myth’. (via ailsabcd)