I agree with Woolf here about first impressions, but have always found it useful with any work of art to analyse why I like or dislike a certain work.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Virginia Woolf Diary: 13 September, 1922
"Having written this, L. put into my hands a very intelligent review of Ulysses, in the American Nation; which, for the first time, analyses the meaning; & certainly makes it very much more impressive than I judged. Still I think there is virtue & some lasting truth in first impressions; so I don't cancell (sic) mine. I must read some of the chapters again. Probably the final beauty of writing is never felt by contemporaries; but they ought, I think, to be bowled over; & this I was not".