The value of extensive literary analysis has been questioned by several prominent artists. Vladimir Nabokov once wrote that good readers do not read books, and particularly those which are considered to be literary masterpieces, "for the academic purpose of indulging in generalizations".  At a 1986 Copenhagen conference of James Joyce scholars, Stephen J. Joyce (the modernist writer's grandson) said, "If my grandfather was here, he would have died laughing ... Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man can be picked up, read, and enjoyed by virtually anybody without scholarly guides, theories, and intricate explanations, as can Ulysses , if you forget about all the hue and cry." He later questioned whether anything has been added to the legacy of Joyce's art by the 261 books of literary criticism stored in the Library of Congress . 
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The first entry in the diary reads, "Tonight the moon is very bright. I begin to realize that during the past thirty-odd years I have been in the dark." What is the significance of the moon image? Does it occur elsewhere in the story? What does it suggest or stand for? What is the madman able to see under the moonlight? Does the moon have anything to do with his "madness"? What is hidden in the darkness? Why is daylight, when there is no moon, depressing to the madman?