Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I'm rereading James Joyce's Ulysses for my online bookclub. The first time I read it was in a college course with a professor from Ireland who was wonderful and helped bring this dense, though brilliant work to light. I am trudging through it. There are parts where one can breeze along, but not many. I won't reveiw Ulysses as it's clearly a masterpiece, but I do question whether a writer should try to write in such a way thtat those who haven't a command of say ancient Greek or an indepth knowledge of every mythology in the world. To spend 10 years writing something that you know most people won't finish seems rather a poor use of one's talent in a way. We know Joyce is smart, so is the obscurity necessary.

He was a pioneer of stream of consciousness, but now that that's something people are aware of, I read the passages of Bloom's thoughts and think, this really isn't the way people do think. It's not quite so filled in with facts and explanations because one doesn't have to explain much to one's self.

I will say Proust is a more enjoyable read than this is now. I wish I had a copy with footnotes. That would make a world of difference.

I do think the best way to read this is in a class where you meet at least weekly to make sense of the plot and themes. I find i keep forgetting what happened.

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