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Thread: Your thoughts on Ulysses

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    Your thoughts on Ulysses

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    Last edited by S.MacConmidhe; 01-29-2009 at 04:46 AM.

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    I'm surprised this hasn't gotten any responses yet.

    I will say that I first read Ulysses for a class that dedicated ten weeks to the novel. At first I wondered how you could fill ten weeks with one novel. Obviously, I was baffled by the end of the course at how much we didn't have time to discuss. I appreciated the novel for a work of genius, connected with Bloom and felt great sympathy for Molly, but I didn't actually love the novel. Until I attended the James Joyce summer school in Dublin two weeks ago. I left with a newly-cultivated love affair for the novel. I'm in the process of reading it again very slowly. Three pages a day at the most. I want to do some more study of Molly and Bloom and the way their guilt over having lost a son manifests throughout the novel. Any thoughts?

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    Modernist Nemo Neem's Avatar
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    It's my all-time favorite book. I have to say that James Joyce is a literary genius. The book is so surreal, so decayed, and yet humorous at the same time...and also very perverted. A great piece of literature!
    Favorite authors: Poe, Kafka, Hawthorne, Melville, Whitman, Kosinski, Faulkner, Crane, Fitzgerald, Cervantes, Joyce, Dickens

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    My Ulysses Code

    I read not so much for the narrative, but, rather, for the brilliance.
    I don't have much patience with Joyce's ramblings. I have learned to screen the
    stream of consciousness, and do screen it in favor of the diamond miner's eagerness for the gems. Reader does not have to look very far in this book for memorable pieces of writing.

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    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
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    I am reading this book not for fun or entertainment, and it has little of them at least on my level. I understand little but I am really wooed to read it for I do not know what engages me in this very tough book, may be the art of the book and nothing else in point of fact

    “Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature””

    “If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

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    For example, on page 131 in the Modern Library edition,
    consider this paragraph for humor.

    What was their civilisation?...........
    ....It is meet to be here. Let us construct a watercloset."

    James Joyce can be very funny.

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    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed_shaw View Post
    For example, on page 131 in the Modern Library edition,
    consider this paragraph for humor.

    What was their civilisation?...........
    ....It is meet to be here. Let us construct a watercloset."

    James Joyce can be very funny.
    Of course the funniest part of him despite his rigors is what charms all of us and we are really hooked to his difficult writings in point of fact. He is not just pedantic, at times he becomes so unhurried and relaxed with humor and hilarity

    “Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature””

    “If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

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    Modernist Nemo Neem's Avatar
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    ...each contemplating the other in both mirrors of the reciprocal flesh of theirhisnothis fellowfaces.
    Now that's funny!
    Favorite authors: Poe, Kafka, Hawthorne, Melville, Whitman, Kosinski, Faulkner, Crane, Fitzgerald, Cervantes, Joyce, Dickens

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    I dug into Ulysses a couple weeks ago after having read alot ABOUT it and about Joyce as well and also after reading "Portrait" and "Stephen Hero" to prepare me.

    I've thankfully had some guides with me to help navigate through difficult chapters but so far it's been a great reading experience. I'm up to "Sirens" now and I think the book is absolutely incredible.


    "Lestrygonians" was so fun to read, up to that point of the book it's the longest chapter but I breezed through it so fast because it's written so well and so stimulating to read. He not only paints vivid pictures but does so with the most beautiful words. I also loved "Scylla and Charybdis" and the episode I've just finished, "Wandering Rocks"

    It's incredible how ahead of his time Joyce was, and The Wandering Rocks is a great example. It's just one chapter of his mighty book and, according to his letters, it's sort of an interlude but what a virtuoso piece of writing brilliance!! He weaves the vignettes together like a film and basically constructs Dublin, both physically and socially, out of words. All while that little crumpled throwaway that Bloom tossed away earlier floats along the Liffey which weaves the pieces together like a thread.

    I saw an excellent movie not too long ago called "Paris, je t'aime" and immediately recognized that they took that entire theme from Joyce's Wandering Rocks.



    From a macro-cosmic perspective it's fascinating and brilliant, but from the microcosmic it's perhaps even better. The sentences are rich, especially the thoughts and words of Stephen. I just absolutely love it and, from what I've read, it's going to get even better now as I drift into the realm of the Sirens, Cyclops, and Nausicaa.

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    I think Joyce must have had quite an influence on movie writers and directors.
    A fine example on page 381 of the Modern Library edition, 374 of the original:
    He's lost in thought, the reader not knowing exactly where he is, Bloom, that is,
    deep in thought. Suddenly, external reality comes into the picture, as he
    looks down at something on the ground. The sequence goes like this:

    ".....Must nail that ad of Keyes's. Work Hynes and Crawford.
    Petticoats for Molly. She has something to put them in. What's that?
    Might be money.
    Mr. Bloom stooped and turned over a piece of paper on the strand.
    He brought it near his eyes and peered...... "

    The reader had not known Bloom was walking along the seashore, thinking
    and talking to himself. There is a hint of where Bloom is. Then the details.
    Very similar to what became the techniques of the modern cinema, 1920's
    and 1930's.
    This is part of the fun of reading Ulysses. It is so unique.

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    ulysses

    you have pointed out to something very interesting and thought provoking in the great novel ulysses.

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    With your permission, mansoor7, astute of you to take note of that. I say that with impugnity because, at 65 years, and after several aborted attempts dating back to
    my college days, the book finally took hold; you could say I wouldn't give up.
    Any rate, I'm making notes in the margin as a aid to referring back, and would be
    happy to share an annotation or two with you, if you'd wish.
    Now, I am just past that break point on page 429 (421) where about 200 pages
    of what looks like scripted material emerges. What do you make of that section,
    if you don't mind my asking? (The exchange with Mrs. Breen was great.)

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    I didn't like the book at all! What a waste of time it was! I don't know why I kept on reading it, I guess it was because I wanted to know how it would end. Mr. Joyce knew a lot of things, there's no doubt about that, but this was a book I could definitely put down.

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    Took me years but I finally got it read. It was worth the wait and the effort. I kept trying which included reading Richard Ellmann's biography James Joyce.

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    I would also add that Anthony Burgess' REJOYCE was a huge help.

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