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Thread: Your thoughts on Ulysses

  1. #16
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    I am not really enjoying or understanding that much, but it is the biggest beast out there that I have not read, possibly excepting War and Peace. When I have finished it I will mount its head on the wall. Then I may read another book that explains what it means and why it's so good.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  2. #17
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    I am over a third the way through. It's more verse than prose. My copy is 930 pages long, but I think you could just read ten pages of each 100, and you would not miss much. You would get 90% of the experience for 10% of the effort. At least that is my impression up to now. It might be different when it gets to Molly Bloom's bit. I think that basically it's just too hard. It reminds me of Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas. Maybe Dylan Thomas was inspired by Ullysses. However, Under Milk Wood is easier to understand, enjoyable, and nowhere near as long. Maybe if I had another twenty IQ points I would think a lot more of Ullysses.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  3. #18
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    I realised that I got all the references to Gilbert and Sullivan. And then thought how many other references to contemporary popular Dublin culture am I missing?
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

  4. #19
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    It seems a post of mine got lost.

    But, never mind. I think the particularity of the readers of "Ulisses" and "Finnegans Wake" is that each of them is unique in the sense that not two of them have the same references. In this sense, each reader of Joyce is reading a different book.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  5. #20
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    The book is making more sense now. The writing changes in style quite a bit. I enjoyed the pub scenes. The drinkers were talking nationalist politics, but reported in a satirical way by the narrator.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  6. #21
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    I was understanding it, but now I'm not understanding it again. James Joyce seems to have changed the standard word order of grammatical English for some reason. Maybe he has borrowed the word order from another language, perhaps ancient Greek or Irish. I expect that is thrilling to somebody.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  7. #22
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    I have been googling why Ulysses is good, and I found this section:

    Ulysses, in other words, is a justification of the effort it takes to read Ulysses. Hence the overwhelming cult around it. Go wandering into its labyrinth and you come out changed by the effort. But—and this is my point—you will find your way out, and you’ll be changed, in some measure, by the experience, too.


    I reckon I will probably finish it unless something unfortunate happens to me first. But will I be a changed person? If so, which part of me will change and will it be for the better? Human beings are very complex, and in order to assess change, one needs to record a before and after state. Perhaps I should make an appointment with a psychologist so I can do some personality tests.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  8. #23
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I think the effort of reading Ulisses is in itself unusual, because it is an difficult book and one of the great universal books it took much knowledge to write, like Cervante's, D. Quixote and Dante´s Divine Comedy. It has also been an cult object at universities, partly by people who haven´t read it.

    So, go ahead!
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

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