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Thread: joyce, genius or not

  1. #16
    Registered User jikan myshkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a lost weekend View Post

    no writer, living or dead, has given as much insight into the mind or man's consciousness as jj did in ulysses (again, like it or not).
    um, poe? from what i read of joyce it shows how 'clever' someones thoughts are. with poe it tears away all of the preconceptions, ego and what not and what is left is the bare bones of humanity- not always pleasent but brutaly honest and often heart wrenchingly beautiful. the loine from poe which i think sums this up best can be found in the raven

    "But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
    That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
    Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
    Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
    On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'"

    in this poem poe explores the depths of mankind, how one longs for solitude, understanding etc yet becomes accustomed to his tormentor and even refers to the other as a 'friend'. maybe an early case of stokholm syndrome? but i'd say poe understood more than any psychologist and unlike other 'great' pschyoanalytical writers could express it in simple language, that everyone can relate to.
    Last edited by jikan myshkin; 05-22-2008 at 05:42 AM.
    ''It isn't enough for your heart to break because everybody's heart is broken now.''
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    "The whole dream of democracy is to raise the proletarian to the level of stupidity attained by the bourgeois."
    - Gustave Flaubert

  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by jikan myshkin View Post
    um, poe? from what i read of joyce it shows how 'clever' someones thoughts are. with poe it tears away all of the preconceptions, ego and what not and what is left is the bare bones of humanity- not always pleasent but brutaly honest and often heart wrenchingly beautiful. the loine from poe which i think sums this up best can be found in the raven

    "But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
    That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
    Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
    Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
    On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'"

    in this poem poe explores the depths of mankind, how one longs for solitude, understanding etc yet becomes accustomed to his tormentor and even refers to the other as a 'friend'. maybe an early case of stokholm syndrome? but i'd say poe understood more than any psychologist and unlike other 'great' pschyoanalytical writers could express it in simple language, that everyone can relate to.
    (chokes laughter), um, well, marvellous poet that he is, me thinks not that dear ol' poe devoted 800 pages to try and fi'gre out how the heck the mind works, i.e. in terms o' thought patterns, associations w/ words and objects, stream o' consciousness...

    hardly much of a comparison, I'm afraid.
    Et le ciel versait des tenebres
    Sur le triste monde engourdi.

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    What does that have to do with literature? He's a writer not a psychologist. It's these irrational statements about Joyce that make me puke. He was definitely innovative but frankly to me his works are so analytical they many times lack the flesh and blood of humanity. And one cannot say that about Cervantes or Shakespeare.
    Analytical? Hell, give me an example of the analytical-ness of ol'd brazen head & I'll try not to make you puke.

    There seems to be a -- severe -- misunderstanding in your reading (or, rather, non-reading) of joyce. Analytical is hardly a word one can apply to him. Lyrical, however...

    p.s. you shun the analytical aspect. But -- in that literature depicts man as he is... is it therefore not relevant to take into account how the mind really works? sure, go back to cervantes and shakespeare -- they didn't know it yet. But to disavow the scope of joyce's achievements based on what you, sir, call analytical-ness, is a grave, grave mistake. Joyce didnt write from a textbook on the mind. He had little knowledge of neurology or any such thing. He wrote from literary perspective, in an attempt to map out the mind in an (ironically) un-analytical approach, un-scientific. He explored the apparent (superficial) disorder of subconscious memories, tied together by verbal analogies and assonance, etc.
    Last edited by a lost weekend; 05-22-2008 at 08:39 AM.
    Et le ciel versait des tenebres
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  4. #19
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a lost weekend View Post
    Analytical? Hell, give me an example of the analytical-ness of ol'd brazen head & I'll try not to make you puke.
    I'm not going to bother. Let people read and judge for themselves. I think there have been people on this thread who agree with me.

    There seems to be a -- severe -- misunderstanding in your reading (or, rather, non-reading) of joyce. Analytical is hardly a word one can apply to him. Lyrical, however...
    I've read Ulysses twice and Portrait of the Artist three times. I've read plenty of critical studies. It's my opinion. You don't buy into it, fine. I said he was a genius, but i do not find him either the equivilant of Cervantes or Shakespeare, not do I find him the greatest writer of the 20th century. Obviously you do. Good for you. Enjoy.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

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    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    I'm not going to bother. Let people read and judge for themselves. I think there have been people on this thread who agree with me.
    I fig'red you wouldn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    I've read Ulysses twice and Portrait of the Artist three times. I've read plenty of critical studies. It's my opinion. You don't buy into it, fine. I said he was a genius, but i do not find him either the equivilant of Cervantes or Shakespeare, not do I find him the greatest writer of the 20th century. Obviously you do. Good for you. Enjoy.
    & here I thought the point of this thread was to do some discussing -- silly me. Don't tell me you've been offended in any way?
    Et le ciel versait des tenebres
    Sur le triste monde engourdi.

  6. #21
    Registered User jikan myshkin's Avatar
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    i've never read a critical text about any book, lie, i was forced to read them about shakspeare. 's said this and he meant this...' sorry how do you know? he told you? ah my apologises kinds sir.

    i've never seen the point of reading a book where you need a key to understand the book. that just seems far too pretenious 'oh it's a famous book but i can;t understand it so i'll read how to read it'. hint- western lit left to right front to back. jap right to left- back to front.

    seriously. if your enjoyment comes only from a feeling of superiority of being able to understand dull texts with or without reading aids, (and i'm not refering to glasses), then well (chokes laughter)...
    ''It isn't enough for your heart to break because everybody's heart is broken now.''
    - Allen Ginsberg

    "The whole dream of democracy is to raise the proletarian to the level of stupidity attained by the bourgeois."
    - Gustave Flaubert

  7. #22
    Registered User kat.'s Avatar
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    What's wrong with doing some further reading to understand a work better? To gather some information maybe about the historical circumstances, or about autobiographical hints etc etc, things you would have never known by pure lecture of the primary work....

  8. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by jikan myshkin View Post
    i've never read a critical text about any book, lie, i was forced to read them about shakspeare. 's said this and he meant this...' sorry how do you know? he told you? ah my apologises kinds sir.

    i've never seen the point of reading a book where you need a key to understand the book. that just seems far too pretenious 'oh it's a famous book but i can;t understand it so i'll read how to read it'. hint- western lit left to right front to back. jap right to left- back to front.

    seriously. if your enjoyment comes only from a feeling of superiority of being able to understand dull texts with or without reading aids, (and i'm not refering to glasses), then well (chokes laughter)...
    You don't need a "key" to enjoy Ulysses; it's perceived "difficulty" is vastly (um, greatly) overrated--I know many people who aren't particularly interested in literature & who - certainly - have no expertise in the area, but are still amazed by Ulysses. The "superiority" thing is for lil' kids who read for the sake of making themselves feel smarter. Ulysses is, 1st and foremost, a very great novel. Different; yes. Experimental; yes. But difficult? Nay...

    That said--people who aren't willing to submit themselves to the, er, 'challenge' of reading a novel that will (permantently, perhaps?) alter their view of the form should stick to reading stuff that requires less concentration & attention &, well, thought.

    To all future readers of Ulysses: shed your prejudice, whether it's of the "I read Ulysses because I'll seem smarter" or the "Wah, wah, it requires a key it's an arrogant, complicated book" kind. Simply shed your illusions & hopes & expectations &--plan & simple--enjoy it. Language like none other.
    Et le ciel versait des tenebres
    Sur le triste monde engourdi.

  9. #24
    Registered User kat.'s Avatar
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    I don't agree....I am interested in literature and actually read Ulysses....and in my opinion,if you don't know at least a tiny bit about stream of consciousness, epiphany....in short: about the modernism and its narrational techniques in general....i think you won't be able to decode the novel....I just had some difficulties although having read some secondary literature on joyce...and it's not that kind of easy to "just enjoy"....
    at least for me it wasn't....

  10. #25
    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kat. View Post
    I don't agree....I am interested in literature and actually read Ulysses....and in my opinion,if you don't know at least a tiny bit about stream of consciousness, epiphany....in short: about the modernism and its narrational techniques in general....i think you won't be able to decode the novel....I just had some difficulties although having read some secondary literature on joyce...and it's not that kind of easy to "just enjoy"....
    at least for me it wasn't....
    I agree with you on that....there is nothing wrong with reading up on context or critic's interpretations (as long as you understand that they are INTERPRETATIONS and read them with a critical mind). Sometimes - Ulysses included - it is necessary to read up on context or about some of the allusions. How much of the book is lost to you if you are unfamiliar with the structure of the Odyssey?

    I do not think that everyone who uses "aids" is simply trying to read Ulysses to brag about being able to read it (though I will consent that these people do exist - but are a small minority).
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

  11. #26
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a lost weekend View Post
    I fig'red you wouldn't.


    & here I thought the point of this thread was to do some discussing -- silly me. Don't tell me you've been offended in any way?
    No I'm not offended. Sorry I just don't have the time (I'm at work) to get examples of what I consider analytical. And it's not completely anayltical. There is quite a bit of flesh and blood in Ulysses (unlike Portrait). But it's so hard to get to, and one asks, is it really worth it? It is to a lit major, but the average guy looking for a good read wouldn't care. Even writers don't seem to care. (I know of almost no major writer post Joyce that uses his style.) It's mostly college professors (and I got a master's degree in english lit) who rave about him.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

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  12. #27
    A ist der Affe NickAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jikan myshkin View Post
    i've never read a critical text about any book, lie, i was forced to read them about shakspeare. 's said this and he meant this...' sorry how do you know? he told you? ah my apologises kinds sir.

    i've never seen the point of reading a book where you need a key to understand the book. that just seems far too pretenious 'oh it's a famous book but i can;t understand it so i'll read how to read it'. hint- western lit left to right front to back. jap right to left- back to front.

    seriously. if your enjoyment comes only from a feeling of superiority of being able to understand dull texts with or without reading aids, (and i'm not refering to glasses), then well (chokes laughter)...
    I'm glad jazz musicians didn't think this way. That is a very limiting view. I think Joyce might view that as a crippling stasis. It's the layers that make you return to a text. I enjoy writers like Joyce, because a book like his on my shelf is not just matter in space. I own it, because I will return to it. What a waste it would be of a couch you use once and nver throw away.

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  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    No I'm not offended. Sorry I just don't have the time (I'm at work) to get examples of what I consider analytical. And it's not completely anayltical. There is quite a bit of flesh and blood in Ulysses (unlike Portrait). But it's so hard to get to, and one asks, is it really worth it? It is to a lit major, but the average guy looking for a good read wouldn't care. Even writers don't seem to care. (I know of almost no major writer post Joyce that uses his style.) It's mostly college professors (and I got a master's degree in english lit) who rave about him.
    Well, me thinks perhaps you should take another look at yer degree.

    No post-Joycean writer that cares about his style (Shock!)

    Er, in your definition in order to care about Joyce's style one would have to mimmick it? In that case, no one cares about Shakespeare, Kafka, Beckett either.

    Saul Bellow (Moses Herzog in Herzog is a name from Ulysses), Ian McEwan (Saturday), Martin Amis (reviews, his prose), Beckett (was very Joycean in his early years), Nabokov, Banville, need I go on?

    Your (hilariously) myopic statement w/ regards to no-one caring is, well, hilariously myopic. I know many. Many non-lit majors.
    Et le ciel versait des tenebres
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  14. #29
    A ist der Affe NickAdams's Avatar
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    You can laugh at a joke but so many times, so lets appreciate those who bring new enjoyment. Knock-knock jokes are the dull text.

    Quote Originally Posted by a lost weekend View Post
    Well, me thinks perhaps you should take another look at yer degree.

    No post-Joycean writer that cares about his style (Shock!)

    Er, in your definition in order to care about Joyce's style one would have to mimmick it? In that case, no one cares about Shakespeare, Kafka, Beckett either.

    Saul Bellow (Moses Herzog in Herzog is a name from Ulysses), Ian McEwan (Saturday), Martin Amis (reviews, his prose), Beckett (was very Joycean in his early years), Nabokov, Banville, need I go on?

    Your (hilariously) myopic statement w/ regards to no-one caring is, well, hilariously myopic. I know many. Many non-lit majors.
    If I don't appreciate Joyce's work myself, I'm glad that it gave birth to Beckett. Let's not forget that there is a little Beckett in Joyce's FW.

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  15. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by NickAdams View Post
    You can laugh at a joke but so many times, so lets appreciate those who bring new enjoyment. Knock-knock jokes are the dull text.



    If I don't appreciate Joyce's work myself, I'm glad that it gave birth to Beckett. Let's not forget that there is a little Beckett in Joyce's FW.
    Oh certainly. Beckett helped Joyce write when the latter's eyes gave a fuss. & who (who! i ask, who!) could forget/ignore Beckett's powerful defense of Finnegan's Wake Dante...Bruno. Vico..Joyce from Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress.

    For that matter, what is it with these god-damn Irishmen?--Yeats, Joyce, Beckett, Shaw, O'Casey, Banville... solid gold, solid gold.
    Et le ciel versait des tenebres
    Sur le triste monde engourdi.

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