― Adrian Marley, Monday, 24 May 2004 13:27 (nineteen years ago) link
― Robert Burns, Monday, 24 May 2004 14:12 (nineteen years ago) link
― Fred (Fred), Monday, 24 May 2004 15:09 (nineteen years ago) link
― the finefox, Monday, 24 May 2004 16:57 (nineteen years ago) link
― jed_ (jed), Monday, 24 May 2004 20:40 (nineteen years ago) link
Ignore the jokers who tell you to just go with the flow and let it all wash over you like tonic wine over a drunk's vest, unless you're really sure you know where the cruise-control is on your psyche. I'd recommend reading it in conjunction with a good guide. Harry Blamires' 'The New Bloomsday Book' is very good. Almost everything is much more fun when you understand what's going on and, as Joyce was far smarter than you, me, and everyone we know put together, it's nice to have someone to tell you exactly what you understand and why, and to take that knitting needle out of your ear immediately.
― Distant Milk, Monday, 24 May 2004 22:03 (nineteen years ago) link
I suggest you just read the entire thing aloud on June 16th, which will be exactly 100 years after the day on which the book takes place. And I am told it takes about 24 hours to read aloud. So.
― Casuistry (Chris P), Monday, 24 May 2004 22:45 (nineteen years ago) link
But Ulysses does have these meta structures and it is fun and instructive to learn what they are. Joyce might not be that much smarter than us, as Casuistry says, but he's shart as a whip, funny as can be and maybe too clever by half. So after you've read it the first time then get the books the DM suggests and go through it again.
― LowLife, Tuesday, 25 May 2004 11:01 (nineteen years ago) link
Curiously, this is not quite true. I have now spent almost twice as many years reading it as JJ spent writing it.
You might say that I did not spend them 'solidly' reading it. That would be partially true. But really, I have spent a lot of time reading that book; and when I wasn't reading it I was usually thinking about it, or about whether Pat van den Hauwe was worse than Terry Fenwick or vice versa.
― the finefox, Tuesday, 25 May 2004 14:10 (nineteen years ago) link
― misshajim (strand), Tuesday, 25 May 2004 15:07 (nineteen years ago) link
― Tim (Tim), Tuesday, 25 May 2004 15:08 (nineteen years ago) link
1. Joyce takes his lavish revenge on the English language and aspects of English culture, in a project which casts a steelpencold critical eye on history yet also abounds in utopian promise.
2. Van den Hauwe is worse.
― the finefox, Tuesday, 25 May 2004 15:46 (nineteen years ago) link
― cozen (Cozen), Tuesday, 25 May 2004 17:42 (nineteen years ago) link
― the finefox, Tuesday, 25 May 2004 19:23 (nineteen years ago) link
I'm not suggesting that Joyce wasn't smart, though. Just that he wasn't intimidatingly smart, as far as I can tell. Or, I mean, no smarter than several of the people on ILX.
― Casuistry (Chris P), Tuesday, 25 May 2004 19:41 (nineteen years ago) link
― tom west (thomp), Tuesday, 25 May 2004 23:31 (nineteen years ago) link
― tom west (thomp), Tuesday, 25 May 2004 23:32 (nineteen years ago) link
― Jocelyn (Jocelyn), Wednesday, 26 May 2004 13:01 (nineteen years ago) link
Well, I found it funny. Despite all the fun stuff for lit-majors and such the tone is generally pretty light.
― August (August), Thursday, 10 June 2004 17:20 (nineteen years ago) link
― Fred (Fred), Wednesday, 16 June 2004 14:51 (nineteen years ago) link
― tom cleveland (tom cleveland), Wednesday, 16 June 2004 19:12 (nineteen years ago) link
― tom west (thomp), Wednesday, 16 June 2004 22:30 (nineteen years ago) link
― tom west (thomp), Wednesday, 16 June 2004 22:32 (nineteen years ago) link
― accentmonkey (accentmonkey), Wednesday, 16 June 2004 23:07 (nineteen years ago) link
― the junefox, Wednesday, 16 June 2004 23:33 (nineteen years ago) link
― Jens Drejer (Jens Drejer), Thursday, 17 June 2004 09:20 (nineteen years ago) link
― tom cleveland (tom cleveland), Thursday, 17 June 2004 11:24 (nineteen years ago) link
― Fred (Fred), Thursday, 17 June 2004 15:12 (nineteen years ago) link
― cºzen (Cozen), Tuesday, 3 August 2004 16:20 (nineteen years ago) link
I look forward, to finding out.
― the bellefox, Tuesday, 3 August 2004 16:38 (nineteen years ago) link
― jed (jed_e_3), Tuesday, 3 August 2004 17:55 (nineteen years ago) link
― Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Tuesday, 3 August 2004 18:16 (nineteen years ago) link
― cºzen (Cozen), Tuesday, 3 August 2004 23:27 (nineteen years ago) link
― Fred (Fred), Wednesday, 4 August 2004 06:22 (nineteen years ago) link
― Jaq (Jaq), Friday, 28 October 2005 23:58 (eighteen years ago) link
― Fred (Fred), Saturday, 29 October 2005 14:25 (eighteen years ago) link
I wonder if anyone has tried to count the words in Finnegans Wake.
― steve ketchup, Sunday, 30 October 2005 03:01 (eighteen years ago) link
i have reread parts w/o a companion text, but i can't imagine figuring it out on the first go round
― fancybill (ozewayo), Sunday, 30 October 2005 05:51 (eighteen years ago) link
Of course, I am reading Ulysses as part of my own literary death match, put forth by Engineering Sux. Taking the contenders in alphabetical order, I read Gravity's Rainbow for the first time a few weeks ago. I may read other Pynchon in the future, but I can't imagine picking up that puerile, slapstick work for pleasure ever again. Ulysses won the match in the first 50 pages.
― Jaq (Jaq), Sunday, 30 October 2005 15:21 (eighteen years ago) link
― Fred (Fred), Sunday, 30 October 2005 16:47 (eighteen years ago) link
― steve ketchup, Monday, 31 October 2005 07:05 (eighteen years ago) link
Which raises an interesting question - how much of a book do you need to understand for it to be enjoyable? I suspect this is largely a question of temperament: Reader A can understand 80% of a book and find it a pleasurable read; Reader B understands 90% and finds it frustratingly obscure.
― frankiemachine, Monday, 31 October 2005 10:03 (eighteen years ago) link
― Jaq (Jaq), Monday, 31 October 2005 13:36 (eighteen years ago) link
But he / she is slightly and understandably wrong on one count. The Citizen borrowed Garryowen from Giltrap, who is Gerty's grandfather. The narrator of 'Cyclops' tells us the first of those two facts.
― the finefox, Monday, 31 October 2005 14:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Jaq (Jaq), Monday, 31 October 2005 15:16 (eighteen years ago) link
― steve ketchup, Tuesday, 1 November 2005 03:45 (eighteen years ago) link
― Casuistry (Chris P), Tuesday, 1 November 2005 05:08 (eighteen years ago) link
Yes that's my point - I just can't do that. I'm not saying I need to understand a book 100% before I can enjoy it but I have a relatively low tolerance of obscurity.
he did give himself a good long while to write Ulysses, more than any of us have given to reading it, you know?
Someone told me that Joyce once said (I paraphrase) "all that I ask of my readers is that they devote their lives to the understanding of my work". I've never seen it written anywhere, but the guy who told me this wouldn't have made it up (it's just possible he had been misled himself).
― frankiemachine, Tuesday, 1 November 2005 09:55 (eighteen years ago) link
I'm not entirely sure "meaning" or "understanding" can be quantified. But even if you do understand "80%" of a text, what if it's the wrong 80%? What if you understand 100% of a text, but your understanding diverges with everyone else's, including the author's? A text like "Lolita" you can read all the way through and feel as though you "understood" it and then go back and reread it and discover there was a whole secret code going on during the novel that you might not have known to see the first time.
Finepox: Jaq is a lady-style person.
― Casuistry (Chris P), Tuesday, 1 November 2005 10:38 (eighteen years ago) link
I don't disagree with any of that & in fact anticipated the objection. But I decided I could spend long enough trying to refine what I'm saying to remove this kind of ambiguity, probably still without total success. If we get into philosophical discussion about semantics none of us will ever get out again. I think my basic point is clear enough.
― frankiemachine, Tuesday, 1 November 2005 11:28 (eighteen years ago) link
How weird re this thread revive. I reread Chapters Two and Six last weekend.
― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 29 August 2020 17:45 (three years ago) link
Also, that article starts with a quote from the old folk song about Finnegan's wake, so this film, from 1966, could be seen as the 60s art-roots thing, like Dylan, The Band, Beefheart, Art Ensemble of Chicago's "Ancient To The Future" theme, ditto Sun Ra etc.---which is a roots thing itself, going back to early 20th Century development of jazz, also Picasso's fascination with African masks etc., also Joyce going beyond Dubliners, back to folk and even more ancient world classical elements, towards something new.
― dow, Saturday, 29 August 2020 17:50 (three years ago) link
(The film, as described in this article, incl. scenes from folk song and book, also it was released in '66, so that's why I related it to Dylan etc.)
― dow, Saturday, 29 August 2020 17:58 (three years ago) link
of course, all art is "an art-roots thing," in various ways---no doubt the Babylonians, Homer, Gospel-writers and (maybe especially King James's) translators were thinking to some extent, "Hey, cool material, all in the Public Domain---how can I bring out, what can I do with the best qualities?"---audiences to some extent "Go man Gogh!") But I'm trying to stay with thread-relevant specifics, however speculative.Also, Joyce's eyes got even worse, and he came to rely on dictation, pressing his friends into service---Beckett, setting the record straight re being J.'s "secretary," which sounds like something you might get paid for, told his biographer Dierdre Barr that during one such session, another guy dropped by, and Joyce said, "Hello, Joe. Put that in: 'Hello Joe,'" and Beckett found this unnerving. But that kind of going with the flow, to whatever overall extent, might be another reason for reading it aloud, getting into it that way, in your own surroundings.
― dow, Saturday, 29 August 2020 18:34 (three years ago) link
"It" being FW especially, but not only.
― dow, Saturday, 29 August 2020 18:36 (three years ago) link
Think I might try reading some later Henry James aloud--the parts where he seems to be chanelling something and/or remixing on the fly, automatic writing? (Proust too, although he was one who might revise up to the last second, scribbling on galleys, layers on the fly, in search of time regained again and again, so the sense of seeming all fresh and inspired in the moment, the thing you're supposed to go for, gets screwed with, which is also an or the art thing in Modern times, to some extent: oooo, subversion!---Xgau on punks/rock&roll: "bored enough to fuck with it.")
― dow, Saturday, 29 August 2020 18:44 (three years ago) link
But a form of idealism too! And sheer cussedness. Never just the one thing, which certainly seems true of Joyce.
― dow, Saturday, 29 August 2020 18:46 (three years ago) link
Dow, I think the Beckett story was just that JJ said 'Come in' to a knock on the door. Maybe you read a different version. But I've also heard that this is a myth and no-one can find the relevant moment in FW.
I like both films but I couldn't quite follow your initial statement about Strick's. Both films are worth watching anyway. I never 2004's film BLOOM.
― the pinefox, Sunday, 30 August 2020 10:16 (three years ago) link
I saw the 1967 movie: on VHS, across the bedroom, it was alright, walking around downtown and going out to the Baily Optic (quote here seemed relevant re painting)...Champlin and Ebert loved it, though Kael and Kaufman found it reductive. I'd like a re-do, more imaginative Did you have a question about these comments?
― dow, Sunday, 30 August 2020 19:44 (three years ago) link
The basic black & white, shades of grey realism of the film , enhanced by seeing it across the room on VHS, vs thinking of a more fluid approach, streaming on laptop and headphones, maybe more involving that way (as Strick's film might be if taken in that way)
― dow, Sunday, 30 August 2020 19:52 (three years ago) link
Had a dream last night in which a friend told me that a major feature of Ulysses is "the objectification of voices" so if I ever need an English lit thesis, I'm set.
― lukas, Monday, 22 March 2021 01:10 (two years ago) link
Heart the 1967 film, but obviously doesn't come close to doing justice to the book. Really liked how updating to a 1960s Dublin setting has no effect on the believability of story, characters or general atmosphere- a quietly withering take on the de Valera republic.
― Supergran: Wrath of Tub (Bananaman Begins), Tuesday, 23 March 2021 10:26 (two years ago) link
Sally Rooney on Ulysses.
― xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 7 December 2022 16:23 (one year ago) link
The ineluctable modality of the risible
― immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Wednesday, 7 December 2022 20:14 (one year ago) link
good piece, not sure her general thesis re: ulysses debt to austen is as out there as she seems to think it is, but she's much better versed in lit crit than i
― devvvine, Wednesday, 7 December 2022 23:30 (one year ago) link
"We might propose that, or we might not."
"Let’s return for just a moment to the plot summary I tried to offer at the beginning. Leopold Bloom does this and that, I explained, while Stephen Dedalus does that and this."
― xyzzzz__, Thursday, 8 December 2022 08:34 (one year ago) link
Chapter 9, which is mostly Stephen putting forth an elaborate theory on how Shakespeare's work is deep down all about his uncle having fucked his wife, and when asked "do you even believe this yourself?" answering with a content "no", felt very ILX.
― Daniel_Rf, Sunday, 16 July 2023 08:59 (four months ago) link
Chapter 12, a character expresses the worry that Ireland become "as treeless as Portugal". Portugal's pretty densely forested, I mean we have horrible forest fires every Summer for a reason! Googling the phrase only turns up Irish sources worried about deforestation, anyone know if this is some erudite joke that's going over my head?
― Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 27 July 2023 10:56 (four months ago) link
alls i can think is that most of the characters in Cyclops are talking bullshit of one form or another
― Let's talk about local tomatoes (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 27 July 2023 12:07 (four months ago) link
Both countries underwent serious deforestation in the 18th and 19th centuries. The new independent Irish state started reforestation efforts (around the time of Ulysses's publication), and Portugal was reforested (more successfully) after WWII.
― wmlynch, Friday, 28 July 2023 00:29 (four months ago) link
this is right in the middle of talk about fenians (john wyse and the other guy are nationalists?) so i believe this is a reference to "the hanging tree". idk enough about irish or portugese politics but from 1834 - 1920ish portugese are having wars of "republicanism" (starts w/ "charterist rebellion" etc) and lots of executions happening right around when the book is written and set
according to the gifford concordance i bought because prof jon bishop i bought
CYCLOPS — ORGAN: muscle ART: politics SYMBOL: fenian TECHNIQUE: gigantism
so the other part of the story is that this chapter deals with deliberate exaggeration, and worries about the health of the homeland, referencing inisfail the fair, "the eugenic eucalyptus", tristan and isolde, etc. so it's also partly about irish and broader romantic literature, seeing our internal states mirrored in the outside world — these guys thesis is that that's what connects ulysses to other "novels of everything" (like don quixote), here its a literal "catalogue of styles (as noodle vague says, its all kinda bullshit, every chapter is in assumed voice except i believe the beginning and end internal dialogues of stephen and leo)
― the late great, Friday, 28 July 2023 00:50 (four months ago) link
i bought because prof jon bishop MADE ME*
i don't think there's a specific line reference here but i'd need a line # to match it to an annotation because i'm too lazy to reread it right now. i'm too lazy to even grab it. but they do detail every execution listed and every romantic lit reference (and a lot of cyclops stuff from the iliad) so i'm guessing this particular reference is not about the literal health of the land in portugal (also isn't portugal a different type of tree? more like mediterranean cypress / coastal pine type stuff?)
― the late great, Friday, 28 July 2023 00:55 (four months ago) link
"is the land strong enough to support our struggle" / "do its fortunes mirror ours" ... that's the broad tenor of the romantic works referenced
― the late great, Friday, 28 July 2023 00:58 (four months ago) link
like to illustrate the theme: this is the one that ends with blazes boylan bragging about boxing, i think there's a sort of pynchon-esque fantasy about him punching someone (leo?) super hard. some ridiculous physical comedy thing. or maybe it's the idea of bloom punching boylan (cyclops). but there's a similar thing: this local boy / hometown hero, muscular studly and virile (sleeping with bloom's wife) gathering this primal energy and rising up like a force of nature to revenge himself on the foreign invader (i think it's leo?)
― the late great, Friday, 28 July 2023 01:05 (four months ago) link
I think this explains it, thanks.
idk enough about irish or portugese politics but from 1834 - 1920ish portugese are having wars of "republicanism" (starts w/ "charterist rebellion" etc)
Haha, interesting to see it smushed up like that, I guess it's true but I'd never thought of this as one continous historical moment. There was a very bloody civil war between absolutist and liberal monarchists between 1832 and 1834, who were supporting different members of the royal family for succession of the throne. After that you the rest of the 19th century goes by under a relatively stable constitutional monarchy, until the country's progressively worse economic position (and failing to stand up to the big dogs in the colonial plunder game) leads to a regicide in 1908 and a republican revolution in 1910. This regime failed to change the nation's fortunes however, and of course then WWI comes in, leading to the 1926 coup that started the process of turning Portugal into the facist regime it remained until 1974. Doesn't strike me as a very good parallel for Ireland's problems, though I guess blood is blood.
― Daniel_Rf, Friday, 28 July 2023 09:54 (four months ago) link
i think there's a sort of pynchon-esque fantasy about him punching someone (leo?) super hard. some ridiculous physical comedy thing. or maybe it's the idea of bloom punching boylan (cyclops). but there's a similar thing: this local boy / hometown hero, muscular studly and virile (sleeping with bloom's wife) gathering this primal energy and rising up like a force of nature to revenge himself on the foreign invader (i think it's leo?)
Yes, it's Bloom, who previously claimed Ireland as his country too. The depictions of anti-semitism in the novel are another thing that I feel like I should read a few essays on before venturing any opinion at all.
― Daniel_Rf, Friday, 28 July 2023 09:56 (four months ago) link
idk if it's interesting. it's just the lack of knowledge about the details of this time and place. i know the basics of the history of france and italy in that century and i know everywhere else it's broadly a similar story
but i didn't mean to try to give you a definitive answer. i was more just describing my experience of "reading ulysses". i know my teacher (who was an adherent of gifford) is just describing one critical view, but i always thought it was interesting one.
bishop called it joyce's "polytropism", and he thought it was the extension of stephen's search for meaning. it wasn't so much about whether one reference or another was more apt, but rather to try to pile on denser and desner layers of reference and analogy and simile to reflect a sort of idea of what modernism and our experience of modern living is like. so the idea (that these guys had) is that it's not about the details or 1:1 correspondences of any particular parallel, but just the compulsive act of doing them over and over again, and broadly organizing chapters in thematic clusters ... in cyclops it's the cyclops, but also the idea of repelling invaders or usurpers by force, and then more generally about tests of strength, and so on. he actually lists several other "categories" for each chapter (like symbol, color, etc) but aside from following the odyssey, the idea of dividing into bodily systems and also rhetorical techniques as organizing principles resonated with me. i guess another example would be that this chapter has millions of plant references, though gifford himself doesn't list "plants" or "trees" as an overriding symbol scheme here (unless i'm missing something, the notation is a bit cryptic)
but yeah, that's just the experience i personally had of "reading ulysses", and the critical framework (one of many no doubt) that i learned, didn't mean to be presciptive
― the late great, Friday, 28 July 2023 21:53 (four months ago) link
i do remember almost having an aneurysm in class because early on another student asked why we had to buy the annotations if understanding the details of any given annotation didn't matter (and i thought fair point because then by induction not knowing the details of any of the references is also okay) and the professor replied "it's like a boooofayyyy, you take what you like"
― the late great, Friday, 28 July 2023 22:41 (four months ago) link
Your head it simply swirls.
― immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Sunday, 30 July 2023 16:06 (four months ago) link
yeah so that’s calypso, and the dog in proteus (i think ch 3) that runs down the strand toward stephen sort of shimmers like a mirage and changes through many forms.
my term paper ( i’m a science major ok) was an argument that that and other druggy imagery was foreshadowing the thematic structure of the novel (we’re going to try on every set of tropes for explaining our experiences until we find one that restores whatever we lost when we had a crisis of faith / became exiles / entered modernity)
iirc the path stephen takes along the strand (beach?) itself is a sort of “spiral jetty” and the prof said if you filmed the walk as a pov and sped it up it would be as if dublin was spinning around you
great moments in regurgitating back yr professors lectures! i think i have told this story before on ilx, this time i should add that although i got full credit and my paper had good mechanics etc my focus on psychedelic imagery is now personally embarrassing because i was also really into op art and strobe lights and lucid dreaming and reptilians at the time
― the late great, Monday, 31 July 2023 01:27 (four months ago) link
If you can shimmy past the 'ineluctable modality' brain-riff (and you're fine that a major character, pretty much an avatar of J.J. himself, is supposed to be an irritating pseud) then the Oxen of the Sun chapter (14) is the next guardian on the threshold. It'll stamp on your foot and call your mother a drug-dealer. This is the doldrums of the bookmark where most assaults on the text short of the kamikaze end up.
I have arrived here and the first couple of pages were indeed "oy vey" but once I sussed out it's just a medieval style used as a metaphor for some more of the usual drinking and discoursing it got easier, like I've read Dave Sim's Cerebus I know how this works. Think that while a lot of what makes Ulysses obscure now was less so in its time (starting with the Roman mass for instance) some other stuff is probably more accessible now, namedropping commercials, pastiches of different styles. Bloom hasn't said "well that just happened" yet but it's surely only a matter of time.
Nowhere near the end of the chapter though and I might still have plenty of challenges ahead.
― Daniel_Rf, Monday, 31 July 2023 10:06 (four months ago) link
the dog in proteus (i think ch 3) that runs down the strand toward stephen sort of shimmers like a mirage and changes through many forms
― official representative of Roku's Basketshit in at least one alternate u (lukas), Monday, 31 July 2023 10:53 (four months ago) link
still not read it. did just see this which puts it slightly higher on my to read listhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fl2jiVzKmTgoutline of the story done for children. It was in the Arts Festival which just ended.Reminds me of the 70s Paddington though no puppets used just still paper figures
― Stevo, Monday, 31 July 2023 10:59 (four months ago) link
we’re going to try on every set of tropes for explaining our experiences until we find one that restores whatever we lost when we had a crisis of faith / became exiles / entered modernity
― official representative of Roku's Basketshit in at least one alternate u (lukas), Monday, 31 July 2023 12:03 (four months ago) link
all of these work ... and none of them do
― official representative of Roku's Basketshit in at least one alternate u (lukas), Monday, 31 July 2023 12:26 (four months ago) link
yeah exactly!! the home ulysses returns to is not the home he left, even when he clears it of suitors and restores his throne, because the odyssey has changed him etc. there’s also the metaphor of … i believe the boat from the ulysses? like the farmer who’s had the axe for five generations, the handle has been replace three times and the blade twice …
that was the professor’s take anyway, without getting into too much depth the professor’s take was that “what worked” was when leo and stephen glimpse a new possibility for “restoration” when they sort of experience this brief ersatz father / son relationship (leo saving drunk stephen)
even though their crisis is different, the recognize each other as fellow travelers, kindred spirits, because they are both preoccupied with internal exile, that search, and yes love of humanity and love of language
― the late great, Monday, 31 July 2023 15:41 (four months ago) link
sorry the ship of theseus
― the late great, Monday, 31 July 2023 15:45 (four months ago) link
Trigger's broom, like
― Stevo, Monday, 31 July 2023 19:50 (four months ago) link
I'm reading the Odyssey at the moment, and thinking about rereading Ulysses afterwards, to understand how the parts match. I used to just think that Ulysses was taking an archetypal epic and turning it into everyday modern life, but wow, the Odyssey is much weirder than I thought. The Proteus story, for instance, is a weird little tale inside a tale.
― Frederik B, Monday, 31 July 2023 20:51 (four months ago) link
the ending is very different - bloom chooses compassion and empathy, seeing the excitement of the early stages of romance with molly - mirrored in molly’s exciting infidelity with blazes boylan (does she notice his exemplary humanity? idk depends how you interpret the last bit of the last chapter)
odysseus goes john wick
― the late great, Monday, 31 July 2023 22:14 (four months ago) link
frederik the “tale within a tale” thing is what the professor called “novel of everything”
other examples are like divine comedy, decameron, canterbury tales, arabian nights (ayyo pier paolo), don quixote, balzac’s books, moby dick etc
i think the idea is it’s purporting to show “the broad sweep of humanity” through these episodes. idk if that idea has any traction but it’s key (or was in my prof’s mind, rip) to why he chose a story about a spectrum of human folly vs something like oedipus rex, which might be focused on just hubris etc
― the late great, Monday, 31 July 2023 22:25 (four months ago) link
he* being joyce, choosing specifically odyssey over say iliad or antigone
― the late great, Monday, 31 July 2023 22:29 (four months ago) link
so for him it was not just an archetypal epic but a very specific certain sort of one.
we talked a lot for example about about how it (ulysses, don quixote) is sort of like a bildungsroman (another “archetypal epic”) but also not actually a bildungsroman (that was portrait of the artist anyway)
― the late great, Monday, 31 July 2023 22:31 (four months ago) link
Right, and the 'everything' in The Odyssey is a lot weirder then I suspected. The world is still steeped in trauma from the Trojan war - nobody can have a conversation without mentioning someone who died there, it seems - but it's also at the cusp of it becoming history. A new generation, including Telemachos of course, weren't there. They just still live with the aftermath, with Ithaca still being in chaos, and the whole thing begins with news that Orestes has FINALLY slain Aighistos and avenged the murder of Agamemnon. It's like a time of anarchy is closing, but also a time where the heroes saw wonders and magic in strange places - including Menelaos meeting and capturing Proteus.
― Frederik B, Tuesday, 1 August 2023 10:35 (four months ago) link
My standard line has been that these sort of Modernistic 'everything' works - Ulysses, Proust, The Waste Land, The Cantos - are trying to put the world back in order after WWI, but Joyce seems more complex. I read Finnegans Wake last year, and I got the feeling that it was quite significant that it was begun at the time of the Irish Civil War. I'm wondering if it means something, that Joyce is writing Ulysses and FW while Ireland is going through it's birth, which is traumatic, but in extremely complex and evershifting ways as well. He never really makes order, he creates shapeshifting and ever-changing worlds, where order is always fleeting and still fought over.
― Frederik B, Tuesday, 1 August 2023 10:39 (four months ago) link
That is, he seems more postmodern than modern already.
― Frederik B, Tuesday, 1 August 2023 10:42 (four months ago) link
loling at repeated use of "hey, presto" in the bull chapter
― Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 1 August 2023 11:14 (four months ago) link
xp to frederick that's getting into the part that they reserved for the follow up class. this was like an upper division "interest check" class for a senior seminar taught by the same guy that you might take if you are considering entering "joyce studies" or "irish lit" ... and so he really focused more on situating it in modernism vs getting in-depth into the cultural history parts (which i believe they did in the follow-up)
i do remember the professors pushed the line that it is not the "birth" of modern ireland, it is the "rebirth" of an irish heritage, in the same way that modern day zionism purports to be a rebirth of the original jewish state (and which, in their own ways, both bloom and stephen walk away from, then spiral back into)
― the late great, Tuesday, 1 August 2023 20:15 (four months ago) link
or, if you prefer, spiral out of, into (yes) a world wider than our (his) experience of modernity
― the late great, Tuesday, 1 August 2023 20:16 (four months ago) link