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 Post subject: The Works of James Joyce
PostPosted: Wed 30 Sep , 2009 7:51 pm 
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I am almost through Ulysses for a class that I am taking this semester. It's a graduate level course on the works of Joyce. You may be saying: are you fucking nuts? Who would do that to themselves? I guess I am a masochist in some respect. I was wondering if anyone here has read Ulysses and would like to discuss this. I move on to Finnegans Wake next.... riverrun....

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PostPosted: Wed 30 Sep , 2009 9:17 pm 
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I trudged through Ulysses twice and have to say, it wasn't worth it. I loathed it the first time, wondered what the hell all the fuss was about, and so I read it again thinking I HAD to have missed something. But, as far as I can tell, it was just as tedious the second time.

Same with War and Peace.

Then I tried Faulkner. And thought, jeez. It HAS to be my fault. But I don't really think it is.

So there you are.

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PostPosted: Wed 30 Sep , 2009 11:44 pm 
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I see value in reading it again and I plan to when I have free time. I took this class so I was forced and there is a lot of cool, interesting things Joyce does with the concept of communication. The Circe chapter (fresh in my mind) is a crazy journey through "nighttown" where the reader encounters so much that isn't real and then trying to find out what is real becomes this mystery of the chapter. His language is fun also.

I can understand why you'd see it as tedious and worthless.

Don't let this opinion stop anyone else....

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PostPosted: Fri 02 Oct , 2009 12:41 pm 
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I tried 'Ulysses' for shits and giggles when I was a kid, and it was the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday. I found it utterly unimpenetrable, and was outright offended when I had to study 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man' for my degree last year - and again this year! As far as I can see, it's just a big a pile of self-indulgence, and I see nothing revolutionary in its writing style. I mean, if I chose to eat mustard and jam on toast tomorrow, I'm sure I'd be the first, but that doesn't mean nobody else could have done it. They just knew better.

'Ulysses' might be better now I've a little more literature under my belt, but I just can't see that it could be worth it. I'm probably just going to add him to my mental list of 'Irish writers who appear to be laughing at me for not being Irish enough'. Myles na Gopalenn, I'm looking at you.

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PostPosted: Fri 02 Oct , 2009 1:43 pm 
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Joyce, like a lot of 20th century experimental writers, could write more conventionally when it suited him, and do it very well. Look at his short stories, which are superb.

And Ulysses makes more sense if you read his story collection Dubliners first anyway, I think.

I feel like re-reading Dubliners now. Thanks. :) I've got a boat load of research to do in that area anyway.

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PostPosted: Sun 04 Oct , 2009 6:25 pm 
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Dubliners is incredible. I would suggest that for a fuller understanding and appreciation of Joyce you read Dubliners first, then Portrait, followed by Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake.

Personally, I loved all of the first three, and am currently on a break from FW, cuz I've got to read loads about classical music/post-tonal analysis/minimalism at the moment, but I enjoyed the first 15 pages while they were in front of me... Though it did take me three days to read them...

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PostPosted: Tue 06 Oct , 2009 2:36 am 
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I am reading a critical work (because I have to make a presentation on it) about Ulysses called The Odyssey of Style in Ulysses by Karen Lawrence. It is very enlightening to some of the more out-there chapters of the novel. I have to write two midterm essays due tomorrow about Ulysses. Luckily the professor only wants 2 pages max for each, so that's kind of a saving grace.... no rambling.

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