Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Anniversary …

 Informal Inquiries: Ulysses — not obscene but still neglected.

Start with Chapter 4 and you'll pretty much breeze through it.


  1. From Frank’s Who's afraid of James Joyce? A guide to reading ‘Ulysses’:

    One problem, [David] Butler[, the education officer at Dublin's James Joyce Centre,] notes, is that "a lot of people get bogged down in Chapter 3 and never get beyond it - which seems to me tragic." That's why he suggests starting with Chapter 4, which introduces "one of the great figures of world literature, Leopold Bloom."

    That, [Robert] Nicholson[, curator of the James Joyce Museum,] says, "is a very practical way of approaching it... . Joyce presumably intended [the book] to be read in the order in which it was written, but I agree that kills off a lot of potential readers."

    The British novelist Anthony Burgess wrote that Ulysses is "a labyrinth which we can enter at any point... . It is one of the very few books that can be picked up at any time, enriching any odd moment... . It is a book for the bedside... . There is enough meat in it to last a lifetime."

    The trick is not to worry about getting to the end. For a while, read just one page a day. Get accustomed to the writing, and you'll soon grow comfortable with it.

    Is it worth the effort? Does it really have something of value for the weary commuter? Butler thinks so: "The absolute attention to what life is about, why life is worth living - I think that is what is really contained in this book."