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deptstoremook
Jan 12, 2004
my mom got scared and said "you're moving with your Aunt and Uncle in Bel-Air!"


In honor of Bloomsday 2013, I’ve decided to take another crack at a James Joyce thread. I think it might work for this thread to be a home for discussion of other Modernists, too.

James Joyce was an Irish writer in the Modernist tradition. He wrote a collection of short stories, Dubliners, and three novels: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, and Finnegans Wake. Joyce has shaped modern prose in the same way that Chaucer and Shakespeare influenced everyone who followed them. Joyce also has a reputation as an inaccessible writer, beloved by academics and feared by normal people. While his books do open up to an incredible amount of analysis, close reading, assumed knowledge, and layers of meaning, they can also be great fun for everyone. So let’s look at them.

Dubliners (1914)
“’O, pa!’ he cried. ‘Don't beat me, pa! And I'll... I'll say a Hail Mary for you.... I'll say a Hail Mary for you, pa, if you don't beat me.... I'll say a Hail Mary....’”

This is a collection of short stories about Irish people. This is not the same Joyce you’ll encounter in Ulysses or Finnegans Wake; if those novels are huge, embellished, illuminated manuscripts, Dubliners is a set of telegrams. The economy of style in Dubliners is worth the price of admission for writers. These stories are perfect, really easy to read, and the most sensible place to start with Joyce. They’re mostly short and all exceptional so you ought to read the whole book, but for me highlights were “An Encounter,” “Araby,” “Counterparts,” “Clay,” and “The Dead.”

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1914-15)
“Old father, old artificer, stand me now and ever in good stead.”

Remember how at the end of La Vita Nuova Dante says he won’t write anything else until he can do poetic justice to his vision of hell, heaven, and purgatory? Portrait is a kind of entrée to Ulysses. A kind of sort of fictionalized autobiography, Portrait is a coming of age story about Stephen Dedalus, Joyce’s alter ego, who resembles noted literary whiner and smart guy Hamlet more than a little.

The novel follows Stephen through a privileged childhood and boarding school, his family’s financial ruin, and his “awakening” as an artist trying to flee the confines of Ireland and the Catholic Church.

I’ve never really “felt” this novel, partially because I’ve always read it as a ramp-up to Ulysses. But it is very well-regarded and there are some great moments (the argument over Charles Stewart Parnell, Stephen losing his virginity to a prostitute, the journal entries in the last chapter). It does a great job clarifying the first three episodes of Joyce’s next novel…

Ulysses (1922)
“Mr. Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liver slices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencod's roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.”

Of all the days in this world, one—June 16, 1904—has been described with more depth, vividness, comedy, and sadness than any other. Ulysses is about a day in the lives of Stephen Dedalus (see above), Leopold Bloom, an Irish-Jewish advertising salesman, and his wife Molly, an opera singer. Ulysses shows an incredible attention to detail, and relishes in the minutiae of Dublin life, pop culture, and human psychology. Each “episode” (the book is modeled loosely after the Odyssey) assumes a different narrative style, from unpunctuated stream of consciousness, to stage drama, to archaism, to newspaper copy, to catechism. It’s a hell of a book, one that fights you and slips out of your grasp at every turn.

Yes, you can read this book straight through without accompaniment. It might be more enjoyable, in fact! But this isn’t a novel that holds your hand. It expects a certain kind of education. A knowledge of the Greek and Latin classics, the English literary canon, and Catholic doctrine are helpful, and it’s steeped in the culture of turn-of-the-century Ireland. Because of this, an accompanying book of notes can be helpful. I’ve used Ulysses Annotated to good effect, but don’t let it detract from your reading. Definitely read SparkNotes or something similar before each chapter.

Finnegans Wake (1939)
“Bygmester Finnegan, of the Stuttering Hand, freemen's maurer, lived in the broadest way immarginable in his rushlit toofarback for messuages before joshuan judges had given us numbers or Helviticus committed Deuteronomy...”

This is Joyce’s avante garde masterpiece, and I’m not really sure how to describe it. I haven’t “finished” it, but I don’t think it’s a book to be finished. A professor of mine, a Joyce expert, told me he held a Finnegans Wake reading group for nearly a decade, comprised of himself and academics from different fields. Reading one page per meeting, each person brought their own perspective and knowledge (someone knew French, another was familiar with Italian philosophy, or 19th century geopolitics). This seems to be as good a way to read it as any. 5- or 6-level multilingual puns, layers of irony, branching meanings, and an encyclopedic style are the name of the game here.

Joyce has something for everyone. For writers, Joyce teaches us economy, depth, complexity, and voice. For comedians, Joyce has a higher density of jokes, puns, cultural references, and bon mots than Shakespeare (“the Great Shapesphere”) on his best day. For academics, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake may be the best answers to the “one book on a deserted island” question. And for “normal” readers, Joyce tells a great story, and builds characters who live and breathe even once the story is over—he just makes you work for it.

I’m the OP, but we do have some resident Joyceans (Brendle and Ingwit come to mind, among others) who I’m sure can provide more context or a finer point to what I’ve written here. I think everyone should spend some time with Joyce—I hope you’ll use Bloomsday 2013 as an excuse to take another crack at Ulysses, check out Dubliners, or play around with Finnegans Wake. This thread can be a resource for new and experienced Joyceans alike.

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Old Ash
Dec 29, 2012


I read Dubliners, Portrait, and Ulysses last July-September. Needless to say, it was a mind blowing few months, especially once I reached the latter half of Ulysses. The end of "Circe" remains one of the saddest things I've read, and I love that episode (despite it being the most difficult to get through for me) just for how well it lays bare everything about Bloom. The same goes for "Ithaca," which may be my favorite episode of them all. I keep thinking about rereading it, and scenes pop into my head frequently. Besides Infinite Jest, it's the one book that's stayed with me the most, and it really is worth the time it takes to read (and understand) it.

One of my English professors mentioned doing a group read of Finnegans Wake, but it never got off the ground. Frankly, I don't even know where to start, but the thought of reading it is still very appealing.

barkingclam
Jun 20, 2007


Thanks for this. I always mean to do a better job with Joyce: I've read Dubliners a bunch over the years, but I've always been a little intimidated by Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake. I'm thinking about starting the former sometime this summer, but I've said that ever since I bought the drat thing a few years back. Would I do better to get around to Portait (or even Ellmann's biography) first?

What do you all think about Joyce's other writings? I saw a collection of his essays the other day and was intrigued: I've never heard about this side of him before. Is it worth checking out?

Fun Times!
Dec 26, 2010


Hey, I happen to be reading Dubliners right now. Only have like half of The Dead to get through. I never read about Dubliners or Joyce much, and was surprised at how easily readable Dubliners was (although my version has annotations on some of the Irish customs and things Joyce mentions, for clarity). I think my favorite of the bunch was Araby.

My version also has essays on the themes of each section. I never would have caught on to the structure of the book. The stories go chronologically from childhood, to adolescence, to maturity, to public life, and ending, of course, with death. Reading about the themes gave a lot of insight into Joyce's depth.

Mander Char Char
Sep 24, 2005

Tempt the fates
beware the smile
It hides all the teeth


Like with Finny's Wake, man, just drop the book on the floor and read what ever page pops open, and read it out loud a few times. Like feel the words in your mouth; it even sounds funny.


From Penguin Classic edition page 269
The game goes on. Cookcook! Search me. The beggar the maid the bigger the maulder. And the greater the patrarc the griefer the pinch. And that's what your doctor knows. O love it is the commonknounest thing how it pashes the plutous and the paupe.

field balm
Feb 5, 2012


I've reread all of Joyce's work recently as I'm taking post-modern lit this semester. Everyone should read Ulysses at least once, nothing in the world comes close. The effort is well worth it.

Picked up To the Lighthouse the other day, any advice going in?

barkingclam
Jun 20, 2007


Anyone checked out this new-ish collection of Joyce fiction, Finn's Hotel?

The Guardian posted:

A small Irish press is publishing what it is calling "almost certainly the last undiscovered title by James Joyce" – 10 short pieces by the author, written six months after he completed Ulysses – igniting a row over the author's intentions.

Penned by Joyce in 1923, and described by the author as "epiclets", the pieces range from vignettes or sketches to more substantial short stories or fables, said Ithys Press, which publishes the work as Finn's Hotel this weekend – just in time for Bloomsday, the annual global celebration on 16 June of Joyce's masterpiece, Ulysses.

The majority of the stories were discovered decades ago, and included in A First-Draft Version of Finnegans Wake, edited by David Hayman, in 1963.

But scholar Danis Rose, who has edited and arranged Finn's Hotel for Ithys, believes this is a "misunderstanding", and argues that the work is distinct in itself – if abandoned by Joyce – and not just a draft of Finnegans Wake, which was published in 1939.

Marching Powder
Mar 8, 2008

my name is rustam. my friends ask me to suplex so i suplex. my twitter is @hahahafuckyou

The Dead stays with me as the best short story (novella?) I've ever read. After my first reading I was struck with how clearly I had 'seen' everything and how incredibly well I 'knew' Gabriele. I'm no high-brow reader and Ulysses intimidates me, but The Dead showed me what is possible with words. God drat.

Monitoring this thread anyway.

deptstoremook
Jan 12, 2004
my mom got scared and said "you're moving with your Aunt and Uncle in Bel-Air!"


barkingclam posted:

Thanks for this. I always mean to do a better job with Joyce: I've read Dubliners a bunch over the years, but I've always been a little intimidated by Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake. I'm thinking about starting the former sometime this summer, but I've said that ever since I bought the drat thing a few years back. Would I do better to get around to Portait (or even Ellmann's biography) first?

What do you all think about Joyce's other writings? I saw a collection of his essays the other day and was intrigued: I've never heard about this side of him before. Is it worth checking out?

A lot of people go into Ulysses and do alright in episodes 1 and 2, but then get impatient and quit in episode 3. These 3 episodes are from Stephen Dedalus' perspective and they can be really hard to get, as Stephen is very introspective, highly educated, and does a lot of mental wandering. If you start with Portrait you'll know your way around Stephen's mind a lot better. Though even now, with a few readings under my belt, switching to Leopold Bloom's narrative in episode 4 is always a welcome relief, so stick with it. Ellmann's biography is very good, but probably not necessary for Ulysses.

We read "Ireland, Island of Saints and Sages" in my postcolonialism class, which was interesting, but I haven't read any of his other prose. He was definitely wise to the politics and theory of imperialism and Irish oppression, which are huge factors in Joyce's writing (at least how it was taught in my classes).

House Louse
Oct 21, 2010


I'm having another go at Ulysses at the moment - last time, I think pricked by a Book Barn thread, I got to Hades before realising that I wasn't paying enough attention. It's wonderful to read. Even on a surface level, the sound of the writing and its style are lovely, and the characters are incredibly convincing - really graceful and economic. I'm not sure how all the wonderful little bits will fit together.

barkingclam posted:

Thanks for this. I always mean to do a better job with Joyce: I've read Dubliners a bunch over the years, but I've always been a little intimidated by Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake. I'm thinking about starting the former sometime this summer, but I've said that ever since I bought the drat thing a few years back. Would I do better to get around to Portait (or even Ellmann's biography) first?

I'd definitely say read Portrait first, as an introduction to Stephen in particular and its style in general, and because it is bliss in prose form. My favourite bit not mentioned in the OP is the hellfire sermons, fantastic and vigorous stuff. And episode three of Ulysses is a sod; funnily enough I found the end a bit more opaque, being able to work out what was going on but not why.

barkingclam
Jun 20, 2007


Thanks for the replies, I actually stopped and picked up Portrait at the local library this afternoon. So far I'm enjoying it, but Seamus Deane's introduction was a little over my head (I suspect I'll get more out of it when I finish the book).

barkingclam
Jun 20, 2007


I'm pretty deep into Portrait right now, but I keep getting bogged down in the section where Stephen explains his theories about art with Lynch. I'm supposed to find this a little hard to parse (and maybe a little full of itself), right? By thinking that Stephen is kind of an arrogant young guy, who thinks he knows more than he does, I'm not overlooking a key part of the book, am I?

deptstoremook
Jan 12, 2004
my mom got scared and said "you're moving with your Aunt and Uncle in Bel-Air!"


barkingclam posted:

I'm pretty deep into Portrait right now, but I keep getting bogged down in the section where Stephen explains his theories about art with Lynch. I'm supposed to find this a little hard to parse (and maybe a little full of itself), right? By thinking that Stephen is kind of an arrogant young guy, who thinks he knows more than he does, I'm not overlooking a key part of the book, am I?

To some extent it's Joyce (through his mouthpiece Stephen) talking about his theory of art, but with Joyce any message always comes filtered through many levels of irony and misdirection. So you're right that Stephen is arrogant, and young, and overconfident. But he's also highly educated (just like Joyce) and has it in his head that he will become an artist. Maybe finish the section and give it another read? Art is important in this book, and it will be in the first part of Ulysses, too. Remember the title of the novel and Stephen's last name (Dedalus = Daedalus, the Greek artificer whose art was fine, and complex, but never really came to much good).

Stubear St. Pierre
Feb 22, 2006

I rape cats

Does anyone have any opinion on Chamber Music? I have an anthology with Dubliners, Portrait and that. It's not like it would be a huge time commitment, I've just never been that into poetry and had been eager to start on Ulysses. If it's gratifying to read in the same way as Finnegan then I'll take another look (I probably will anyway).

barkingclam posted:

I'm pretty deep into Portrait right now, but I keep getting bogged down in the section where Stephen explains his theories about art with Lynch. I'm supposed to find this a little hard to parse (and maybe a little full of itself), right? By thinking that Stephen is kind of an arrogant young guy, who thinks he knows more than he does, I'm not overlooking a key part of the book, am I?

I had this exact same impression of Stephen in the latter half of Portrait--then I remembered he's a semi-autobiographical portrayal of one of the best authors who ever lived. Even still, he does come off as arrogant, and I've found it interesting to reflect on 21st century notions of pretention across all of Joyce's work.

wshngmchn
Jul 14, 2013

wrath pride ignorance

I would say Chamber Music is very similar to Shakespeare's sonnets, particularly in how they compare to the rest of the author's work. It is unusually transparent, sentimental, rigid, and straight-forward. It requires very little interpretation, and if there is any innuendo it's well-hidden.

That's not to say you should skip it - this is purely opinion - but I found it to be very boring. If you enjoy Shakespeare's sonnets, Romantic poets like John Keats, etc, you will probably enjoy Chamber Music. If you are looking for an experience similar to Finnegan's, you will not find it there.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


deptstoremook posted:

A lot of people go into Ulysses and do alright in episodes 1 and 2, but then get impatient and quit in episode 3. These 3 episodes are from Stephen Dedalus' perspective and they can be really hard to get, as Stephen is very introspective, highly educated, and does a lot of mental wandering. If you start with Portrait you'll know your way around Stephen's mind a lot better. Though even now, with a few readings under my belt, switching to Leopold Bloom's narrative in episode 4 is always a welcome relief, so stick with it. Ellmann's biography is very good, but probably not necessary for Ulysses.


I'm the opposite. I love being inside Dedalus' head, and chapter 3, Proteus, is my favorite pieces of writing. There's one sentence that I love: "And beauty is not here; nor in the fading precinct of Marsh's Abbey where you read the prophecies of Joachim Abbas". Just the sound of it!

I studied Ulysses for a class that went through most of the book and I love it at its most abstract: Proteus, Night Town, the chapter where Stephen and Leopold are entering Leopold's house and Bloom speaks in lists.

Everyone needs to go to a good Bloomsday celebration. The ones I've been to have readings, Irish music, everyone reading parts of Night Town like a play, and local Irish actors reading out parts of Finnegan's Wake. The musicality of the words come through.

elentar
Aug 26, 2002

Congratulations! Your bonsai is dead!

Here's a gem I picked up today:

Only registered members can see post attachments!

Stubear St. Pierre
Feb 22, 2006

I rape cats

please post more pictures of what's inside that book

Eau de MacGowan
May 12, 2009

Just a poor man's Park Ji Sung

Leapord


I really hope there's a manga version of James Joyce's letters to his wife somewhere too.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012


Eau de MacGowan posted:

I really hope there's a manga version of James Joyce's letters to his wife somewhere too.

elentar
Aug 26, 2002

Congratulations! Your bonsai is dead!

I just spent 9.95!! posted:

please post more pictures of what's inside that book

Here's Haines' panther, er, leopard dream:



Here's Bloom thinking of what Molly would be like if she found out about the Henry Flower letters:



Here's Buck arriving at the library:



And here's gender-switched Bloom in Nighttown:



They do end up cutting out a lot of stuff (and swap a few things between episodes) but I'm actually surprised how much is in there given the constraints.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


They must have changed the ending since no woman in manga says "yes".

deptstoremook
Jan 12, 2004
my mom got scared and said "you're moving with your Aunt and Uncle in Bel-Air!"


elentar posted:

Here's Haines' panther, er, leopard dream:


Thank you for this contribution to the thread's understanding of Joyce (seriously great).

It does bring up an interesting just for fun question, though. Why did Haines dream about a panther instead of a leopard? I mean yes, panther implies black, orient, and all that nice stuff. But leopard sounds like Leopold, a Leopold can't change his spots, a Leopold can't change his (Plumtree's) pots. I only go into this because I know Joyce was congenitally unable to resist a pun or word intersection, so there must be some compelling reason for panther that I'm not catching.

Skrill.exe
Oct 3, 2007

"Bitcoin is a new financial concept entirely without precedent."

Stately, ~bishi~ Buck Mulligan...

edit: Come up, Kinch! Come up, you baka gaijin!

House Louse
Oct 21, 2010


deptstoremook posted:

It does bring up an interesting just for fun question, though. Why did Haines dream about a panther instead of a leopard? I mean yes, panther implies black, orient, and all that nice stuff. But leopard sounds like Leopold, a Leopold can't change his spots, a Leopold can't change his (Plumtree's) pots. I only go into this because I know Joyce was congenitally unable to resist a pun or word intersection, so there must be some compelling reason for panther that I'm not catching.

In Pliny leopards are supposed to have sex with lionesses while the lion's back is turned. That's not very compelling, but it ties in to the adultery theme at least.

mdemone
Mar 14, 2001

Virginia Tech loves Nirvana, we'd love to have her in our video

I was finally able to track down this old paper I read once about Haines and the panther symbology. Basically the panther is a Christ figure in Satan's nightmare.

http://www.jstor.org/stable/25487289

elentar
Aug 26, 2002

Congratulations! Your bonsai is dead!

deptstoremook posted:

It does bring up an interesting just for fun question, though. Why did Haines dream about a panther instead of a leopard? I mean yes, panther implies black, orient, and all that nice stuff. But leopard sounds like Leopold, a Leopold can't change his spots, a Leopold can't change his (Plumtree's) pots. I only go into this because I know Joyce was congenitally unable to resist a pun or word intersection, so there must be some compelling reason for panther that I'm not catching.

Not at all detracting from the ingenuity or historical contexts of other readings, but on at least a very basic level the panther represents all beasts etymologically: pan-therion = "all"+"beast". In that guise it's a sort of primal nightmare creature.

Professor Shark
May 22, 2012


deptstoremook posted:

A lot of people go into Ulysses and do alright in episodes 1 and 2, but then get impatient and quit in episode 3. These 3 episodes are from Stephen Dedalus' perspective and they can be really hard to get, as Stephen is very introspective, highly educated, and does a lot of mental wandering. If you start with Portrait you'll know your way around Stephen's mind a lot better. Though even now, with a few readings under my belt, switching to Leopold Bloom's narrative in episode 4 is always a welcome relief, so stick with it. Ellmann's biography is very good, but probably not necessary for Ulysses.

We read "Ireland, Island of Saints and Sages" in my postcolonialism class, which was interesting, but I haven't read any of his other prose. He was definitely wise to the politics and theory of imperialism and Irish oppression, which are huge factors in Joyce's writing (at least how it was taught in my classes).

This post describes exactly what I'm struggling with while attempting to read Ulysses. Over the summer I "prepped" myself by reading Dubliners, but I'm finding Ulysses to be a much different read and would find myself surface-reading and force myself to go back.

Last night I got frustrated and opened up Blood Meridian.

House Louse
Oct 21, 2010


I was reading "The Dead" yesterday and noticed that I knew the song in it. Joyce calls it "The Lass of Aughrim", but it's a version of the song I know best as "Lord Gregory" - I think it's a Scottish song that's travelled to Ireland and England. The story is about a girl who meets Lord Gregory and has a baby by him, and then appears with babe in arms looking for his help. In some versions Gregory doesn't want to know, and in others his mother tells the girl to go away (or that he's found a noble wife), and he searches for her, sometimes finding her dead or drowned. Aughrim was the site of an Irish defeat against the English in 1691 - it was an early Jacobite rising, or war against William of Orange's assumption of power.

So in just those four lines Joyce adds the motifs of music, different versions of stories (e.g. "Eveline"), Irish struggle with England, and the abuse of women and (more looking forwards) the importance of class and characters based on existing poems, as well as the story's own structure.

This is Shirley Collins, an English singer, performing a Scottish version; but it's similar enough that I recognised the words as soon as I read them, and besides, she's a great singer. I hope you enjoy it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZiXmPo34j8

Wampa Stompa
Aug 15, 2008

I literally have no idea what I just saw in there!


I'm coming up on the end of Ulysses for the first time now and goddamn is this book every bit as good as it's cracked up to be. I had bought a copy a couple years back after finishing Portrait of the Artist. I got through the first three chapters but sort of lost interest after it switched to Bloom's perspective. I'm reading it with a class now and it's been a really great way to go through it; having a professor gloss the narrative events of each chapter beforehand really frees you up to immerse yourself in the language and engage in Joyce's games without worrying too much about following the events of the story. I think I was so worried about making sure I was following what was going on the first time I tried to read it that I sucked all the life out of the novel.

I think I'm going to go back and reread Two Gallants, Grace, and Portrait of the Artist once I finish. I'm really enjoying how Joyce's Dublin is so interconnected between all of his works and I'm interested to see how differently the other stories read after having read Ulysses. I think I'll save Finnegan's Wake for a good 10 or so years down the road. It's weirdly comforting to know that there's another mammoth Joyce novel out there that I haven't even cracked the spine of yet.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


People always say the Stephen chapters are the sticking point in Ulysses, but I love them. I have a much harder time following what's happening once it switches over to Bloom.

e: Glad to see I'm not the only one.

House Louse
Oct 21, 2010


elentar posted:

Here's a gem I picked up today:



Thanks for posting this, I just picked up a copy as a Christmas present for my sister. It's pretty obvious that the writer hasn't read it.

Spoilers Below
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...


House Louse posted:

Thanks for posting this, I just picked up a copy as a Christmas present for my sister. It's pretty obvious that the writer hasn't read it.

Really? I thought they did a pretty good job translating a high level modernest novel requiring a ton of outside knowledge of Ireland in 1916 into a format for high schoolers encountering the book for the very first time. I was amazed at how much they got right. It's no substitute for the original, of course, but what "Great Classics Illustrated" type book ever was?

House Louse
Oct 21, 2010


Well, I shouldn't have sneered at the writer - for one thing, I haven't read it either, and Childrens' Classics are a mug's game anyway, doubly so here. But while it does have a lot of the incidents, they don't mean much when they're just presented as something that happened. I was meaning to imply that the writer could have more or less done it from the Cliff's Notes. Although there are some nice bits (the butcher Dlugacz has a Star of David over his shop, and there's a few panels doing IN THE HEART OF THE HIBERNIAN METROPOLIS I like.) A shame really because a comic Ulysses has potential - it could use some more of Joyce's visual ideas and you could have fun with different artists doing different chapters (Eddie Campbell for "Hades", please.)

Skrill.exe
Oct 3, 2007

"Bitcoin is a new financial concept entirely without precedent."

I know it's a fool's errand to read intentionality into an author's works but I can say that without a doubt James Joyce would have chosen to construct his story in the superior art form of manga had it been available to him in his time.

barkingclam
Jun 20, 2007


I started reading Ellmann's biography of Joyce a couple of days ago and I'm enjoying it, but I've got a dumb question: how major is the difference between the first version and the 1982 version? I didn't even realize there was two different versions until after I started reading this older one.

Also something I enjoyed: when I read how Joyce didn't care for Yeats' plays (I think he calls them patronizing or self-defeating, I can't remember which), it reminded me how Nabokov hated Finnegan's Wake, calling it "a formless and dull mass of phony folklore," and didn't like how it was written in a dialect.

barkingclam
Jun 20, 2007


So I'm still going through Ellmann's biography of Joyce and it's great - it's making me want to go into storage and dig out my copies of Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake and tear through them - but it's leaving me curious about Nora. Are there any biographies of her out there? I'm not looking for anything too scholarly, something along the lines of Stacy Schiff's one about Vera Nabokov would be great.

Also, I had no idea about the publishing trouble over Dubliners. It's crazy how close we came to losing the book completely.

elentar
Aug 26, 2002

Congratulations! Your bonsai is dead!

barkingclam posted:

So I'm still going through Ellmann's biography of Joyce and it's great - it's making me want to go into storage and dig out my copies of Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake and tear through them - but it's leaving me curious about Nora. Are there any biographies of her out there? I'm not looking for anything too scholarly, something along the lines of Stacy Schiff's one about Vera Nabokov would be great.

Also, I had no idea about the publishing trouble over Dubliners. It's crazy how close we came to losing the book completely.

Brenda Maddox did one that's pretty well regarded, Nora: The Real Life of Molly Bloom.

barkingclam
Jun 20, 2007


elentar posted:

Brenda Maddox did one that's pretty well regarded, Nora: The Real Life of Molly Bloom.

Awesome, this looks great! Thanks!

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deptstoremook
Jan 12, 2004
my mom got scared and said "you're moving with your Aunt and Uncle in Bel-Air!"


Hey, I'm going through a third reading of Ulysses at the moment and thought I'd bump the thread. I've just finished Cyclops and I'm catching my breath with Nausicaa before the home stretch. So if anyone has any questions, I'm just full to the brim of Ulysses knowledge and resources, as I'm also delving into the academic scholarship for this read.

Joyce is really the author who keeps on giving. I slept through Cyclops last time around, but now I'm spending a lot of time thinking seriously about the lists and digressions.

I also think I'm going to read or at least look at Finnegans Wake after this, god help me.

elentar posted:

Not at all detracting from the ingenuity or historical contexts of other readings, but on at least a very basic level the panther represents all beasts etymologically: pan-therion = "all"+"beast". In that guise it's a sort of primal nightmare creature.

I was thinking about this more on my read through. Stephen a few times refers to the "pard," the semi-mythical medieval creature that's kind of like a cheetah (Scylla & Charybdis is where I saw it most). The "leopard" (it was believed) was the result of a mating between a lion and a pard (leo-pard). So the leopard is mythologically a crossbreed, an "all-beast" just like Leopold is himself a crossbreed (Irish-Jew, greekjew jewgreek), a lion with black spots.

In this context associating Haines with the "pan-ther" "all-beast" also makes sense because Empire consumes all other creatures, lions, pards, leopards, and Leopolds. Panthers are like you say nightmarish, indistinct, and black--except the eyes, Eye-reland, green like the emeralds on Haines' cigarette case. I am just very interested in the dreams because they seem so important, dreams and visions seem to constitute a kind of telepathic link between Stephen and Bloom in this book.

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