James Joyce

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RITH
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James Joyce

Post by RITH » Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:07 am

Did anyone ever get through 'Ulysses'? And actually enjoyed it?

Usually once I start a book, I finish it, not matter if I like it. I had been warned, but this is really a struggle. I don't mind a struggle, but is it even worth it? Is it rewarding in the end?

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Post by JohaN » Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:14 am

jeez - someone had to drag in joyce

in reply - i've started ulysses 3 times, and all three times got to about pg 360-odd (i think) before packing it in.

i like the first few hundred pages, but after that i find it a real battle

(cheatingly, i HAVE skipped ahead and read the famous monologue at the end - is it molly malone? i can't remember - which is great)

on the other hand, perhaps this book was a victim of my teen pretention... i don't think i've tried it since i was about 20... and 15 was probably the wrong age to try it for the first time...

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Post by humblebee » Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:22 am

I enjoyed Dubliners. I've never felt ready to tackle any of the novels though.

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Post by RITH » Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:28 am

JohaN wrote:jeez - someone had to drag in joyce
Sorry sir.

I feel weak (in that pretentious, because who cares? way) for giving up on it already. Perhaps I should try it in Dutch, but that won't work the same way, I guess.

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Post by Martijn » Fri Oct 26, 2007 1:07 pm

I've never got any further than, I think, the first 10 pages. I know someone who divides people into 'those who have read Ulysses' and 'those who haven't yet' and he more or less convinced me to read the book. And I will one day. But those first two pages were quite hard already. I mean, I don't have a problem with English books in general, but here I got the feeling I was missing half of the story because of the language difference.

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Re: James Joyce

Post by cacophoney » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:53 pm

My second post here so hello [again].
I have read Ulysses - had to actually, for some uni assignment (I majored in English). I didn't enjoy it all that much then, but later I re-read the book again and it kind of grew on me.
Anyways I agree with humblebee, Dubliners is great - and much much more accessible, being a collection of short stories. "Araby" is kind of sweet.

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Re: James Joyce

Post by alexie » Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:14 pm

I loved 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man', but I'm part of the group that hasn't made it through Ulysses. I did win a university award for a radio story I did on the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday, though. Speaking of which, that's this weekend I think! I'll persevere and make it through someday...

I told my brother-in-law I wanted to visit Dublin to do a James Joyce tour of the city, and he said, "Who's James Joyce?" Bloody Philistine.
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Re: James Joyce

Post by cuppie » Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:03 pm

I don't think I'll ever read Ulysses or Finnegan's Wake from cover to cover, like they're novels. I would like to very much but I guess I think of them more as like they're bibles. Sometimes I just pick them up and read a few pages and I like what I read and I'm terribly confused and I have to put it down and then go read the funnies in the newspaper or something. One of my favorite places in the world is Nora Barnacle's little house in Galway. It's so tiny and charming. Which reminds me! Bloomsday is in a few days.

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Re: James Joyce

Post by postalblue » Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:12 pm

I have. I've read Dubliners and Portrait too, though only parts of Finnegans. I actually tried to translate bits of it during college with a friend. Those excerpts got published later on in a translation magazine. Hard as hell.

I did finish and enjoy Ulysses. Parts of it are probably the best English language prose ever. Some chapter's beginnings are memorable, though it can all be seen as very pretentious, but that was Joyce for you.
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Re: James Joyce

Post by Liv » Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:57 pm

Joyce is a bit like Beckett, in that they both have this really intimidating, off-putting reputation, but if you can ignore that and just read them the way you would anything else, they're both fucking funny.

(That said, I haven't read Finnegans Wake yet. My tutor's making me go to his FW reading group next semester, no doubt that'll be a joy...)
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Re: James Joyce

Post by andyroo » Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:19 am

alexie wrote:I told my brother-in-law I wanted to visit Dublin to do a James Joyce tour of the city, and he said, "Who's James Joyce?" Bloody Philistine.
Who's your favourite genius, James Hird or James Joyce? [/TISM]

I've read Finnegans Wake but not Ulysses. Now that I've been living in Dublin 8 years I think it's about time I read Ulysses. I'm sure it makes more sense when one's lived here.

And the opening of Finnegans " riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay" etc. used to be on the Irish ten pound notes, so people would read a bit of JJ every day.
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Re: James Joyce

Post by JohaN » Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:34 pm

[quote="andyroo]And the opening of Finnegans " riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay" etc. used to be on the Irish ten pound notes, so people would read a bit of JJ every day.[/quote]

bloody e.u. etc etc no doubt

that is a great line though, isn't it? it's got music to it - it's also about as far as i've read FW too (which i actually bought, in a fit of misplaced intellectual optimism, but have hardly picked up).

i've said it before, and i'll say it again (though i'm still not sure why i say it): i don't mind struggling with books, so much: the first 6 pages of "the sound & the fury" is about the most difficult reading i've ever done, and i've got more out of that book than almost any other. FW is undeniably fiendishly difficult to read; Ulysses i didn't find difficult as such - though it isn't eeasy - it's more that i never really got to the stage of feeling rewarded for persevering with it (and i've made it to about page 300-something twice now)
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Re: James Joyce

Post by Bobby Who? » Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:33 pm

Eleanor Bobby McGees & Becca Bobby McGees (The saxophone player) have both read it and WORSE they seem to understand what it's all about....and discuss it regularly!!!!

"It's amazing as an experiment....some of it's good, but it's not a very good novel"
That's her (First class honours...top of the class) opinion on it!!!

Me, I thought it needed some aliens and a good car chase!
(I read the PASS NOTES & BEGINNERS GUIDE TO....)

There was a long period in my life when I was starting to believe that there was NO-ONE in the whole world who had ever actually read it!

I got a good we glimpse into how it should be read when I saw the mad Irish singer Jinx Lennon...anyone know him?
Teaching the obvious to the idiots.

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Re: James Joyce

Post by postalblue » Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:46 pm

JohaN wrote: i've said it before, and i'll say it again (though i'm still not sure why i say it): i don't mind struggling with books, so much: the first 6 pages of "the sound & the fury" is about the most difficult reading i've ever done, and i've got more out of that book than almost any other. FW is undeniably fiendishly difficult to read; Ulysses i didn't find difficult as such - though it isn't eeasy - it's more that i never really got to the stage of feeling rewarded for persevering with it (and i've made it to about page 300-something twice now)
Ooh, I love Faulkner.
There are some snippets of audio floating around the internet with Joyce reading aloud some bits of Finnegans Wake.
Here's one: http://media.salon.com/mp3s/joyce1.mp3

And here you can hear him reading Anna Livia Plurabelle: http://ubu.artmob.ca/sound/joyce_james/ ... abelle.mp3
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Re: James Joyce

Post by 13strongmonsters » Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:10 pm

I've read it twice all the way through - once because I had to for my 20th Century Irish Literature course, and once because I wrote my dissertation about it (well, about Ulysses and some Irish poetry).

The first time I had to read it in a week, so I was reading about 100 pages a day for seven days, which puts you in a rather strange state of mind.

But enough about the feat of actually reading it (it wasn't that hard - the hardest part was all the obscure Irish political references), what did people actually enjoy in it?

I loved Molly Malone's section, obviously - I was genuinely scandalised! I like the scene when he's wandering the streets (drunk?) and all of these mythical archetypes and personal/political ghosts keep appearing, too.

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Re: James Joyce

Post by morning chorus » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:24 pm

Liv wrote:Joyce is a bit like Beckett, in that they both have this really intimidating, off-putting reputation, but if you can ignore that and just read them the way you would anything else, they're both fucking funny.
this is 100% correct - well said... however, beckett is my preference...

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Re: James Joyce

Post by Carys » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:09 pm

FEEDBACK FROM JAMES JOYCE'S SUBMISSION OF ULYSSES TO HIS CREATIVE- WRITING WORKSHOP by Teddy Wayne wrote:
Show us how these characters process memory, language, abstractions, and the urban landscape through stream of consciousness, don't just tell us.

More commas, please.

Unclear where and when this is set.

Caught some allusions to The Odyssey. Nice.

Think you accidentally stapled in something from your playwriting workshop for Ch. 15.

"History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake." So true.

Everything Buck said had me LOL—hilarious character! Where do you come up with this stuff?

Kick-ass work, JJ, but way too long. Have you considered turning this into a short-short?

Noticed schematic chapter variations in literary technique, bodily organ, artistic subject, color, and symbol—really complex stuff. It's obvious you spent a while on this one.

I normally appreciate your extravagant wordsmithing, but got the sense here that you wore out the Shift+F7 keys (i.e., thesaurus). "Honorificabilitudinitatibus"? What, are you trying to impress that girl Nora?
More at: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/2006/5/9wayne.html

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Re: James Joyce

Post by Damian » Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:31 pm

Heh that's excellent.

Honorificabilitudinitatibus is a fantastic word. Is it Shakespearian? I think it is.

I've read Ulysses once, the first time I started I didn't get past the second chapter. The second time I finished it. It's wonderful. All the different combinations of style and such, and the humour (when I get it) can be deliciously crass or wonderful subtle. I like that altercation in the pub between Bloom and some man (I've forgotten his name, if he ever had one) "Your God was a Jew"

That whole stream of conciousness part with Dedalus echoing the sound of waves in his head is delightful.

That said I don't think I'll ever enjoy it as it's meant. There's just so much meaning in it that's of it's time or jokes that I will never get. To quote this website http://home.wlv.ac.uk/~fa1871/joynote.html. "however, there is also a plethora of misrepresented facts and red-herrings in the narrative which, if you live long enough to research them, are very funny"

I never really had a copy of the book with chapter titles, though these seem de rigeour when one reads notes/explanations on part of the book.

Anyway yeah, I enjoyed it. Perfer Dubliners though, lighter. The Dead obviously is beyond special. I know some people who think Joyce was all style over substance, deliberately writing obtusely, controversially or just oddly for acclaim. That's totally wrong, Dubliners shows that.

Finnegans Wake I've never read, I will though.

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