Once more my weekly round-up of links, articles, conversations and general stuff pertaining to Ulysses and James Joyce himself – and sometimes even not. Here’s an old article from Newsweek that explores the idea and purpose of re-reading novels, something I’ll no doubt have to do myself after I finish my first go through the great book.
And what book can’t be improved by pleasant surroundings and an flagon of ale. There is an aspect to this novel which is more social than academic – something which is hinted at by this post from Chuck Boyd’s blog Chuckography. Must try that tour myself one day.
Although taking this tour through Las Vegas might be more exciting – Davy’s Locker where neither James Joyce nor Frank Sinatra ever drank.
Read more “The Hypertext Chapbook (ii)”
I’m sitting back on my first chapter and it’s good to make a start. Legend has it that this novels has many levels and more than a few nooks and crannies to explore – that might be the understatement of the year, but I’ll let you who have been there already be the judge of that. I’m thinking that this first chapter may be lulling me into a false sense of security as in itself it didn’t seem terribly difficult to read. I’m fairly sure I’m not picking up everything but it began and ended and made some familiar narrative sense, so I’m grateful for that at least.
Read more “More Beginnings Than Endings”
There are many different ways to enter the labyrinth of Joyce’s text and, challenging bastard that he was, Joyce often left many well-intended but ultimately false breadcrumb trails for us to foolishly follow while he sat safely in the the shade of a forest elm laughing at our academic and misguided assurances of correct navigation. He was, at the end of the day, a genius-prankster, a terribly devious minister of his own sense of modernism, who never missed out on the opportunity to lead pilgrims astray. Hell, he longed for that opportunity and set about finding more and more ways to reach it in the new and uncharted waters of “a fully modern novel.”
Read more “The Linati Schema”
If you know anything about Ulysses, you might know that it bears a strong family resemblance to Homer’s Odyssey. Joyce transposes elements of the ancient story to one day in the life of Dublin, a warm June day in 1904. Telemachus is the son of Odysseus (that’s Ulysses to you, if you’re Roman), and when you meet him, he is desperate to do something about the horde of suitors that is waiting to marry his mother and despoiling his home. He doesn’t remember his father, who’s been gone for a very long time.
But if you just pick up Joyce’s novel, you have no idea that the first episode is called “Telemachus.” [Nor, for that matter, do you know that it’s June 16, 1904, 8:00 a.m., or a Thursday. It takes hundreds of pages to figure this out. But we bring it to you on a platter!]
The word “Telemachus” appears nowhere in the book. Joyce had Homeric titles for all of the 18 episodes, however, and he used them regularly when talking about the book with his friends. In 1920, he created a “schema” for his friend (and writer and critic) Carlo Linati, which would quickly become the first of many tools for reading the book.
View this Page of the Comic
Reader’s Guide for I: Telemachus
Dramatis Personae for I: Telemachus
You can buy copies of the works mentioned by clicking on the links below.