I have been reading Joyce off and on for most of my life....that's over 3 decades now.....I began with "Finnegans Wake"...originally having the Campbell/Robinson "Skeleton Key" to assist my comprehension. I especially like the 2nd chapter of the 2nd book....some call it Chapter 10 (or II ii also works). I think I have "grown" ....or "stetched" who I am as I tried to reach higher, deeper to comprehend the book.....the same goes from "Ulysses", "Portrait" and "Dubliners".....I have even helped people who wanted to get into the books on-line when I had a Web TV.
Hope to hear from some You Flockants out there.
>>By satorotas (Tuesday, 21 Sep 2004 23:10)
To read "Finnegans Wake" is something I consider to be extremely difficult... and I would not dare to say I have understood it yet. So, tell us about the 2nd chapter of the 2nd book..maybe we can stretch and grow with your help.
And why do so few people ever mention his "Chamber Music"??
>>By Gabriella (Wednesday, 22 Sep 2004 03:34)
I haven't read Joyce, but probably will soon... two people have offered their opinions to me:
a) He is a canon, apogee, pinnacle of modern literature etc.
b) He is unnecessarily complicated and cryptic. Perhaps, instead, you would like me to 'slam your head into a brick wall'
>>By kerryoco (Saturday, 4 Dec 2004 20:22)
I was reading Ulisses, in Portuguese, and I got to the middle of it. It is very difficult, but it is a surprising way to write. Sometimes I just wanted to to kill the author-why did he make it so full of riddles?, but then, isn´t it wonderful someone took the time to use language in such a different way? Reading it is an experience, and this book really shows that sometimes it is not the story, but the way it is told. My copy was a public library one, so I had to return it. I want to have one in English, but I haven´t found any avaiable here. You have to read it from time to time, like satorotas does, it´s not something you start and get over with fast. I dont know if it is good orbad, but it sure makes you think, you know?About the purpose of telling a story, or reading it, or the uses of language, it makes you wonder...just for this reason, it is important. The book provokes you, it makes you angry, it makes you laugh, it is uncorfortable. But it puts your mind to work.
>>By Carlinha (Monday, 13 Dec 2004 03:24)
Opinions are definetly divided as to whether or not Joyce's Ulysses is the greatest novel of the 20th century or a load of well bs. Im reading it as a background to Desnos and Nerval as im writing paper on madness in writing and Ulysses is "the" stream-of-conscious writing that you should read to understand psychology in language. It is difficult true, but its better to see it as challenging, even though I have no clue what he is on about half the time. Its great! =)
>>By mathu (Monday, 13 Dec 2004 14:55)
I like Carlinha's remarks above . . . I really think it would be fun if we could come to some sort of agreement about protocol . . . basic "rules of the game" to go through some of Joyce's work together here . . . just noting/annotating various sections of the work . . . we might choose to begin with "Dubliners" or "Portrait" just to lay a good groundwork . . .and then segue into "Ulysses" . . . I think it might prove stimulating/challenging/enlightening to all of us here.
Please let me know how You feel about the above remarks. I don't visit this part of FLORK all that often . . . which of course I can amend in the future . . . should something get "cookin'" here.
In Letters ---
>>By satorotas (Friday, 28 Jan 2005 01:23)
Yes, I think I have a point of discussion:
Reading Joyce's Dubliners, I was wondering if Joyce was suggesting in 'The Boarding House' that the Catholic Church is a brothel and Ireland is a prostitute.
Interested in your views
>>By ceejay (Friday, 15 Dec 2006 17:45)
Dear CJ --- I just read Your rather curious question . . .I should look at the story again . . .it certainly had never crossed my mind to interpret in the light of Your reading . . .I certainly
have never thought it one of the more SOLIDLY crafted pieces in the story-sequence . . .
but I will take another peek at the tale for detail and innuendo. "Araby" has stayed with
me over the years . . .and there's another one too . . .about a couple boys playing "hookey"
I believe who encounter an older gent who's somewhat perverse . . .is it called "An
Encounter" perhaps. I've always found it rather fascinating to look into the central
POV in the first several stories as all one narrator in different phases of maturation.
More Later . . . Sator
>>By satorotas (Monday, 18 Dec 2006 23:45)
Ireland has a great tradition in English literature. Ironic, but true.
>>By nonyeb (Wednesday, 10 Jan 2007 19:36)
I am trying to get through Ulysses with the help of Stuart Gilbert's guide, and I wonder if reading it (Ulysses) alone would not give me a different but equally valuable experience. I think that many of the things Joyce did in this book are impressive but somewhat nonliterary achievements. For example, I'm now reading the Oxen of the Sun segment, which is terribly difficult in places. Gilbert explains that, consistent with his (Joyce's) theme of embryonic development in this section, he is actually using a whole chronological series of writing styles ranging from early English through Elizabethan on to the late 19th century essayists. This explanation helps me to value Ulysses as an elegantly solved problem, but not necessarily as a work of art. I feel about this book as I do about the work of the Oulipians (or what I have heard about them, since I haven't read any of their work)--that there are (at least) two distinct ways of appreciating them.
>>By Mona (Friday, 19 Jan 2007 03:10)
>>By Da Blues (Saturday, 20 Jan 2007 12:48)
This comment is directed to Mona (as per above) ---
As far as "Oxen of the Sun" goes . . .the best critique I've seen of this section
thus far was by the Canadian poet/writer, A. M. Klein . . .it may have been
published in the James Joyce Quarterly back a while ago . . .I believe there
is also a volume or two available to Klein's essays . . . he wrote rather ingenuous
essays on several sections of "Ulysses": "Telemachus" "Nestor" and also (per
above) "Oxen of the Sun" . . .I personally find the one on "Oxen" to be the most
brilliant as far as its scholarship goes.
Also it might be noted that Edmund Wilson was quite pleased with the
wedding of Form & Content in "Ulysses" but found "Oxen" was not well conceived
at all . . .the whole conceit failed miserably for Edmund . . .given that he was quite
impressed by the other sections/episodes of the book.
Klein's novel "The Second Scroll" [I believe that's the correct title . . .he only
wrote ONE novel as far as I know] has been credited with being quite influenced
by Joyce's "Ulysses" [and Joyce in general] so one could well expect to see a
rather Cerebral Stucturing in that book.
Enough for now . . .I'm writing rapidly and not proofing today.
>>By satorotas (Thursday, 25 Jan 2007 21:07)
I think we're all beginning to see why Joyce (and Proust) are considered to represent the boundaries of "readable" literature - hah!
I find the Penguin annotated student edition with an introduction and notes by Declan Kiberd particularly useful.
>>By mathu (Wednesday, 14 Mar 2007 21:11)
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