Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ulysses, First Thoughts on a Second Reading

I'm determined to read Ulysses as part of my 30 Before 30. It's one of the 4 books I've never read in the Modern Library's Top 100.

Though it's disingenuous to say I never read Ulysses, because I did read more than half of it during Spring Break of my senior year of college. I read it for fun, so there are plenty of plot points I missed then, and I'm sure there are some I'm still missing, but that's not why I'm reading it.

To read Ulysses for the plot seems a little like listening to Mozart to analyze the chord progression; sure, I could do it, but isn't that missing the larger point?

One of my favorite professors once told me that the proper way to read Joyce's masterpiece is aloud while drinking Jameson or Guinness. He is a wise man.

It's the sounds I love most, the tongue twisters and the smooth sections. But I also love the graphic side of Ulysses too: the headlines that punctuate the scene in the newspaper shop and the end of the second section which becomes a play, complete with dialogue and stage directions. I feel that if James Joyce were alive today, he'd be a big fan of Christopher Ware.

I'm nearly done with the second section, which is where I recall running out of time in college and having to return my copy to the library. This weekend, I dive into uncharted territory in one of the greatest works of literature. Life is such fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment