Friday, April 22nd, 2005
Well having polished off (with mixed but generally positive results) Call It Sleep and Foucault's Pendulum, I turned my attention this morning to the king of the intimidating books, Ulysses -- a book that I tried to read when I was about 16 (and gave up after one or two chapters) and again when I was about 20 (and gave up about a third of the way in). The binding of the edition I owned back then crumbled, and when I turned 28 and was given a Barnes & Noble gift certificate by my parents-in-law, I bought another copy; which has been on my shelf ever since.
I was reading Chapter I on the train this morning and enjoying the back-and-forth conversation (actually mostly "forth", I think Buck Mulligan is much more talkative than the other two -- also he seems like a bit of a flamer, is my first impression anyways). A Frolic of His Own made me dig this way of representing conversation -- with dashes and no quotation marks -- and it seems pretty natural now.
Monday, April 25th, 2005
As I read Ulysses, I am finding that I enjoy the narrative chapters (so far, "Telemachus", "Nestor" (or about half of it), "Calypso", and parts of "The Lotus-Eaters"), the other ones (so far, only "Proteus" has been a real offender) put me to sleep. This morning while reading "Proteus", I was just finding it impossible to pay attention to the book and was thinking about putting the book down if it didn't draw me in soon.
But then this afternoon I started in on "Calypso" and I was back on track. This chapter is actually the one that made the most of an impression on me the previous times I tried to read Ulysses -- when I think of the book, the first thing that comes to mind is Leopold Bloom eating kidney. This afternoon my response to the chapter was to get very defensive about being submissive in relationships; as I realized what I was doing, I was able to let go of that somewhat.
Wednesday, April 27th, 2005
"Hades" -- I read half of this episode on the train last night and was having a pretty hard time following it. But this morning restarted the chapter and lo and behold, the story flowed quite smoothly.
Talking with Nathaniel on the phone tonight I mentioned that I am in the middle of Ulysses and he replied that he is too, for a few decades now.
Tuesday, May third, 2005
Okay the current Ulysses attempt is officially over -- it's just not moving me enough to be worth the effort. (Except for that "Calypso" episode, that one's really nice.)
Moving on... I'm flirting with the idea of reading The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil. I read the first 20 or so pages yesterday and found them funny and engaging. For some reason I am reluctant to commit to that book though.
Thursday, January 21st, 2010
✷ Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned:
It would be hugely ambitious, and almost certainly misconceived, to try to render Joyce's Ulysses as a graphic novel. The folks at Throwaway Horse, LLC have taken on a project that strikes me as (a) even more ambitious and (b) far more likely to have a useful, valuable outcome: they are creating a graphic/web companion to the novel, a set of resources for the reader which center around a beautifully composed (by artist Robert Berry) webcomic. There are mouseover translations of foreign phrases; there are context-sensitive links to a reader's guide (written by Mike Barsanti) and dramatis personæ. The 55 pages that are up so far -- covering the first 13 pages of the text, as they are numbered in my Vintage Books edition -- are outstanding. I think if I were part of Throwaway Horse I would be trembling before the size of the task; but I wish them well with it and I hope that they are able to pull it off.
—Introibo ad altare Dei.
Thursday, June 10th, 2010
Belle Waring (who is blogging again! Hooray!) alerts us to the ridiculous stance of Apple's iPad App Store, that Buck Mulligan's genitalia may not appear in material distributed to an iPad app -- with the upshot that Rob Berry's Ulysses "Seen" comic would not be sold in the App Store. Berry has agreed to cut the nudity, the expurgated comic will again be available on Apple products...
An interview with Berry and Levitas, at Robot 6.
...Update: Macy Halford at the New Yorker's Book Bench reports that Apple is altering its restrictions on iPad apps and has asked Berry to resubmit the unexpurgated version.
Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
On this date in 1904...
Thursday, June 16th, 2011
Happy Bloomsday! In case you're looking for something to read today, I see the Calypso episode is now complete at Ulysses, Seen. Mr. Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls...
Oh wow! Also, Robert Berry (author of Ulysses, Seen) is Twittering the events of Ulysses throughout the day today. (He is doing it on Dublin time.) Right now, Stephen is walking down the beach to Sandymount Strand.
Drop me a line! or, sign my Guestbook.
Check out Ellen's writing at Patch.com.