Friday, April 24, 2015

U is for UIysses



A statue of James Joyce in Dublin
In Dublin's fair city...

No, not the mythical King of Ithaca who helped end the Trojan War.  No, this is a piece of literature written by the famed Irish writer, James Joyce.  He was known for his innovative writing style, especially for the book, Ulysses.
This is a quote from the book:

I was thinking of so many things he didn’t know of Mulvey and Mr Stanhope and Hester and father and old captain Groves and the sailors playing all bird fly and I say stoop and washing up dishes*** they called it on the pier and sentry in front of the governors house with the thing round his white helmet poor devil half roasted and the Spanish girls laughing in their shawls and their tall combs and the auctions in the morning the Greeks and jews and the Arabs and the devil knows who else from all the ends of all Europe and Duke street and the fowl market all clucking outside Larby Sharons and the door donkeys slipping half asleep on the vague fellows in the cloaks…

If you made it to ***, good on ye.

Well, now.

The book is 265,000 words in length, with 30, 030 words lexicons: a special vocabulary or definition of the author’s peculiar language preferences.  Notice the lack of punctuation.


I tried to read this book really tried but had to give up and started War and Peace instead it was okay but the plot…

24 comments:

  1. I suppose I'll have to tackle Ulysses one day. War and Peace seems less arduous to me, too.

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    1. If you tackle Ulysses, have some cups of coffee first.

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  2. That is a really hard sentence to follow being so long and without punctuation.

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    1. No puncutation at all! Lots of "ands".

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  3. Ah, my feelings exactly about both of those books. I tried, I slogged through, and I didn't like them, not one bit.

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    1. Same here. At least there was a War and Peace movie.

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  4. I can't stand that writing style, especially since I'm a minimalist writer. The lack of punctuation and drawn out sentences drives me nuts.

    Precious Monsters

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    1. Always wondered if that was Joyce's idea?

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  5. I have never read this one. It's on my reading list though.

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    1. Check it out from the library, don't buy it.

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  6. I have no idea what he was talking about but I read it over and over again out loud enjoying the feel of the words in my mouth.

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    1. The Irish have a way of putting together words, and it feels good to hear them and see them. Except for this piece written by Joyce. He has written some wonderful poetry that I love.

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  7. That is how my first drafts usually look- not sure anyone could or would be able to follow them but me though :)

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  8. That would make me say **** just trying to read it

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  9. I'm with Delores on this one. Sad, all the things he didn't know.

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  10. Joyce obviously enjoyed writing and attempted to explore life and strife in his work.

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    1. Joyce was a story teller in his own way. Ulysses reflects the way people speak, with interruptions, rambling, changing topics...very much circular. It takes so much effort to ride the tide of his writing that I gave up. Perhaps sometime I will take a breath and dive in. His poem, Ecce Puer, was exceptionally meaningful to me.

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  11. We had a Joyce novel assigned in 12th grade. I barely got through it. I hated it. I'll never be tempted to read another Joyce work.

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    1. His poetry is what I prefer. His books speak so much with Irish history and streets, people. Give the poetry a try.

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  12. Never tried Ulysses, but War and Peace is one of my favourites. I had a heck of a job figuring out what that quote all meant. I got past the asterisks though.

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  13. I've never read Ulysses and after that little taste, I never will.

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  14. We have our picture with that statue. I may even have it up on our blog from our trip to Dublin. You gave me a fun memory today. :)

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  15. Hi Susan.
    I haven't read this one.
    Well, I haven't read any of James Joyce's writing... am I missing anything?
    The poem by Tennyson popped into my mind when I saw your title.
    Writer In Transit

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!