Thursday, February 10

Upcoming Series: Ulysses Reading Diary

*Update: I've placed links at the top of the post so readers don't have to scroll down to find them. Each post focuses on a chapter at a time.

Reading Log
Chapter One: Telemachus
Chapter Two: Nestor
Chapter Three: Proteus
Chapter Four: Calypso
Chapter Five: The Lotus Eaters
Chapter Six: Hades
Chapter Seven: Aeolus
Chapter Eight: Lestrygonians
Chapter Nine: Scylla and Charybdis
Chapter Ten: The Wandering Rocks
Chapter Eleven: Sirens
Chapter Twelve: Cyclops
Chapter Thirteen: Nausicaa
Chapter Fourteen: Oxen of the Sun
Chapter Fifteen: Circe
Chapter Sixteen: Eumaeus
Chapter Seventeen: Ithaca
Chapter Eighteen: Penelope

Hello, all,

I apologize for the severely slowed output as of late, but schoolwork has reared its ugly head (or heads, for, like the Hydra, every time I kill one assignment three more spring in its place) and I've been too busy to focus on reviewing. I should have two new posts by the end of the weekend, one on a film, another a continuation of my "Stuff I Like" series, where I spotlight an artist from any medium who has had an impact on me. For now, however, I still have some work to do.

Though I have not had time to sit down and digest a film in one go, I have been spackling the narrow cracks in my schedule with reading, and I've been both returning to old favorites and finally tackling classics that previously daunted me. The greatest blind spot in my literary awareness must be Ulysses by James Joyce, almost universally considered the crowning literary achievement of the 20th century. Joyce himself was foreign to me, considering I'd only ever read brief excerpts of his work with minimal explication.

I just completed A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, however, and the wonderful time I had with it made the fears I had over tackling Joyce's titanic novel all the more transparently unnecessary. However, when my copy of a reprinting of the original 1922 text of the novel arrived in the mail, I turned to the back to check the annotations and found nearly 300 pages of notes explaining Joyce's esoteric, highly advanced and multilingual wordplay, in addition to notes delving into the novel's connection with Homer's Odyssey. So, some apprehension remains.

Therefore, I've decided to handle the book differently than my usual style, which is to just read like the wind because I can never stop myself. Instead, I will keep a running log here of my trek through Dublin, a post for each of the novel's 18 chapters. I should say that this will almost certainly not be a book review, insofar as analysis may be scant in favor of simply spilling out how I've processed the text and the notes. I hope it shall amount to more than a running list of characters, motifs and happenings like some second-rate SparkNotes, but we shall see how it goes. I do at least hope, in deference to Professor Nabokov, to put forward some idea of who the man in the brown mackintosh is. A catalog of the posts will be collected here for easier access once I'm finished.

See you at the top of the Martello tower in Sandycove, everyone.