Thursday, July 21, 2005

My Reading Plan

My copy of ULYSSES has 780 pages. I’ve flipped through them – while there several sections, there don’t seem to be any chapters. To finish the novel in a year, I would have to read about 2.1 pages a day (or 2.136986… to be precise -- an irrational number, by the way). That seems eminently doable. Perhaps there will be days when the story tugs me along beyond this quota. Perhaps there will be many more days when I will read exactly 2.136986… pages, or down to the closest word (splitting this hair down to the closest letter of the closest word would be overdoing it, I believe).

But I noticed Joyce’s signoff at the end: Trieste-Zurich-Paris, 1914-1921. And here I thought Joyce was holed up in dreary Dublin to write this. One small stereotype shattered. Maybe larger stereotypes will also crumble.

2 Comments:

Blogger Segúr 95.20 said...

"Blood and 'ouns" is an abbreviation of "God's blood and wounds" - abbreviated in Elizabethan times, for instance, precisely because it was blasphemous. You see the phrase in Shakespeare, forget where...probably in Hamlet which turns up a good bit in ULYSSES.

4:57 AM  
Blogger Segúr 95.20 said...

The stereotype of Joyce is the stereotype of the Parisian artist, not of someone holed up in dreary Dublin. Dublin would not have been dreary in 1904, by the way. It was the second city of the British Empire, had a huge red-light section, which you will see, and lots of hustle and bustle. Dublin's hayday was in the 18th century when it was Europe's fourth largest city. It would have been elegant and convivial. Nor would Dublin have been dreary in June 1904. It was a sunny June day, hot for a maritime, temperate climate.

5:06 AM  

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