Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What did the wise man say to the wiser man?

There once was a wise man and a wiser man. The wise man thought to himself, "The wiser man has not read ULYSSES. Therefore, I will read ULYSSES and become wiser than the wiser man."

A month later he he comes to the wiser man and holds his head to groan, "Oh wiser man, now I know why you are wiser."

But good news for me: I'm out of the Dedalus Shakespeare theory chapter (wherein I believe Dedalus argues that Shakespeare's major plays are really about himself and his family, but I'm not sure of that), and into the Chapter of The Very Reverend John Conmee saluting others and being saluted.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Where I do a fair bit of my ULYSSES reading

I'm not joking (this being the toilet adjacent to my den), so while this post is a little potty, it's not really potty humor.

Monday, November 14, 2005

A lesson in craft from ULYSSES

It is sacriligeous to refer to ULYSSES in terms of the craft (as opposed to art) of writing?

I still haven't been able to read a new page yet due to my tsunami novel revision. But I got to thinking today about character voice. In my novel there are two protagonists, a Western teenaged girl and Acehnese teenaged boy. Chapters alternative in their points of view. Obviously there is a cultural difference between them, but I will also have to have a difference in their introspective voices.*

As in ULYSSES. Here's the internal voice of Leopold Bloom, pulled pretty much at random (he is thinking of his pregnant wife): Got big then. Had to refuse the Greystones concert. My son inside her. I could have helped him on in life. I could. Make him independent. Learn German.

And here's that precious Stephen Dedalus: Wombed in sin darkness I was too,made not begotten. By them the man with my voice and my eyes and a ghostwoman with ashes on her breath...warring his life long on the contransmagnificand jewbantangiality.

So, an inspiration from the master how to differentiate a voice.

*But just touch of introspection. My editor is expecting a riveting page turner, which is sort of unlike ULYSSES.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

What good are Joycean Scholars?

Careful, now. It's a loaded question.

I don't believe that the cure for cancer or the definitive map to world peace is to be found in ULYSSES.

So what good does studying the works of a dead man do for humankind?

Well, for starters, that's what we humans do. Scholarship is a glorious human activity. We wouldn't be homo sapiens without the sapiens part. And of course, to understand ULYSSES requires a heck of lot of that sapien stuff, more than some people have.

Viva la les them Joycean Scholars!

Thursday, November 10, 2005


That's the only anagram I could make out of ULYSSES.

Sly uses.

Not that I spent a lot of time working on this. I've got mucho troubles .

Sunday, November 06, 2005

There I was, face to face with the largest wave ever seen by man...

Well, actually, it was only a four-footer. But my leash got wrapped around a coral head, and for a moment I thought I was going to drown. Did I think of my wife and kids? No, I thought of ULYSSES. I would never get a chance to finish it. The thought of that galvanized me, and with strength I never thought I had I yanked on my polyurathane leash and snapped it.