Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Labyrinth

"..amid the insipissated grime of his glaucous den making believe
to read his usylessly unreadable Blue Book of Eccles.."
James Joyce Finnegans Wake 1939.

Circe and Ulysses
Michael Wolgemut 1493

" "Where do you begin in this?" Stephen Dedalus asks his Dalkey schoolboys, 'this' being the book before them. The question returns with each new reader approaching Ulysses for the first time. The commonplace response of the contemporary Joyce critic is itself Joycean: of course, there is no possibility of beginning Ulysses, much less of finishing (with) it. Joyce's book has so colonized twentieth-century Anglophone culture that we can never now enter it for the first time. Instead, we most resemble members of that parade of guests Bloom imagines both preceding and succeeding him into Molly's bed: 'he is always the last term of a preceding and succeeding series even if the first term of a succeeding one, each imagining himself to be the first, last, and only and alone whereas he is neither first nor last or only nor alone in a series originating in and repeated to infinity'. "
Jeri Johnson Introduction. Ulysses by James Joyce. 1993. Oxford University Press.

James Joyce sketched by the author in Zurich, 1919 in
James Joyce and the Making of Ulysses and other writings by Frank Budgen.

" is very likely that Ulysses is cast in a form for which, even yet, there is no name. Perhaps that is as it should be, for a name is a barbarism, a limitation; and Ulysses is an endlessly open book of utopian epiphanies. It holds the mirror up to the colonial capital that was Dublin, 16 June 1904, but it also offers redemptive glimpses of a future world which might be made over in terms of those utopian moments."
Declan Kiberd. Introduction. Ulysses by James Joyce. 1992. Penguin Books.

This is Banned Books Week. More from wikipedia.

Go read it, you know you want to.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Nice sketch of the author, the "Bloom" link has reminded me of the second movie made, must locate at video store.

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