2003.12.09 // Filed under: Words
Nine days into the Ulysses challenge, and my bookmark rests at page 248. And you know what? I’m actually quite enjoying it.
It’s not nearly as difficult to read as I had been lead to believe. I expected Desolation Angels-style impenetrability, but for the most part the story is quite straightforward. Maybe one needs to be a Dubliner to get the most out of it; local geography seems to be a strong motif, and my mind has been active mapping the routes the characters take through the town to my own knowledge of the city.
And as for the stream-of-consciousness prose? Such passages have cropped up regularly, but they’re not too difficult to read, once my brain slips into the right gear. Think about it: reflect upon your own thought processes — we jump from item to item at the drop of a hat, words and images we encounter make sudden connections with our memories and experiences; it’s all a jumble, but we still manage to make sense of it.
If one absorbs Joyce’s almost lyrical stream-of-consciousness in the same manner as one would one’s own thought processes, the prose doesn’t seem quite so cut-up and alien. Maybe not accessible for the average reader, still, but not nearly as foreboding as some might say.
But anyway. Nine days down, twenty-two to go…