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The Book Shelf
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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
(09-Apr-2014 02:44 PM)1972Murat Wrote:  ^I think Ulysses was written on crack, as opposed to Guinness. I don't know how many times i started reading it and dropped it...

The thing with Ulysses is, you can turn it upside down and read it and it's much the same. Though, I know people who have read it and they get what he's doing, and they say you can start anywhere, dip in, it's a language fiesta, a crazy thing. I read other Joyce stuff, like The Dubliners, and I preferred that...

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09-Apr-2014 02:54 PM
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shawnbm Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
Joyce is tough for me because of the language and colloquialisms from Dublin and whatnot. I have never made it all the way through one of his books, but surely one can see this was a mighty hand with a quill. Perhaps it was the Guinness.

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09-Apr-2014 03:05 PM
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Kieran (04-09-2014)
shawnbm Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
Now Yeats' poetry is some of the best--just so lyrical and lovely. Wilde's wit and intelligence shines through. Never read anything by Beckett--my loss I am sure.

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09-Apr-2014 03:06 PM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
(09-Apr-2014 03:05 PM)shawnbm Wrote:  Joyce is tough for me because of the language and colloquialisms from Dublin and whatnot. I have never made it all the way through one of his books, but surely one can see this was a mighty hand with a quill. Perhaps it was the Guinness.

I think it might have been his genius. Wink I think you;d like The Dubliners, Shawn, it's quite lyrical and straight in the way he tells the story.

Yeah, Yeats is very lyrical. I have a book of his beside the bed, alongside Emily Dickinson. I like to read some verses before I sleep, but Yeats almost makes me want to sing!

As for Beckett, I tried reading his novels last year, but it was during a heatwave and I was tanning myself out the back, lying on a towel and reading this stuff - not the best way, perhaps! I should have read some Jo Nesbo or another Scandi-noir crime thriller stuff, which I also love...

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09-Apr-2014 03:11 PM
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1972Murat Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
(09-Apr-2014 02:54 PM)Kieran Wrote:  
(09-Apr-2014 02:44 PM)1972Murat Wrote:  ^I think Ulysses was written on crack, as opposed to Guinness. I don't know how many times i started reading it and dropped it...

The thing with Ulysses is, you can turn it upside down and read it and it's much the same. Though, I know people who have read it and they get what he's doing, and they say you can start anywhere, dip in, it's a language fiesta, a crazy thing. I read other Joyce stuff, like The Dubliners, and I preferred that...

Now, The Dubliners was a great book. I enjoyed it very much. Only Guiness for that one.Wink

09-Apr-2014 03:28 PM
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Kieran (04-09-2014)
Kieran Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
(09-Apr-2014 03:28 PM)1972Murat Wrote:  
(09-Apr-2014 02:54 PM)Kieran Wrote:  
(09-Apr-2014 02:44 PM)1972Murat Wrote:  ^I think Ulysses was written on crack, as opposed to Guinness. I don't know how many times i started reading it and dropped it...

The thing with Ulysses is, you can turn it upside down and read it and it's much the same. Though, I know people who have read it and they get what he's doing, and they say you can start anywhere, dip in, it's a language fiesta, a crazy thing. I read other Joyce stuff, like The Dubliners, and I preferred that...

Now, The Dubliners was a great book. I enjoyed it very much. Only Guiness for that one.Wink

It goes down well with Guinness, no doubt about that... Wink

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09-Apr-2014 03:29 PM
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tented Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
There's no question Ulysses is a difficult book, but it's not impossible. For me, Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow is impenetrable. I've tried reading it half a dozen times, and can never get past the first few pages without having to suppress the desire to throw it out a window. Joyce's follow-up, Finnegans Wake, is another one which is beyond me.

In college, I took a course dedicated exclusively to Ulysses. It was a very small class, with just 2-3 more people than there are chapters in the book (18). The professor had us, then, teach it to each other. It was the perfect way to force you to get through it, while also learning a lot about it.

Ironically, we began the semester by reading what felt like everything but the book, with the professor practically begging us not to begin it. Instead we read things which heavily influenced Joyce, namely Homer's The Odyssey (which serves as the underlying structure), Hamlet, Irish folk songs, and lastly Joyce's warm-up exercise to Ulysses, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

If you're ever interested in giving Ulysses a serious go, I suggest beginning by reading The Odyssey, since Ulysses is a kind of 20th century version of it, and Portrait, which will get you familiar with the style of writing Joyce is developing. Also, the main character in Portrait, Stephen Dedalus, is one of the key characters in Ulysses, so it's more than just the previous book. They're linked.

Lastly, I'll make what might at first seem like an odd suggestion: Read it out loud. The rhythms and poetry of the text come alive. You may be familiar with the tradition of groups of people reading it out loud on June 16th -- Bloomsday -- which is the day the entire book takes place (it was the day Joyce met his wife, Nora). It's not a coincidence that it's performed like this. It makes perfect sense, when you experience it.

The wonderful Irish actress Fionnula Flanagan often reads the famous final chapter at an event in New York. Here's a brief excerpt from YouTube:



09-Apr-2014 04:18 PM
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Kieran (04-09-2014)
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RE: The Book Shelf
Good stuff, T, I think that's great advice. Joyce was a genius and he built his book on solid foundations. Good recommendations there for anyone wanting to get into Ulysses, myself included...

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09-Apr-2014 04:26 PM
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Moxie629 Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
The great Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died. Descanse en paz. (RIP)
17-Apr-2014 04:39 PM
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Moxie629 Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
(09-Apr-2014 04:26 PM)Kieran Wrote:  Good stuff, T, I think that's great advice. Joyce was a genius and he built his book on solid foundations. Good recommendations there for anyone wanting to get into Ulysses, myself included...

Those are excellent suggestions from tented. I also agree with reading it aloud…it makes so much more sense when you find the unwritten punctuation. Like poetry, which should also be read aloud. I always listen to the live reading on Bloomsday (16 June.) It really helps to have actors find the pauses and emphases. I love that Molly Bloom speech, and always tune in late to hear Fionnula Flanagan read it. And I do read that part out loud to myself periodically. I love that speech. One of the best endings to a book, ever.
17-Apr-2014 06:30 PM
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Kieran (04-18-2014)
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RE: The Book Shelf
(17-Apr-2014 06:30 PM)Moxie629 Wrote:  
(09-Apr-2014 04:26 PM)Kieran Wrote:  Good stuff, T, I think that's great advice. Joyce was a genius and he built his book on solid foundations. Good recommendations there for anyone wanting to get into Ulysses, myself included...

Those are excellent suggestions from tented. I also agree with reading it aloud…it makes so much more sense when you find the unwritten punctuation. Like poetry, which should also be read aloud. I always listen to the live reading on Bloomsday (16 June.) It really helps to have actors find the pauses and emphases. I love that Molly Bloom speech, and always tune in late to hear Fionnula Flanagan read it. And I do read that part out loud to myself periodically. I love that speech. One of the best endings to a book, ever.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez's passing reminded me of "One Hundred Years of Solitude." Solitude and Ulysses have the two greatest endings I've ever encountered.
18-Apr-2014 05:35 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
(17-Apr-2014 06:30 PM)Moxie629 Wrote:  
(09-Apr-2014 04:26 PM)Kieran Wrote:  Good stuff, T, I think that's great advice. Joyce was a genius and he built his book on solid foundations. Good recommendations there for anyone wanting to get into Ulysses, myself included...

Those are excellent suggestions from tented. I also agree with reading it aloud…it makes so much more sense when you find the unwritten punctuation. Like poetry, which should also be read aloud. I always listen to the live reading on Bloomsday (16 June.) It really helps to have actors find the pauses and emphases. I love that Molly Bloom speech, and always tune in late to hear Fionnula Flanagan read it. And I do read that part out loud to myself periodically. I love that speech. One of the best endings to a book, ever.

Yes, yes, and Yes! Clap

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tented Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
(18-Apr-2014 05:41 AM)Kieran Wrote:  
(17-Apr-2014 06:30 PM)Moxie629 Wrote:  
(09-Apr-2014 04:26 PM)Kieran Wrote:  Good stuff, T, I think that's great advice. Joyce was a genius and he built his book on solid foundations. Good recommendations there for anyone wanting to get into Ulysses, myself included...

Those are excellent suggestions from tented. I also agree with reading it aloud…it makes so much more sense when you find the unwritten punctuation. Like poetry, which should also be read aloud. I always listen to the live reading on Bloomsday (16 June.) It really helps to have actors find the pauses and emphases. I love that Molly Bloom speech, and always tune in late to hear Fionnula Flanagan read it. And I do read that part out loud to myself periodically. I love that speech. One of the best endings to a book, ever.

Yes, yes, and Yes! Clap

Commas?! Wink
18-Apr-2014 06:09 AM
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shawnbm Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
Starting in on Christianity and the Crisis of Culture by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Been on a run with the pope emeritus of late, which is a beautiful thing I can tell you.

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21-Apr-2014 01:33 PM
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Kieran (04-21-2014)
Moxie629 Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
Going back just a bit, The Dubliners is a great place to start with Joyce. John Huston's last film, "The Dead," was based on it, and it's a lovely, delicate film.
21-Apr-2014 06:20 PM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
(21-Apr-2014 01:33 PM)shawnbm Wrote:  Starting in on Christianity and the Crisis of Culture by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Been on a run with the pope emeritus of late, which is a beautiful thing I can tell you.

Shawn, you're giving me a renewed appetite for B16! I have the first book on Jesus, will read the next two! Smile

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RE: The Book Shelf
I'm currently reading Candide by Voltaire. I am loving it - quick-witted, satirical, fast-moving, and full of humour. Just brilliant so far.
23-Apr-2014 10:37 PM
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RE: The Book Shelf
Just started reading the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy. Barely been able to put it down the last couple nights! I haven't seen the movies but will watch the first one after I'm done with the book. Then I probably will read the 2nd book before seeing the 2nd movie.
10-May-2014 12:53 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
Reading East of eden right now, and enjoying it. This is Steinbeck on a large scale. I think he writes well enough on these epics to make them actually beautiful.

Today in the library I borrowed Flann O'Brien, At Swim Two Birds, Charles Bukowski, Notes of a Dirty Old Man, and William Burroughs, (I think this one is called Junk). Gonna head to bed after the tennis and be like a child at Christmas...

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Kieran Offline
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RE: The Book Shelf
East of Eden is getting a soapy now, a tad stretched thin, and I still have about 200 pages left. It's not so dense and flawless as Grapes of Wrath, or Mice and Men. I'm not disappointed in it, but he's putting in sentimental touches which are irksome... No No

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