I have done a lot of reading in my life. The combination of some lit degrees and a lifetime of having my nose in a book does it. However, in all that time, I have never tackled James Joyce’s Ulysses.  Sure. I THOUGHT about it. I read Dubliners in a college class; and Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man in high school, both of which were interesting, especially from a writer’s standpoint, but I have never tackled Joyce’s magnus opus.

And I love modernist literature. My favorite writer… along with seemingly every other white, cis, college-educated lit women… is Virginia Wolf. I own everything she has ever written, except for two of her diaries and one collection of letters.

I have a passing admiration for Hemingway. Passing. But I also adore Gertrude Stein and T.S. Eliot.

That all being said, however, Ulysses is a beast. A giant, massive, cumbersome beast.

And I am going to read it.

And write my observations here as a way to keep me motivated; but also perhaps in an attempt to connect to other readers of this giant tome.

(Obviously, that is rather boring content so I will try to maintain my weekly blogging about other various endeavors.)

But this is my new project.

So. If you have read Ulysses, please share your observations. If you never have but want to, why not read along? I am going to tackle the first 15 pages in the next five days. That’s it… I am allowing myself a great deal of cushion.

And if you think this is the worst idea in the entire world and you would rather me read and review… {fill in the blank}… please do leave me a comment.

Happy reading!

5 thoughts on “Ulysses

  1. My experience reading Ulysses was filled with frustration, admiration, and resentment toward Joyce, along with some moments of humorous tit-for-tat between reader and text. (Note that Carl Jung is among the many who had a similar experience.) Is it worth it? Get through the first page of Chapter 3 and then you decide. I think it was worth it in my case, although (like Jung) I feel the dominant of my range of reactions is that I have been fooled or defeated.


    1. I do think it is worth it, or at least it seems that way so far. This summer derailed my reading schedule, but I plan to get back to it soon and continue with these posts. That’s interesting about Jung! I will keep that in mind as I start up again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. fyi Chapter 3 was the point of no return for me. I knew if I could get through Chapter 3, I was home free 🙂 (Btw, I saw a great one-man show in a Dublin pub that brought together all the admiration, frustration, and humor in a way that weirdly made sense — maybe only a true-born Irishman, and an audience swishing through Guinness, can full make sense of that book!)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well damn; as an American female, I fear I am doomed to miss all the nuances. I do like Guiness though. Perhaps drinking Guiness while watching the mentioned one-man show is a required end of book celebration.

        Liked by 1 person

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