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Old 10-04-2016, 01:37 PM
Knowed Out Knowed Out is offline
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Kakkalakee
Posts: 11,976
Finally getting around to reading the classics - Ulysses

I think I tried to read Ulysses in college, but couldn't get past the first page. Now that I can read it online, I can instantly research words and Latin phrases I have no knowledge of. It's still a challenge, because there's a lot of references to old myths, Greek and Irish, as well as old philosophers I haven't studied, so context is often lacking for me. So, I have links to Cliff Notes ready to use as well, but I'm trying to parse the situation myself before consulting them. I've guessed about a quarter of them right so far, I think.

As far as I can tell, Stephen Dedalus is a young artist & teacher. There's no quotes or scene transitions, and it's sometimes hard to tell the difference between an actual conversation and Dedalus's own wandering thoughts. One minute, he's leaving school, having agreed to find a paper to publish another teacher's writings on hoof and mouth disease, then he's walking beachside, having an imaginary conversation with his uncle, interrupted with rambling thoughts and observations. Is he actually talking to somebody this time? It turns out he is. Then he's thinking other things while the other person is talking, and the two trains of thought crisscross.

Being a product of the times, I don't understand a lot of these 19th century allusions, but I do sometimes get that he's comparing an everyday situation to a historical event or mythological battle. This still requires a lot of background knowledge, and I hate disrupting the flow of the reading to do research. I keep hoping nothing epic happens while I'm not paying proper attention, so reading this is going to be exhausting.