Monday, 27 July 2015

Project Ulysses Part 2: Dubliners & Portrait of the Artist

     It's been almost a year since my last post on Project Ulysses. That is a long time and I think I should feel ashamed of that. But I won't let that hold me back because what matters is that the project did not stop; it's just slow. Knowing how slow Joyce wrote and how long it took him to finish his books, one might say that taking so much time to get on with Project Ulysses is only appropriate and an ode to the author himself. (I guess we all need to tell ourselves things to make us feel better)

     Well, not to dwell too much on the speed of progress, I shall focus instead on the progress itself. I have finished the second step in the journey towards Ulysses; I have reread Dubliners.

     In fact it took me so long to finish writing this post, that I have actually also finished stage three of Project Ulysses which is reading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. It seems that admitting this delay, not only in reading but also in the act of updating this blog, is counterproductive, but I will go ahead and keep it so that whoever reads this will get to join me on my journey, with all its setbacks and road bumps; this is simply what a regular person trying to juggle work, reading and writing and whole lot of other stuff together at once.

     Enough of that since I am not here to act the martyr, I am here to talk about Project Ulysses. Unfortunately, at this point I don't have much to say. It's still the same for me with Joyce, I enjoy his writing,but I don't really get it, there's something about his pace and choice of words and the music of it all that entrances me and keeps me turning pages and coming back for more, but the intention, the meaning, the lessons that I should get out of his writing continue to elude me. I think now about this choice of words (lessons that I should get out of his writing) and I wonder if I or any other reader SHOULD get anything out of anyone's writing? SHOULDN'T we just enjoy and go along for the ride and take away whatever we take away? Sometimes what we get on a reread is different than the first time but it's still up to us and fate.

     Anyway, this is how it's been for me with these two books, although I must say that there were parts in Portrait that did resonate with me and that being a novel I was able to follow it better than some of the stories in Dubliners. But if you ask me, I'd say that as a whole, I enjoyed Dubliners more.


     That being said, there's something alluring about Joyce himself or his writing that keeps me excited about going ahead and reading Ulysses and I have been fired up lately about it and I have decided to tackle it within 2015. Seeing my history with this project who knows if that will in fact happen. But it's the plan and I promise to come back to you with more details on that when I do get around to it.

   I will be reading Ulysses accompanied by Harry Blamires's New Bloomsday Book (on Amazon here, although I suggest checking eBay for better prices), reading, according to advice found online, one chapter from Ulysses and one chapter from Bloomsday to keep everything in focus and such. I also think that with the magnitude of Ulysses it might be more enjoyable for me and useful for you if you are following to post here regularly about it as I go and not just wait till it ends. It does feel exciting to have built up to this step and to actually be ready to enter the world of Leopold Bloom's Dublin on 16th June 1904.

     Let me know if you will be following and if you would like to join me in reading Ulysses as we go step by step.

     Thank you and see you back here again soon.

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