I can do it! I can do it!
This weekend, Husband and I took Lorelai for her first trip to our cabin in upstate New York. Generally the cabin is an opportunity to get in 48 hours of reading, only interrupted by consuming mass quantities of alcohol and Cool Ranch Doritos. Not so much with a 14 month in tow. So, you'd think that in the few minutes I could sneak some reading in, I'd be more apt to read something "fun". But guys, I'm maturing!
Unlike Lorelai Gilmore, this Lorelai likes the outdoors
Instead, in the time Husband and I were tip-toeing around the cabin because stupid babies go to sleep at stupid 7 o'clock... cabin or no, I actually picked up Ulysses! So proud! And I'm pleased to announce that I'm 86% of the way done! I've discovered that even after I finish it, Ulysses will go right back on my TBR list. It is one that a body will spend a lifetime rereading and analyzing to get the most out of it. But surprisingly, I'm actually getting it... well, as much as one can get it during their very first reading of a Joyce novel. But I can't believe it... I'm actually going to do it! And within this century! And for others who are experiencing the same challenge in reading Ulysses, Ellen at The Real Oxford Manner has some excellent tips! Her post was the very positive outcome from a wee bit of drama stirred up from this post. Read the rest of her post here:
don’t take the book too seriously - have fun spotting puns (many of which you don’t need too much knowledge of Ireland or Dublin to appreciate, though of course if you do have that knowledge it opens up another aspect of the book to you)
make a mental note of the things you do get - it can be easy to get caught up in what you don’t understand, but for me that was and is most of the book, so don’t worry.
once you have a rough idea of what’s happening, don’t worry too much about plot (plot? what plot?) - enjoy the words, and how they work
especially tricky passage? read it aloud to yourself - it might reveal things about the passage which are not evident on the page alone, and even if it doesn’t at least you’ve still forced yourself through a bit
don’t feel obliged to like the bloody book. I do, and know loads of people that do, but that does not make our view of the book or its author the only view of value - rather, because we enjoy it so much we should seek to discuss it with others and cajole them into loving it as much as we do!