Saturday, June 17, 2006

Bloomsday, I suppose

Did precisely nothing to celebrate Bloomsday today, except buy a copy of yet another book of Joyce criticism. Jessica suggests that we ought to rather be reading Mrs Dalloway, which is “obviously the superior modernist work.” Oh, I’m not into horse races or weight-lifting contests. I find Mrs D a trifle too neat, too closely worked and archly written (tho I adore Woolf’s prose) – and not nearly as consistently funny as Ulysses. I guess I’m with the “Eric” Jessica quotes:
"what kind of ____ do you like?":
Madame Bovary.
Read another book?
Read Madame Bovary again.
Other people can like other books
I like one.
Madame Bovary.
Me, I like Ulysses. And Moby-Dick. And a half-dozen others. And whatever the 40 other things I’m reading at any given time. And Ulysses.
On ACTA’s “How Many Ward Churchills?” report, there’s a wonderful in-depth series of discussions on Tim Burke’s blog Easily Distracted (scroll down, and don’t miss the exhaustive comment pages). A lot of meaty thinking going on on this blog.
I appear to have overstated, or was working from years-old knowledge, when I wrote about the state of Ulysses editions; Amazon shows that Yale UP will release a Ulysses edited by the ubiquitous Lawrence Rainey later this year, and it looks like there’re between a half-dozen and a dozen editions for sale that aren’t the standard Gabler & pre-Gabler Vintage.
The weather has gone too hot & humid down here for real thinking. Makes you think, particularly since J. & I went to see An Inconvenient Truth tonight. Two movies in one week, both on ecological themes (took Pippa to see Over the Hedge Monday).
Random 10 (but be sure & check out Tony Tost’s offhanded top 25 C&W songs of all time, & Jane Dark’s dozen):

1) “Showtime, Valentine,” Gang of Four, Shrinkwrapped
2) “The Cocktail Party,” Mark Ribot, Rootless Cosmopolitans
3) “Lod,” Elliott Sharp, Nots
4) “Velouria,” Pixies, Bossanova
5) “Taking Islands in Africa,” Japan, Gentlemen Take Polaroids
6) “Barzel (Iron Fist),” John Zorn, Kristallnacht
7) “Lathe of God,” Painkiller, Guts of a Virgin
8) “The Bitter and the Sweet,” Naked City, Radio
9) “Ship of Fools,” John Cale, Fear
10) “Understand U,” New Model Army, The Love of Hopeless Causes


Jessica Smith said...

ok ok, so *maybe* i overstated the case a *little*. i think i find Mrs. D a very sympathetic work-- i like that it's easier to read, it's fun, satisfying, endearing--and i identify with the characters more than I do with Stephen and Bloom. So maybe I should say: I prefer Mrs. D. to Ulysses. :)

François said...

yes to moby dick.

"Understand U" is not the greatest off of Love of Hopeless Causes. I have a thing for, obviously, "Here Comes the War" and "Living in the Rose."

Mark Scroggins said...

Hi François -- "Here Comes the War" is one of the greatest songs of all time, in my own little book -- but when the iPod's on "Party Shuffle," you takes what you gets.

Don't back down, Jessica -- I personally think more people should get off the Joyce horse and read Woolf. (See Derek Attridge's excellent "why I don't do Joyce anymore" essay in his *Joyce Effects*.)

François said...

"Here Comes the War" sounds even better live (and I am not talking about the version on ... and nobody else, which is great too).

Joyce vs. Woolf? Hum ... I'm not seeing why one should be exclusive from the other.