Tuesday, June 09, 2009

bloomsday countdown

Mission accomplished; Ulysses read in a week flat, & without eating my mind. I suspect it's a book I could read 4 or 5 times a year. This time, without the pressures of seriously teaching the thing, without worrying about reading all of my marginal notes & making those various connections – well, actually making the connections is one of the great pleasures of the book, but this time thru I didn't feel compelled to follow thru with everything – the reading process was pretty much an unmitigated pleasure. Tho frankly, the older I get, the less patience I have with that tiresome, pretentious prat Stephen D.

A limbering-up session on the stringed instruments last night. We sounded pretty good, I thought, tho perhaps that was only thru the alcohol-earphones. Now I just need some Joyce jokes, of which there seem to be surprisingly few good ones out there.
Louisiana State University Press is having a humongous summer sale. I went there on a colleague's recommendation – Evelyn Scott's The Wave, a mostly forgotten cinematic-modernist epic novel on the Civil War (with the bonus that Scott & I share a Tennessee hometown) – & discovered that Jay Wright's big collected poems, Transfigurations, is on sale for a song. A book every serious poetry bookshelf should include: let's see if we can't buy it out of stock, okay?
Midway thru the first volume of Modern Painters again, & disinclined to go over (blogging, that is) ground I've already covered. But also working my way thru an extraordinarily rich collection of essays, Ruskin and Modernism (ed. Giovanni Cianci & Peter Nicholls), that rather deftly makes a lot of the basic connections I've been thinking about.
Did I mention LeFanu's Uncle Silas? That one's a grand read indeed.

1 comment:

Vance Maverick said...

Being irritated by Stephen is surely part of the point (of Ulysses if not the Portrait), not that that necessarily makes it more enjoyable. Right from the start we see him getting on his friends' nerves.

Despite having loved Ulysses for 25+ years, I've still never been to a Bloomsday event, and I suspect I'll maintain my streak this year....