Ulysses – Thoughts from the Foot of the Mountain

Foot of the mountainI’m reading James Joyce’s Ulysses for Dovegreyreader’s Team Ulysses read along. The idea is that you read a portion of it every month and on the 16th catch up with everyone on her blog to see how people are going. In a sudden burst of enthusiasm a few months ago, I decided to join (and ended up with two copies), but didn’t actually get started until recently even though everyone else is on ‘camp 4’ (whoops!).

Well I have to admit that I’m only on Page 38 and I’m already struggling. The thoughts / questions I’m shaving so far are;

  • Ulysses is a very apt name because it feels like an EPIC journey already!
  • It’s very confusing not being introduced to any of the characters in the narrative.
  • The misogynist and anti-semitic characters aren’t endearing themselves to me so far.

I’m struggling with being impressed by the quality of writing but at the same time being annoyed at how self-aware Joyce’s writing style is in the sense that the sheer quantity of allusions and his experimental technique seems to be a bit too clever by half (read smug). However I am keen to try to keep an open mind and persevere as I have an idea that it will all be worth the effort and I don’t want to be a grumpy philistine right from the start. Any words of wisdom or motivational messages would be great!

Have you read Ulysses, and if so how did you find it?

Any motivational messages to keep me going?

3 responses to “Ulysses – Thoughts from the Foot of the Mountain

  1. Well I’ve got about twice as far as you! I really need to sit down and get back into it as I am lagging well behind everyone else too.

    I have heard that it is very confusing and you just need to accept that a lot of it will go over your head on the first reading. I’ll probably give it another go soon, as I would like to reach the end at the same time as dovegrey & co.

    Good luck!

  2. It is difficult isn’t it!? But I think you’re right – the approach I’m going to take is just to read it and allow myself to be baffled then think about it afterwards. Thanks for the thoughts!

  3. I have given up the task… for now. May see how feel when have more free time but wasnt enjoying it and life’s a bit short if you don’t like it. If you love it then go for it.

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