Briefly, i only gave it 3 stars because Bloom rarely delivers the promises implicit in the title. His love for great writing is still infectious and tBriefly, i only gave it 3 stars because Bloom rarely delivers the promises implicit in the title. His love for great writing is still infectious and that alone is worth 3 stars, but this collection of little "essays" about many works central to the Western Canon don't cohere and often left me with "Huh?" as my only response. Maybe i need to (re)read him more carefully: that wasn't necessary with The Western Canon. You can get an explicit "how to" from Thomas C. Foster's books along with an implicit "why to" if that's really what you're looking for....more
01/31/2011 on page 86 I forgot how enjoyable reading poultry could be. I was always afraid of this book; maybe i feared i'd like it?! Perhaps i wouldn'01/31/2011 on page 86 I forgot how enjoyable reading poultry could be. I was always afraid of this book; maybe i feared i'd like it?! Perhaps i wouldn't've noticed all on my own, but somebody's prefatory material (William Carlos Williams's?) said it reminds one of William Blake and i totally agree. If i continue to enjoy it, i'll recommend this to my Blake-nut pal.
01/31/2011 on page 116 Done with "Song of Myself" ... an unkempt, erratic giant dressed in tattered motley of a poem with several patches of dullness, several brilliantly gleaming passages, and an abundance of prophetic zeal to carry me to the end more quickly than comprehension. It deserves to be re-read.
02/07/2011 on page 235 The litanies are starting to grind me down. I get nothing more out of them than i did with Rabelais's. A long streak of really short poems in the Calamus section reminded me poignantly of my own crappy barely-post-adolescent attempts at poultry. I really enjoyed some others. Overall, though, it's not exciting anymore.
Priest: Settlements of the Arkansas. Congregation: Pray for us. P: the Colorado. C: Pray for us. P: the Ottawa. C: Pray for us. P: the Willamette. C: Pray for us. P: Slow progress. C: Pray for us. P: Scant fare. C: Pray for us. P: Axe. C: Pray for us. P: Rifle. C: Pray for us. P: Saddlebags. C: Pray for us. P: Butcher in the slaughter-house. C: Pray for us. P: Lumbermen in their wintercamp. C: Pray for us. P: House-builder at work in cities or anywhere. C: Pray for us. P: Floor-men. C: Pray for us. P: Six framing-men. C: Pray for us. P: Two in the middle. C: Pray for us. P: Two at each end. C: Pray for us. P: Crowded line of masons. C: Pray for us. P: Piles of materials. C: Pray for us. P: Mortar on the mortar-boards. C: Pray for us. P: Steady replenishing by the hod-men. C: Pray for us. P: Spar-makers in the spar-yard. C: Pray for us. P: Swarming row of well-grown apprentices. C: Pray for us. P: Brawny young arms and hips in easy costumes. C: Pray for us. P: Constructor of wharves. C: Pray for us. P: Bridges. C: Pray for us. P: Piers. C: Pray for us. P: Bulk-heads. C: Pray for us. P: Floats. C: Pray for us. P: Stays against the sea. C: Pray for us. P: City fireman. C: Pray for us. P: Arriving engines. C: Pray for us. P: Crowd with their lit faces watching. C: Pray for us. P: Forger at his forge-furnace. C: Pray for us. P: User of iron after him. C: Pray for us. P: Maker of the axe large. C: Pray for us. P: And small. C: Pray for us. P: Chooser breathing his breath on the cold steel. C: Pray for us. P: One who clean-shapes the handle and sets it firmly in the socket. C: Pray for us. P: Shadowy processions of the portraits of the past users. C: Pray for us. P: Primal patient mechanics. C: Pray for us. P: Architects. C: Pray for us. P: Engineers. C: Pray for us. P: Far-off Assyrian edifice. C: Pray for us. P: And Mizra edifice. C: Pray for us. P: Roman lictors. C: Pray for us. P: Consuls. C: Pray for us. P: Antique European warrior. C: Pray for us.
Have i reached ad nauseam for YOU yet?
02/09/2011 on page 300 Something like page 300 anyway. Walt, old buddy, i believe i gotta put you down for a while and try som'm else.
02/24/2011 on page 320 Reading a handful of these at a time isn't so bad, especially after a break. I'll be back.
07/11/2011 on page 440 I didn't dig the majority of Drum Taps.
07/12/2011 on page 515 I stumbled through a couple more interesting phrases as i read what i think were most of the Whitman poems i've ever had to read previously
07/13/2011 on page 630 I reread the snippets of commentary in the backmatter and skimmed through Whitman's own closing prose piece again, stopping to review my marginalia and underlined phrases. Allegedly at this point LoG's poems are trying "to bridge the way from Life to Death"
07/15/2011 on page 775 If i didn't have to play poker tonight ... *sigh* … i could be done with this already. May you, too, have a poker game tonight. Or soon....more
Recommendations/What to Read: I recommend this book to anybody who wants inspiration to be a writer because i don't know if i've ever read a better jusRecommendations/What to Read: I recommend this book to anybody who wants inspiration to be a writer because i don't know if i've ever read a better justification for writing or a more inspiring explanation of why someone wrote what he wrote. (Note: it’s waaaaaaaaaaay at the end, though.)
Read all 3,000+ pages IF AND ONLY IF you want to brag about such an achievement. (I feel a sense of accomplishment, but i’ve also got a lot more lost time after reading it all.)
If, unlike me, you do not want a dubious reason to pat yourself on the back, you might be happier reading just the long (enough), self-contained (pretty much), first part ("novel"), Swann's Way / Du côté de chez Swann, of the seven-part meganovel.
Or you could follow one of the many suggested abbreviated readings. The following is from Roger Shattuck: + "Combray" and "Swann in Love" sections of Swann's Way + "Balbec" section of Within a Budding Grove / A l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs + "The Grandmother's Death" from The Guermantes Way / Le côté de Guermantes + first & last 30pp of Cities of the Plain / Sodom et Gomorrhe + first 30pp + ~200pp of the concert @ the Verdurins' in The Captive / La prisonnière + last 200pp of Time Regained / Le temps retrouvé
Mary Ann Caws, interviewed as part of the audio version of Swann's Way that i listened to months ago, has her own "greatest hits." I remember it being much like Shattuck’s but she specifically recommended "The Intermittencies of the Heart" from Sodom and Gomorrah. And when you consider that was one of the titles Proust considered for the entire work, it's hard to imagine skipping that section.
Some initial thoughts: Not quite 3 months to read this 7-headed beast. Faster than i expected but probably because i gave a lot of the book less than my full attention. Huge sections of books 3, 4, 5, & 6 felt interminable even though—or is it because?—i wasn't even concentrating on the words, sentences, and (excruciatingly long) paragraphs.
Maybe it deserves 5 stars, but the fantastic ending, the befuddling but always intriguing beginning, the startling metaphors/similes (almost exclusively, for me, in the first 600pp), the astonishing depth and breadth of self-analysis, the curious theories (esp. about love & sex; an invert's [his own term] seemingly inverted version of inversion? [i.e., homosexuality] for example)—in short, the parts that i most enjoyed, even when they're all added up, fail to compensate completely for that which bored me to tears tried my patience.
I triple underlined the following quote near the very end because i consider it the perfect seedling for all personal reviews
...with [my book's] help I would furnish [my readers] with the means of reading what lay inside themselves. So that I should not ask them to praise me or to censure me, but simply to tell me whether "it really is like that," I should ask them whether the words that they read within themselves are the same as those that I have written (though a discrepancy in this respect need not always be the consequence of an error on my part, since the explanation could also be that the reader had eyes for which my book was not a suitable instrument). [emphasis mine]
On the sane basis of that method of assessing a book's value, i give Proust a "meager" 4 stars for his Herculean and fully laudatory efforts because in enough ways it "was not a suitable instrument" for my particular eyes.
Shattuck's "field guide" touts Proust's "comic vision," but i think Shattuck confuses that term with "comedic timing" because in the chapter about comic vision he says that Proust withholds information so that we're mentally tickled when finally, at long last we receive it. If the "lull" (the set-up lines) must precede the "bang" (the punchline), then what kind of bang should we expect after about a 2,000 page doldrums? Was Proust so confident in his "punchline" that not even the anesthetized-with-boredom mental state i found myself in after 2 months of literary motionlessness could numb its effect on me? I was thrilled with the culmination of the novel, but i believe that i would've been thrilled even if i'd undertaken an abbreviated reading.
I always feel compelled to talk about translation. For this work, in English, just the titles provide enough content for entire volumes of exasperation. "Cities of the Plain"?! Why is anybody hanging on to that atrocious euphemism when "Sodom and Gomorrah" are no longer tabu? And as if "Remembrance of Things Past" isn't enough of a bastardization, what the hell were they thinking when they came up with "The Sweet Cheat Gone"? Is that another phrase cribbed from Shakespeare? Even if it is, it's a patently ridiculous "translation" of Albertine disparue.
I can't resist the urge to write like Proust. Can you tell? I yearn for more verb tenses. Why must English be so limited? ;-)
I'll try to write a real review eventually....more
Feb 6, 2010 I will give this book a real review, but just know for now that it's easily a Top Shelfer. The Don and Sancho endure so many humiliationsFeb 6, 2010 I will give this book a real review, but just know for now that it's easily a Top Shelfer. The Don and Sancho endure so many humiliations and abuses that it was difficult to stomach (bilingual pun intended) the second book and even more difficult not to mutter, "Jesus, Cervantes! give these guys a friggin break!" They are easily 2 of the greatest literary characters i've ever had the privilege to care about.
May 26, 2010 I'm ~25% done reading In Search of Lost Time. Plus i've already listened to the entirety of Swann's Way. So—clever monkey that i am—what do i do? I begin listening to an unabridged version of Don Quixote also.
It seems crazy to try to listen to one gigantic book while reading another, but after not even one disc i'm once again excited to have The Don back in my life.
Still, as much as i love him and this book, i briefly stepped outside my own head and saw DQ in a different light. I could imagine a reader hating him, or at least disliking him, and not being willing to read a novel that features him because he is ostensibly a lunatic. After all, Cervantes's persona (i hesitate to say it IS Cervantes himself) in the Introduction calls him a madman. The narrator of the novel also calls him a madman, and pokes fun at him for his mania, and expects us to laugh at him. After stating it plainly, the narrator proceeds to show us that DQ is out of his mind.
So why should we—presumably sane people—read a book about a guy who is off his rocker from reading too many books about knights errant? Did 17th century Spaniards really need 500pp of examples (the first installment) to convince them that such books are bad for the mind? Were they so addlepated that they needed a second 500pp compendium of examples? No, of course they didn't. And neither do we. Besides, that's not what the book's about.
Nevertheless, i fear for some folks that they might give up quickly. If you're at all prone to value Results more highly than Intentions when determining the morality of a person's actions, then i think you're likely to be disappointed with The Don. This is your opportunity for a mindblowing paradigm shift, though, and i highly recommend attempting to make the leap.
*I* think DQ's one of the greatest characters of all time because he pursues his dreams 100%. He doesn't sell-out, compromise, procrastinate, minimize, or rationalize his dreams. Nor does he acquiesce to the dulling effect of boring old Reality. As such, his intentions are pure and his life is noble, praiseworthy, and an example to follow.
(Plus, DQ's purity so flagrantly flaunts everything that i think i know about and have experienced in Life, that i cannot help but laugh...cuz it beats the hell outa cryin.)...more
WHY BOTHER WITH SUCH AN INTENTIONALLY DIFFICULT NOVEL? Short Answers The writing, the style, the variety, the range, the depth, the prose, the poetry, the drama, and the wonderful Noahwebster's ark of words! Such a thorough examination of the foreverneverirrelevant concepts Soul, Self, and Love deserves weeks of your attention.
Long Answers are at the bottom, after my favorite quotes.
Randumb Stuff 1) a cynic's potential mini-reviews: a) an elaborate way of teaching us what metempsychosis means b) a wordmachine to infect people with the viral phrases "agenbite of inwit" and "Agendath Netaim"
2) Lines 1914-1917 of episode 15 (Circe) appear to have been left out. Up to that point, only multiples of 10 appear in the margin as line numbers. 5 lines from the top of p.406, 1910 is in the margin, but 3 lines later there's 1913 and the very next line is 1918. The Gutenberg Project's online version, based on the pre-1923 print editions, doesn't have any text other than what's in my "corrected text" (aka, Gabler edition). Can you tell me what happened? Is this a question for the publisher?
THIS kind of presumably pyrrhic quest is the downside of reading such a difficult book with so many intentional strangenesses. The answer's probably as uninteresting as the following ohsohelpful note from Dandy Don Gifford about names for which he found no real OR fictional equivalent: "2.18 (24:21). Armstrong— Apart from the context, the significance of this name is not known. (There was no Armstrong family resident in Vico Road, Dalkey, in 1904.)" [Twinsisternote = this is the only kind of inadequacy i ever noticed in [book:Ulysses Annotated|10543]; i strongly recommend it as a guide.]
3) A sci-fi aside spawned from Marcel Proust's concept of artistic creation: What if all the greatest artists are evil geniuses who realized and perfected Art as a way to put their Selfs inside our Selfs? Are they spreading some kind of soul virus that benefits them? to our detriment? Or, less paranoically, what if great art is a way for Them to live again or to live a little longer or to experience multiple simultaneous Selfs?
4) I really wanted to write The Long Answers section of this review as a parody of the US Supreme Court's decision in Jacobellis v Ohio so that i could end it with: Greatness, like pornography, is hard to define, but i like to think that i, too, know it when i see it. I attest that the book involved in this case is that.
5) about the style — with such strong parallels to other giants of Western Literature—Homer's Odyssey being the strongest & most obvious followed by Hamlet and then Judeo-Christo-Isla-Moses (also Elijah)—it should be unsurprising that the form in which words appear on the page is not limited to the orderly paragraphs of a traditional novel, that it frequently morphs into poetry, stage drama, and just about every other literary style conceivable.
6) Who am i, Odysseus? — While attending Wayne State U. for a B.A. in English lit, i worked seasonally at a B Dalton bookstore (c.1988–90). During that time, i lusted for the Gabler edition of Ulysses, but i couldn't muster the courage to buy a copy and read it. In 1992, after barely getting by for one semester of the M.A. program at Binghamton U., i left literature & its study for almost 20 years of roaming the wine-dark sea of adulthood responsibilitymeek practicality. I finally washed ashore in 2010 to find Penelope (aka Ulysses) waiting for me, faithful, unchanged. I can't believe i wasted all those years not getting to know her sooner.
7) Learning how to read again — Yes, that's what it felt like and i know i didn't read it as carefully as i should've: while listening to the audiobook or reading glosses by Gilbert or Hunter, i frequently noticed my various oversights and misunderstandings. I try not to feel too bad, because Joyce put years into this masterpiece. How could i expect to grasp it in a few weeks? I mean, especially since i probably ain't even half as smart as Joyce?
8) Women, wadayathink of Molly's episode? Does it sound like a woman's thoughts?
Quotes (Gabler edition episode#.firstline#) a) What has she in the bag? A misbirth with a trailing navelcord, hushed in ruddy wool. The cords of all link back, strandentwining cable of all flesh. (3.36) b) Under the upswelling tide he saw the writhing weeds lift languidly and sway reluctant arms, hising up their petticoats, in whispering water swaying and upturning coy silver fronds. Day by day: night by night: lifted, flooded and let fall. Lord, they are weary; and, whispered to, they sigh. Saint Ambrose heard it, sigh of leaves and waves, waiting, awaiting the fullness of their times, diebus ac noctibus iniurias patiens ingemiscit. To no end gathered; vainly then released, forthflowing, wending back: loom of the moon. Weary too in sight of lovers, lascivious men, a naked woman shining in her courts, she draws a toil of waters. (3.461) c) —It must have fell down, she said. (4.326; the simple past tense has been cuckolding the past participle for at least 100 years!) d) If we were all suddenly somebody else. (6.836; not the most original thought ever? i still dig the thoughts it conjures up) e) Whether these be sins or virtues old Nobodaddy will tell us at doomsday leet. (9.787) f) Intellectual stimulation, as such, was, he felt, from time to time a firstrate tonic for the mind. (16.1221; chuckle) g) (my favorite) What spectacle confronted them when they, first the host, then the guest, emerged silently, doubly dark, from obscurity by a passage from the rere of the house into the penumbra of the garden? The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit. (17.1036) (as i learned from secondary sources, Joyce dared to rewrite Dante) h) What special affinities appeared to him to exist between the moon and woman? Her antiquity in preceding and surviving successive tellurian generations: her nocturnal predominance: her satellitic dependence: her luminary reflection: her constancy under all her phases, rising and setting by her appointed times, waxing and waning: the forced invariability of her aspect: her indeterminate response to inaffirmative interrogation: her potency over effluent and refluent waters: her power to enamour, to mortify, to invest with beauty, to render insane, to incite to and aid delinquency: the tranquil inscrutability of her visage: the terribility of her isolated dominant implacable resplendent propinquity: her omens of tempest and of calm: the stimulation of her light, her motion and her presence: the admonition of her craters, her arid seas, her silence: her splendour, when visible: her attraction, when invisible. (17.1157) j) episode 18 taken whole exemplifies literary virtuosity
I think Ulysses is primarily about Love and Souls (Selfs). What does the Profane Trinity Stephen-Bloom-Molly feel about their own Souls & those of others? What does it mean to them to be who they are right now? Who is Bloom as a father? husband? Jew? citizen? What about Stephen's son-ness? writerliness? lovelessness? friendlessness? lessfamilyness? How and why does Molly love herself? her husband? her daughter? her son? her lovers?
When you are IN LOVE it seems as if something is acting on you, but when you become the actor and do the loving it's because you've moved your Self outside of yourself. Stephen hasn't grown up enough for this yet, but Molly & Bloom both show the capacity for the other and hint strongly that they could love Stephen as a son.
As if the preceding blather doesn't indict me as being a(nnoyingaloof) Stephen rather than a loving lovable beleaguered Bloom, the following creamy dreaminess directly connects me to Stephen by similarity of thought. Stephen frequently thinks of himself (à la Proust's Marcel) as a "now me" or a "then me." Even though every atom of every molecule of every cell in my body is different than the ones i was born with, i don't feel at all like a physically different Me. I also feel just as much unity of Self with the himmechild who threw a fit about hismy inability to unfasten a safety pin from hismy diaper as i do with the himmeyoungadult who was unable to unlock the secrets to success in graduate school. Therefore, i have he has served 20 years in corporational servitude. If the soul really is the form of forms, as reiterated throughout Ulysses, then maybe DNA is the body's soul. Still, what is the form of the form-of-forms? What allows the Selfsoul to retain Selfhood while also allowing change (just as DNA allows a body to remain essentially the same—hairskineye color, location of moles, etc.)?
What allows or causes changes in the Selfsoul? Proust might say it's Time. That might be right. My theory about Joyce is that he Was a roman catholic even though he didn't want to Be. This implies that others help to make modify our Soulselfs. We might be indivisible, but we're not just a bunch of unconnected individuals despite usually being unable to connect at the fundamentalest [sic] level.
* * *
I think that anyone who can appreciate great writing can appreciate Ulysses. The structure of each episode and of all episodes relative to each other (and to The Odyssey) is worth your while. The myriad prose styles show Joyce's genius. I was awestruck.
I'm not qualified to explain the really deep stuff, but i have no doubt that Joyce put so much effort into perfecting the words that you could easily enjoy the surfaces. Choosing the perfect word; playing with sounds, words, sentences, paragraphing, typography, spelling; the way one style melds into another; the formal arrangement of all the themes.... The surfaces are so stylish that you can almost ignore the substance. (potential pop-cultural comparative: Toad the Wet Sprocket's acoustically beautiful but thematically ugly song "Hold Her Down")
The novel's first layer is pedestrian: even though joycekismet insists on bringing them together, Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom unintentionally avoid each other while aimlessly wandering around Dublin during the long waking hours of 16 June 1904.
* * *
Stephen is a mopey intellectual ("moody brooder") officiously and literally mourning his mother's death. He's also the sensitive artistic type ("moody brooder") and he often expresses his gloom as ironic self-conscious distance ("moody brooder"). He's emotionally estranged from his father and physically distanced from his sisters ("moody brooder"). His "friends" are actually leeches and other pests. He's also an outcast in his own country though he clings to his Irishness because this Ireland is his only mother(land). He bemoans his poorness and his job as boys' history instructor. Worst of all(?) he hasn't realized his dream of becoming a writer & has failed himself by doing nothing to make that dream remotely possible. In short, Stephen's head is stuck up his ... head ("moody brooder"). While he's inside it—ruminating, cogitating, philosophizing, composing, and riffing ("moody brooder")—he sees that he's at home, sadly. CONCLUSION: don't party wit Steve-o unless he's payin fer drinks!
When i read Portrait in college, i identified with Stephen, so i approach the Ulysses-Stephen with compassion & sympathy. Plus, keep in mind that this story covers only one day in his life. Don't expect a sea change in his character, especially because he's so hydrophobic that he bathes only once in a month.
I'd have a hard time getting up the energy to try talking anyone out of disliking Stephen but it's hard not to love Leopold Bloom. His personality contrasts with Stephen's in lots of surface ways. Nevertheless, they share unwarranted outcast status (episode 17 delineates similarities & dissimilarities). Sensual Bloom consciously revels in tastes and smells (e.g., of organs), of sights and sounds, but notably not in touch (sorry, Molly). Bloom has cast himself out of his own home&garden because he knows his inconstant wife is hookin up wit HughBlazes Boylan, specifically at 4pm. The job and Paddy Dignam's funeral excuse [connotation of the soft-ess pronunciation intended here] his perambulations but they don't account for a whole day's wanderings. He's a non-practising Jew, another outsider identity since Dublin don't take kindly to "his kind." Nevertheless Bloom likes people and wants to fit in—except he doesn't like drinking to excess or gambling or frequenting the red light district or speaking plainly. He's cautious and thoughtful. He likes to think that he thinks scientifically. He thinks about money. And he likes to think about women: the nextdoor maid whacking the laundry [spanking fantasy?]; his wife's sexual history [voyeurism fantasy?]; his teenage daughter's pubescence [i'm not naming this as a fantasy]; even female statues' backsides [anal fantasy?]. He also has a strong paternal instinct toward his daughter, his son who died after only 11 days, and Stephen (Bloom WANTS to be a father to a son).
Then there's Molly Bloom, Poldy's wife, whom we meet for a little while in episode 3 but who don't become a star until episode 18 (my favorite episode). Told entirely in internal monologue (i.e., stream of consciousness), ep 18 brings the other 17 episodes together again from within the mind of a female character. The one "little" thing finally divulged about her marriage will change your perception of the relationship & characters.
Just a single day in the life of a bunch of ordinary people. That's all?! Joyce takes "the ordinary" and creates Myth and Wonder and Delight and Fantasticality. Joyce's writing, simply put: - turns me on (in the Bernard Pivot Inside the Actor's Studio sense) - turns Me on (i feel my Self again as the usually dormant big-em Me is reanimated, activated) - turns me in (makes me think) - turns Me in (makes me think about Me) - . . . This recursion is the kind of intellectual pleasure i derived from the necessity of diving into sounds words meanings etymologies. The unknowns' archaisms' neverseenbefores' roots echo reVERBerate enhance the usage purpose sentence.
* * *
You might not be able to like Ulysses if you don't like Style. Some will claim Joyce abandoned substance for style allmost [sic] of the time, but my personally unprecedented connection with Bloom and Molly tells me that Joyce at least provides Character as a substance. With mere words Joyce makes a real man (Bloom) AND a real young man (Stephen) AND a real woman (Molly) and a World. Might that summarize every novelist's goals?
* * *
The minor character Gerty Macdowell thinks that painting a landscape would be "easier than to make a man" (13.627). Proust's alterego, Marcel, paints it another way: artistic creation is an act of translation, of converting the Self, presumably into something understandable to others. If so, then the greatest works of literary art are those that Vulcanmindmeld the writer's consciousness and the reader's. I think this is what i've always meant when i said "i fell in love with Author X." When in love you feel one with the beloved; vice versa is assumed. Your body is not literally consumed by love but your Self IS—i.e., your Self is litera(ri)lly consumed AND your Self continues to Exist (i.e., It Is). This same union, with the author ideas mind Self, occurs when i read a Great Book: it feels like love, like a con(sumptio)nection of souls.
* * *
Probably the most frequent and most defensible criticism of Ulysses is that it resists comprehension. Readers don't connect with it; they feel repelled; or they effect the repulsion personally, e.g., by dropping it in the toilet accidentally on purpose. (I'd be unsurprised if most readers either abandon reading it completely forever OR read to the end tacitly promising themselves "i'll read it more than once.") The strongest critics say that it advocates nihilism or that it epitomizes nihilistic literature.
I contend that there's sufficient meaning for simple enjoyment simply in the lives of the characters and the love i feel for them because of their love for each other and for life itself. They steadfastly affirm life despite having nothing to which they can point and say, "THAT is what makes it all meaningful." I don't claim to understand Ulysses or life, but i completely understand this firmly unfounded affirmation. Thus i join many admirers who enjoy the search for its Joyce's our my meaning....more