Kurt's Reviews > Ulysses

Ulysses by James Joyce
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's review
Nov 02, 2010

it was amazing
Read in January, 1982

Both an experiment in language and a meditation on the meaning of life (yup) in which the language and structure of each chapter morphs to fit an underlying chapter of The Odyssey. The surface 'actions' are the flowing thoughts and observations of a Dublin man who activates the myth in everyday scenes. At one point he ascends to heaven in a chariot with biscuits being thrown at him (as rocks were thrown at the Cyclops). Add another layer depicting the martydom of Parnell, the Irish Home Rule leader.

Witty and fast moving but difficult for anyone who wants a 'story'. Chapter 1 was designed as an intellectual obstacle course to eliminate the 'unworthy', once past this you will see real characters and events emerging.

Personal best moment: Stephen Daedalus is going through the belongings of his deceased mother, each trivial object triggering deep associations which parodoxically underscore their deadness.

Biggest freakout: the Black Mass which occurs about 3/4 of the way in.

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