Bright Young Things discussion

55 views
Favourite Authors > James Joyce

Comments Showing 1-21 of 21 (21 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Ben (new)

Ben Carlsen (arkholt) | 2 comments I felt it necessary to add Joyce to the list. I took a class on Modernism a year or so ago, and wrote a paper on some opening passages of Finnegans Wake. I've only read a small portion of that book. I hope to tackle it someday... During that class, though, I read Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and a small portion of Ulysses. I fell in love. You'll notice, if you look at my shelf, that they're all in my "to-read," since I would like to read them again, not in a stressful, academic setting.

I love Joyce's prose, though, and his description and depiction of Dublin. I enjoy Finnegans Wake for different reasons. It's so crazy and enigmatic. I hope I get some time soon to really dive into it. I would recommend it for a year-long group reading project. :)


message 2: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments I've read Dubliners several times, but not lately. I've started Ulysses, not sure how far I am though and Portrait is on my shelf to read. I think I started Finnegan's one time when visiting my parents. I just kept reading the first page over and over again. lol.


message 3: by El (new)

El Unfortunately Joyce and I have never really seen eye-to-eye. :)


message 4: by Travis (new)

Travis (travishiltz) I have a copy of 'Ulysses' sitting in my 'to be read' pile, but the thing is massive and I have been too intimidated to start it.


message 5: by Ally (new)

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) | 1653 comments Mod
The thing about Joyce is that you have to devote your whole self to reading him - he leaves no room for distraction.

I love the modernist approach to literature in general and the 'stream of consciousness' narrative techniques can blow your mind...but...and this is slightly controvertial...I think that Virginia Woolf does it better thank Joyce, more accessible and ulimately more profound ...

Ally


message 6: by El (new)

El I just finished reading a bunch of Chekhov, and learned that apparently he really started the whole modernist movement in literature - at least inspiring Joyce and others. Chekhov did the stream-of-consciousness thing too, though in my opinion much better than some of the later writers. In any case, I found the connection interesting since one doesn't hear much of Chekhov in terms of being "modernist". Of course, that's a label that comes with some stereotype anyhow, but still. :)


message 7: by Ally (new)

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) | 1653 comments Mod
Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard was the first text on my 20th Century literature module in my degree. - He managed to tap into the feelings of fragmentation and displacement throughout society - a wonderfully influential writer in terms of the early 20th C - I think, if I remember rightly, Katherine Mansfield was influenced by him in a big way.

Ally


message 8: by Gillian (new)

Gillian (gillianp) | 5 comments I love Dubliners and a Portrait. One day I need to actually finish Ulysses, but whenever I read it I get interrupted and for me, also, it's one of those books that requires an intensity of focus.

(Sorry I've not been around for a bit, BTW - my life became curious and interesting and different. It's slowly normalising.)


message 9: by Ally (new)

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) | 1653 comments Mod
Wonderful to see you back Gillian! - no need to apologise - feel free to dip in and out of this group as life takes you - you'll always be welcome back!


message 10: by Robin (new)

Robin (Trochus) | 35 comments Ally wrote: "Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard was the first text on my 20th Century literature module in my degree. - He managed to tap into the feelings of fragmentation and displacement throughout society - a won..."

Yes, and yes


message 11: by Greg (new)

Greg | 330 comments http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospe...

I found this link, had to share, hopefully to inspire those who have the book on their shelves and haven't tackled it yet.
Open the book to pages 346-347 and read about Gerty. Joyce's parody of romance magazines. The sentence '…..vying with one another to pay their devoirs to her'. Devoirs, we don't use that word anymore, sad.


message 12: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments Thanks for the link to that entertaining article. I heartily recommend Gifford's and Blamires' books. I read it with a book group from my local library and dfinitely needed the annotations.


message 13: by Nigeyb (last edited Jul 31, 2013 01:15AM) (new)

Nigeyb Greg wrote: I found this link, had to share, hopefully to inspire those who have the book on their shelves and haven't tackled it yet."

Thanks Greg. I am in that category. Part of what puts me off, aside from an impatience with having to have a book explained to me, is my experience with A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. My primary emotional response was boredom - though I enjoyed bits of it. I feel that I'd need to take a course to get to grips with Ulysses and, with so many other wonderful books to read, I don't feel very inclined to set aside the time to do it. Probably my loss but I'd rather enjoy all the wonderful books that are readily accessible.

Elsewhere you just reminded me of George Orwell's guidelines....

1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print

2. Never use a long word where a short one will do

3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out

4. Never use the passive when you can use the active

5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent; and finally

6. Break any of these rules sooner than say something outright barbarous

I suspect Joyce breaks a few of these on every page. What do you think?


message 14: by Greg (new)

Greg | 330 comments Firstly, Orwell and Joyce are very different. Orwell's style is to my mind a sort of high quality journalism, whereas Joyce is on his own planet. Nothing compares with Ulysses. All I can say is to beseech you to read it. It's so rich, once read you can jump in anywhere and just enjoy. The sense of humour comes through. It's the poetry of the speech.
It is scary to realise the perception Joyce had into human behaviour, the way we think, act, feel.
I didn't have a 'manual' to understand it. I think that would spoil it. I just read it.
I understand what you say with A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I started it, got a third the way in, and left it. Couldn't get it, too hard. Ulysses is different. One suggestion is do it in sections. I read two-thirds and put it aside for about a year when the style changed and then returned and finished it. The book may be set in one day but hey, life is long! What's the rush.


message 15: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb Thanks Greg. That's very persuasive.


message 16: by Greg (new)

Greg | 330 comments Jan C wrote: "Thanks for the link to that entertaining article. I heartily recommend Gifford's and Blamires' books. I read it with a book group from my local library and dfinitely needed the annotations."

Thanks Jan C, Ulysses Annotated by Don Gifford looks a must to read. So does Harry Blamires' The New Bloomsday Book: A Guide Through Ulysses.
Who would you recommend reading first?


message 17: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments I found the episodes made a lot more sense when I read about that episode beforehand in the New Bloomsday. I primarily used the Annotated when there was something I didn't quite understand. The former is a good guide (much better than the Gilbert book, which I also have) and the latter is a reference book. I don't even think I picked up the Annotated until I was about 30-40% into the book and feeling lost. So I heartily recommend both for a first reading. I understand that the Gilbert book is good for a 2nd or 3rd reading.

I will say that when I did finish Ulysses I felt a real sense of accomplishment.


message 18: by Greg (new)

Greg | 330 comments Jan C wrote: "I found the episodes made a lot more sense when I read about that episode beforehand in the New Bloomsday. I primarily used the Annotated when there was something I didn't quite understand. The for..."

Thanks Jan C, much appreciated.


message 19: by Charles (new)

Charles I first read Ulysses on the bus on the way to work, and on my lunch hour in the basement, beside the pipe threader, under an unshaded hanging bulb. Ulysses, the Portrait, Dubliners, the Wake all have different things to teach, and a different way of accessing their characters' humanity. Reading them was like breathing -- you just do it. The physiology and chemistry of oxygenation of the blood comes later. But at another level, to call Joyce a favorite author is for me absurd. He is the colossus of 20th century literature. Everything flows through him. Joyce changed everything forever. To talk about him in those terms is like asking me which is my favorite mother. Literary Modernism has seen it's day, but we have yet to invent a way around Joyce.


message 20: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments Charles wrote: "I first read Ulysses on the bus on the way to work, and on my lunch hour in the basement, beside the pipe threader, under an unshaded hanging bulb. Ulysses, the Portrait, Dubliners, the Wake all ha..."

Well said, Charles.

"Everything flows through him."


message 21: by Greg (new)

Greg | 330 comments Jan C wrote: "Charles wrote: "I first read Ulysses on the bus on the way to work, and on my lunch hour in the basement, beside the pipe threader, under an unshaded hanging bulb. Ulysses, the Portrait, Dubliners,..."

I agree Jan C, well said Charles.

I've changed the Australian National Anthem to…
Australians all let us read Joyce, For we are young and free;


back to top