Last week I finished a task two months in the making — I read, for the second time, James Joyce’s Ulysses.
After my initial reading a few years ago, I posted a review which I now find almost embarassingly superficial, more of a confession of how overwhelmed I was by the novel than a serious attempt at analysis. (Did I really reference Alan Sherman? Yeesh.) My mistake back then was attempting to summarize my thoughts in one post, to get it all out at once. I’m going to take a different approach this time, spreading my analsysis over a series of posts. Not sure how many times I’ll write, or how much time will elapse between each — I’ll continue my daily fiction pieces, but also work in my analysis of Ulysses until I feel I’ve no more to say about it, at least for the time being.
For this first post, I’ll reiterate my one good observation from my earlier review. The Naxos Audiobooks recording of the novel is a valuable aid for people like me, eager to undertake this masterful novel but initimated by its infamous complexity. Joyce doesn’t make it easy for his reader (this will certainly be the topic for at least one of my analytical posts), but listening to the performance by readers Jim Norton and Marcella Riordan as I read helped dull some of its disorienting edge. If you’re at all interested in reading Ulysses, this audiobook is highly recommended.