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castallia @ 08:30 pm: a few resources and questions
I just wanted to post a few resources that some of us might find useful. The first is the Gilbert schema for Ulysses. Joyce featured different colors, symbols,organs,and areas of study in each section, as these charts illustrate.

Also, from what I've read so far, Ulysses alludes constantly to Hamlet. So, here's a link to the play in case anyone wishes to reread it.

Although it's very early to ask this question, once we all get started, I'll be curious to know whether or not you all think Ulysses could be appreciated in its own right, without reference to any of the works Joyce draws on? If the answer is "yes", what aspects of the work are universally accessible? If the answer is "no", do you think that detracts from the novel's value as a work of art?


Date:December 2nd, 2008 03:08 am (UTC)
I ordered a copy of Gilbert's companion to Ulysses, used, as I'd read that his commentary is helpful, if not essential, to the non-specialist (the schema was apparently included in his essay in the Penguin edition as well, which is why I thought that that would be the edition to buy originally). I didn't realize the schema was online -- glad you were able to find it.

Ah, Hamlet. Revisited that (in outline form) when I read Nabokov's Bend Sinister earlier this semester (which features a sort of parody of that play in one section), and then my Lit/Med professor devoted the better part of one of his lectures to Hamlet's "depression." Perhaps I should try and reread the entire play this time around. Tick-tock, I hear the clock.

I doubt that I would much enjoy Ulysses without understanding some of its background, as a lot of it is apparently built on pun/parody, though there is apparently also a very simple story beneath all of the literary pyrotechnics. I've been struggling with the same thing reading Nabokov's novels. They can be appreciated without the background knowledge in literature/history, but they lose something (at least for me, though I probably enjoyed Lolita less for the annotations than I would have had I just read it without). This is a trademark of Modernist literature, for better or for worse.

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Date:December 3rd, 2008 12:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks for these links - They're going to come in very handy (as soon as my books come in).
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