Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ulysses: The Beginning.

We are a small but proud group. We are not afraid of intellectual stimulation. We are committed to reading James Joyce's Ulysses.

Our reasons for doing this are varied, and include, but are not limited to:

1. Intellectual stimulation. Of which we are not afraid.
2. Feelings of intellectual superiority that will follow intellectual stimulation.
3. Accomplishing a goal.
4. Bragging to everyone about accomplishing a goal.

The people who expressed an interest in reading Ulysses are:

Suzannah (please send me a link to your blog if you have one!)
Pseodonymous High School Teacher

Comedy Goddess
Amy--Milk Breath and Margaritas
Mommy Time

I have accomplished Step One: Bought the Book. For those of you who are not up for this dramatic step, you can download the book for free at Project Guttenberg. Thanks to Peajaye for sending me the link.

The book is divided into 18 episodes, although in my edition of the book the start and end of the episode are not clear. Through intense research, I did learn that Part I consists of three episodes, and is about 50 pages long so lets read that by next weekend. Next Saturday, I will put up a post about what we've read and link to any of you that want to do a post as well. My goal is to have a discussion about our experience of reading the book. As bloggers and readers, we all bring different and unique things to the table, and that is what I hope to elicit. So please don't worry about references or not being academic enough.

There's a story that I heard and I'm too nervous to Snopes it to find out if it's true or not about Joyce talking to Jung about Joyce's daughter's schitzophrenia diagnosis. Joyce was incredulous, saying, in effect, how could it be? She thinks the way that I write. And Jung supposedly replied, "You're in the same pond, but you're swimming and she's drowning." I've always been interested in the continuum that I am certain exists between genius and madness. And I have a feeling that it's on full display in Ulysses.

So, for those that signed on for this, good luck! Let's have fun with this.
And if you're now dying with envy that you're not part of this exclusive intellectualy stimulated group, great news! It's not too late to sign up. Just leave a comment and I'll add you. FOR FREE. It's like I'm some kind of a saint or something.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Santa Marinka,
Can I join in too?

April 19, 2009 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger Marinka said...

I meant to write "Everyone is welcome to join us. Except Rebecca." Now this is awkward.

Of course, Rebecca, join us. If you have a blog, pls leave a link, otherwise, just start reading! I'm so excited to have you join us.

April 19, 2009 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger K.Line said...

I've never heard this story about Jung and Joyce but the daughter's mental illness is beautifully described.

April 19, 2009 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger K.Line said...

My husband just told me about a 29 hour radio production reading of Ulysses, broadcast maybe 25 years ago. It was apparently done via Radio Deutchland (he thinks), fed to BBC World and he heard it on CBC. He actually listened to the whole fucking thing. Talk about books on tape.

April 19, 2009 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger Comedy Goddess said...

I may skip ahead to the end of Ulysses so I can do a post called Ulysses: The End and spoil it for you highbrow intellectuals.

OMG I must have channeled some disgruntled entity when I wrote that comment! What's happening to me?!

April 19, 2009 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger FrugalcosIhave2 said...

yeah what the heck, toss my name in the hat!

April 19, 2009 at 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I've attempted to get through this book before - if only to feel intellectually superior - but have failed hopelessly.

With the moral support, I'm hoping this go-around is more successful. I'm in and on my way to B & N!

April 19, 2009 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

OK, so I obviously missed something, because I know you wouldn't have just skipped over me. I know it. And, through my tears, I am asking to join. I think I can manage 50 pages in a week. I think...if I don't do anything else, including eat.

April 19, 2009 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger blognut said...

Oh God! YOU were serious? This was like one of those things that you volunteer to do knowing full well that no one will ever organize it, and you'll never have to do it, you know?

However, I'm a woman of my word! I'm in... I'll read 51 pages this week. Because I'm an over-achiever, and I like to one-up everyone else.

April 19, 2009 at 11:50 AM  
Blogger Kirsten said...

I'm in.

April 19, 2009 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I was half kidding, but this actually sounds fun in a dorky internet kind of way.

I won an Amazon gift certificate from 24 at Heart for leaving a great slutty comment, so I think I will put it to good use and buy the classic.

BTW I also have found it fascinating the line between genious and madness. Always have wondered if being so grounded works against my artistry as a writer.

April 19, 2009 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger TMCPhoto said...

If you're interested, this sight offers some insight into this grand work of literature:

I know it was invaluable to me while reading it in college a few years back

April 19, 2009 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger Anna See said...

Feeling superior since I've already read it. Sooooo, I think I'll stick to my home magazines, US Weekly, and wish you the best of luck!

April 19, 2009 at 3:28 PM  
Blogger Vodka Mom said...

oh sweet jesus, we're going to have to READ? More than a couple paragraphs?

Is there steamy slutty sex in the book? Cause if not, i'm gonna need some kind of other incentive.

April 19, 2009 at 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No blog, sorry!
I just dragged this off the bookcase where it has been accumulating dust for the past few years...yikes!...I'll endeavour to read 50 pages by next weekend, unless I crack and insist you enforce your 'Rebecca ban' ;-)


April 19, 2009 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas said...

I'll read it. It's never been required of me in school and it seems like one I should have checked off The List of Impressive Books I've Read. Btw, many of the most impressive books I've read were by Russians. I love the Russian writers. Doestoevsky is my favorite. Puskin, Tolstoy, and Alexander S. (can't spell it & too lazy to look it up but you know who I mean).

This should be hard! I mean - FUN!

Thank you Marinka for taking blogging to a level that requires homework and possibly a dictionary and evening cups of caffinated coffee.

Way to go.

April 19, 2009 at 6:10 PM  
Blogger Immoral Matriarch said...

You'll love it. It's my second favorite book. I've read it dozens of times and there's always something new I take from it.

April 19, 2009 at 10:18 PM  
Blogger Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

oh my God! You were actually serious! I was laughing politely at your last post and thinking... 'she's losing her touch..that joke wasn't really so funny'!!
ok, I am in too! Which means I better start reading fast!

April 20, 2009 at 1:53 AM  
Anonymous Dejoni said...

I bought the book. It's freaking scaring the bejesus outta me. I may have to take my kids Ritalin to stay focused on reading it...just joking....maybe. LOL!
I'm in!

April 20, 2009 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger MommyTime said...

I left a comment on the initial post too late, apparently. But I will jump on this train. It's about darn time I read the book in its entirety, rather than only in snippets.

My question: will there be a quiz?

Also, for VodkaMom:
There IS steamy slutty sex in the book! At least, the excerpt I read was all, "yes, i said yes and yes and oh yes and yes yes yes yes yes and more yes i said..." something like that. That counts as steamy slutty sex for Joyce. Have fun finding that bit in the other 250,000 words you'll be reading...

April 20, 2009 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger Nyxmyst said...

Hell, why not. I'll read it. Sign me up for the torture.

*goes back to lurking*

April 20, 2009 at 10:47 AM  
Blogger Suzannah said...

Holy crap, we're actually doing this? OK I'll read 50 pages. This should be a slow work week, so I'll have something to keep me occupied. I'm scared. Hold me.

(No blog by the way, just a reader!)


April 20, 2009 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger lizspin said...

Just checked in from my vacation, and thank you! thank you! thank you!!! I'm starting it this afternoon!!!!!

April 20, 2009 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger ShallowGal said...

Before I commit I have a few questions:

1) James Joyce's version? Cause it's really long.

2) It only got 4 stars on Amazon. Nauti Intentions ( got 5 stars. Shouldn't we read that since it's clearly a superior work of fiction?

xoxo, SG

April 20, 2009 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Anna Lefler said...

Just to be clear, this is the book about the hot teenage vampire, right?


April 20, 2009 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger Daffodil Campbell said...

OK listen, I am only 6 pages in to the online version linked here, and I am confused.

So far, there has been a lot of talk about green snot and a mention of scrotum.


I mean, I am totally in, but what the hell ?

April 21, 2009 at 3:28 AM  
Blogger Marinka said...

Daff--now I'm depressed because I read 11 pages (boasting!) and I totally missed the scrotum part. And that's one of my top eight favorite body parts!

April 21, 2009 at 7:31 AM  
Blogger melanie said...

i will give it a shot--but i am uneasy. couldn't you have picked something else? i don't know, like, green eggs and ham or something like that? why start out so big? i like starting small. really small.

April 21, 2009 at 3:16 PM  
Anonymous Stepiphany said...

I want to try this too. It seems like a perfectly good suicide method, if all else fails. I found it on, so it meets my "free" requirement.

April 21, 2009 at 5:42 PM  

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