Monday, February 27, 2006

My literary Niederlage

Another Literary Failure

I have tried and failed to read Ulysses. Solemnly I came forward and mounted the tome. I turned around on it so as to face the window, blessed gravely the book thrice, each page as well as the room’s stale air and a nearby stack of magazines. Then, catching sight of my son Miles, I leaned over him and blessed him likewise thrice, making rabid jabberings and wild crosses in the air, while shaking my short brunette mane. Miles, perturbed and sleepy, looked peeved in my direction and demanded to know the purpose of my aforesaid gurglings, which disturbed the morning like a case of tonsillitis. His breath was biscuity.

--Cut it out, mommy.

--I must read Joyce!

--That annoying Irishman, who refused to kneel at the deathbed of his mother? The bloody bum, bursting with obscure words and ambiguous transitions. There’s no sense in it. His name is absurd, too. Never trust a man with two first names. And certainly he’s no gentleman if you have to read him in that manner. Come, let’s play Battleship.

I dismounted.


Carl said...

You tried to read Ulysses sober?

You poor, poor woman.



michi said...

sarah - i was halfway through before i "dismounted". one of the goals in my life is to read "finnegan's wake", but i can never find enough pot to last me further than page 22. *LOL*

SarahJane said...

Carl -
Awwww! You sunk my battleship!
Except for a large cash incentive, I can't imagine there's much that would have gotten through the whole book.

Michi -
I got to page 182. The bookmark is still there, just in case.

Bob Hoeppner said...

I've owned both Finnegan's Wake and Ulysses, but have never had the time...

Sharon Hurlbut said...

You're not alone. I've never made it through any Joyce, not even The Dead. Some books are just meant to sit on the shelf and wait, I guess.

SarahJane said...

Time must be had!
Sharon - I can claim "The Dead" because it was assigned for school. Which school, I don't remember. But I believe it was made into a movie at some point too. Could that movie have been good? It is very reasonable to believe, imo, that "The Book was Better."
To avoid total scandal, I did manage "Dubliners" and "My Life..."

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