Thursday, July 06, 2006

hot warm nervous hands


Welcome World!

For a number of reasons I have decided to move my Blog over to this site from myspace. First of all, it is a little bit more user friendly, and I like the look of it better. Most importantly, though, it is easier for people to access this site. Hopefully I can eventually get family members and more friends on board to peer into my daily ranting, and get all voyeuristic on me, as well. This will help to cut down on those group emails everybody loves to write but hates to receive, as well. Alright...what to expect: I think this should, more or less, be a continuation of my previous blog (thoughts on books, movies, music, etc..); I am hoping it will be less personal ("feeling voyeuristic today?!") type of stuff, although chances are that stuff will still pop up as a means of keeping people filled in on what's going on; expect more politics. Speaking of politics: eventually I am going to link this to another blog that I hope people will checkout called "Tremendous Slouches." This is a site my friend Tim and I are going to get going in order to get some banter and exchange some ideas on politics, sports, whatever. Basically a good cop/bad cop type of deal.

Ever Thus to Deadbeats

Currently reading: Ulysses

Here's the problem with Ulysses and, more importantly, the treatment the book receives from academians: it is treated far too much like some sort of talisman. There is a myth that has been propogated by the Joyce scholars that the book is an "untouchable," and that it cannot simply be picked up and enjoyed but must rather be poured through with strenuous study and appreciation of the fact that every page is teeming with religious symbolism, historical and literary reference, and dense prose. This myth is both true, in context, and false, in general. Having attempted to read Ulysses before without the proper "reading guide," or any guide for that matter, and knowing now how helpful such a book can be, I can say with little uncertainty, that background literature helps, if only to filter through the density of the nuances and references. However, it can be intimidating, and downright put-offish to suggest it is impossible, or wrong to do so. The problem with the way scholars approach the book, as described recently in the New Yorker by Joyce's own grandson (who seems a bit of a crumudgeon, I'll admit) is that it turns away the regular reader. Many people, myself included, had been under the impression that reading Ulysses is an almost insurmountable task, best left for the academics and pretensious snobs. This prevents a whole mass of people from picking up one of the best books, in my mind, ever written. What makes the novel amazing, rather than intimidating, is the very fact that so much history, literature, and religion can be referenced in each page. Does it help to have a guide to sort through all of this information? Absolutely. Is it impossible to read even with the help of such a guide? Certainly not. To travel through Dublin as a foreigner, one can only benefit from a tour guidebook. In many ways this novel is a tour through Dublin in a literary mode. A guidebook can't hurt.

1 Comments:

At 7:36 AM, Blogger Brian said...

blogspot, eh? Sweet Jebus. You might want to turn the word verification on your comments section so that you don't get comment spam from hosers selling spatchulas...

 

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