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James Joyce's Ulysses (1 Viewer)

Spudley

Senior Member
Today (16-June-2004) marks the 100th anniversary of the date that Ulysses by James Joyce, is set.

Ulysses is widely regarded as one of the classics of English literature, so the question is....

... have you read it yet?
 

Lily

Senior Member
I tried reading it last year, when I was a junior in high school. It didn't make any sense to me. Well, most of it anyway. My English teacher told me to read it later in college, so I put it down. I think the biggest problem was that I was reading it as a relaxation book when I was VERY stressed about exams and such, so of course nothing much outside of schoolwork would make much sense to me. Maybe I should try reading it again.
 

eleutheromaniac

Senior Member
Happy belated Bloomsday, Spudley!

I read the first 20 pages or so, then gave up. There has only been one other book that I've given up on within the first 20 pages, and that was the "Lightness of Being", because I was diappointed with it. But I fully intend to give both another shot. I think my problem with Ulysses was that I tried to read it on vacation: big mistake. That lasted about ten seconds. "Topless girls on the beach and partying ... or reading. topless girls, reading, topless girls, reading ... tough discession. I don't think I need to tell which option I took. (I am a weak, weak man.)
 

Vixen

Senior Member
Yes, read the whole thing in highschool, by choice. I put down that yes, I read it and loved it, but honestly, my feelings where mixed. I thought parts were awesome, engaging, groundbreaking, and then sometimes, he just seemed to be rambling.

I particularly enjoyed the funeral scene, and the puns. Yes, especailly the puns... Have you read it Spudley?
 

Spudley

Senior Member
Vixen said:
I particularly enjoyed the funeral scene, and the puns. Yes, especailly the puns... Have you read it Spudley?

Hehe. Actually, I selected the "Not yet but I'm planning to" option. It's near the top of my list though. I was thinking about buying it and take it on holiday this year, but the holiday is looking a bit uncertain at the moment. :(

But hey, if it's got puns in it, I'm there - try and stop me :lol:
 

Emma LB

Senior Member
Option f) I've read part of it, probably not enough to hate it, but enough to know that if I had to read anymore I would hate it. I can see why some people think it's great, (which is more than I can say for other books, for example I have no idea why anyone would read Goethe's Faust part 2 of their own free will, it's the worst book I've ever had to read). The part I did read was relatively interesting, but I just can't bring myself to read anymore, I feel there are much better things I could be doing instead :p.

I read the last 200 pages or so.
 

Vixen

Senior Member
You didn't like Faust! Thats a shame, although, to be honest, I've prolably only read the better parts.
 

Emma LB

Senior Member
The better parts... hehehe, yes some parts are ok, it's when you actually have to read the whole drama that things start getting messy. He's one of the only German authors I've read who can actually make the German language sound nice (apart from the fact that Goethe constantly had me reaching for dictionary). I thought at last we would be reading 'world literature', but I was very disappointed I must say. The first part was ok, some bits were good, and I can even understand why some people like it .I myself only liked the way he wrote, how he made German sound nice, but the story? Uh... well, in Faust 2 though, that is a part that, well, I suppose you have to read to understand Faust properly, but it's also terrible. I really hated Faust part 2. If Goethe wanted to tell the world about his personal religion and philosophy he should either have done it in an entertaining way or written an essay on it, not a drama. Lol, yes, I really hate this book... how could you tell? I suppose I shouldn't moan that we read it at school though, I would never have read it in my own time (at least not the second part) and probably would have missed quite a few things too (for example those verses (only about 100) were missing from my text, well from nearly everyone's texts, with no note or anything saying it was shortened, so my teacher handed out the verses on Satan's mass. Plus in all student versions of Faust the swearwords are edited out! :roll: ).
 

annika

Member
Ha! Option D - Got it, tried it, and ummmm I'll get back to it someday :) I have never read more than about the first 50 pages, numerous times! LOL

I think it's a book you need to dedicate lots of uninterrupted time to read. I hate procrastinating as life is all too short but I WILL get to it one day.
 

Webmaster

Member
I think it's the best work of fiction ever written. Even today it remains more entertaining, weird and impenetrable than contemporary works of invention.
 

DL Ferguson

Senior Member
I read it about 10 years ago. I was sitting around with a bunch of friends talking about classic works of literature that we had never read and we decided to put a bunch of these classic book titles in a cup and draw. Whatever book you got you had to read in a month and be able to talk about it and I got ULYSSES.

I made it through and while I wouldn't say it was an entirely painful experience, I don't think I'd do it again. I agree it's worth reading at least once. At least it didn't put me to sleep. I've owned a set of LORD OF THE RINGS ever since I was in high school and I still can't get past page 50 of the first book without dozing off.
 

asdar

Senior Member
I read it but I made the mistake of reading it after Joyce's, 'A Portrait of a Young Artist.'

The two books aren't the same but the style seemed to wear on me after the first.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy it because I did, just that I didn't think it was the 'greatest' book of all times.
 

John

Member
I'm currently 200 pages into Ulysses. I've set it down for some time now, so yes, I've struggled with it. My English professor says that it's normal, Ulysses is a difficult read, but it's his favorite.
 
I haven't had time to read it completely through, but both a Portrait and Ulysses are the only books I've ever read that truly amaze me.

It's difficult to tell a good story...


But to totally transcend the english language like Joyce did, is next to impossible.
 

Ham

Senior Member
Put me down for whichever of the options most closely matches:

"Yes, I read it. I read it again, and I studied it for an entire semester. I found it absolutely, stunningly brilliant; probably moreso than any book I've read before or since. And I'd rather drive the business end of a phillips-head screwdriver into my eyes than have to read it again."
 

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