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Old 06-16-2004, 08:50 PM   #1
Luckylighter
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Happy Bloomsday!

I just got back from a reading of James Joyce's "Ulysses", considered to be the greatest novel of the 20th Century.

The story takes place on June 16, 1904. Although it was written in the 1920's, 2004 is considered to be the 100th Anniversary of the famous date on which the story takes place. The main character's name is Leopold Bloom, hence "Bloomsday". This day is celebrated in libraries and pubs across the world, but mostly in Dublin where the story takes place--and where Joyce was from.

Now, take a leap with me as I make a connection to Indiana Jones. What makes "Ulysses" such an epic book is Joyce's use of mythological allusions throughout the novel, the most famous being the Odyssey. As Bloom walks around Dublin meeting people and having minor adventures, these episodes correspond directly with The Odyssey. And since Indiana Jones was an archaeologist, he would have been familiar with the story of the Odyssey.

Oh yeah, and Joyce was Irish, Alison Doody is Irish, there was a four-leaf clover lighter in Last Crusade...there's a whole Irish connection with Indiana Jones.
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Old 06-16-2004, 09:07 PM   #2
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Arrow

Good old Irland. I may be going there sometime soon, I have a cousin who's going to medical school in Dublin.
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Old 06-17-2004, 10:55 AM   #3
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Re: Happy Bloomsday!

Quote:
Originally posted by Luckylighter
I just got back from a reading of James Joyce's "Ulysses", considered to be the greatest novel of the 20th Century.

The story takes place on June 16, 1904. Although it was written in the 1920's, 2004 is considered to be the 100th Anniversary of the famous date on which the story takes place. The main character's name is Leopold Bloom, hence "Bloomsday". This day is celebrated in libraries and pubs across the world, but mostly in Dublin where the story takes place--and where Joyce was from.

Now, take a leap with me as I make a connection to Indiana Jones. What makes "Ulysses" such an epic book is Joyce's use of mythological allusions throughout the novel, the most famous being the Odyssey. As Bloom walks around Dublin meeting people and having minor adventures, these episodes correspond directly with The Odyssey. And since Indiana Jones was an archaeologist, he would have been familiar with the story of the Odyssey.

Oh yeah, and Joyce was Irish, Alison Doody is Irish, there was a four-leaf clover lighter in Last Crusade...there's a whole Irish connection with Indiana Jones.

I am seeing my Irish friend tomorrow night. We will raise a glass of Guinness to toast (albeit late). He is my good freind who introduced me to my girlfriend.

I love the leap you made, and I am currently thinking up some other connections so that a good thread like this won't die.
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Old 06-17-2004, 11:30 AM   #4
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Happy Bloomsday, everyone! And what time ISN'T a good time to raise your Guinness glasses?
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Old 06-17-2004, 01:03 PM   #5
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As a reader, how have I not heard of this book before? What's it like? What's it about?
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Old 06-17-2004, 01:14 PM   #6
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It's about 3 inches thick, depending on your version. Here is the lowdown:

Ulysses used the structure of the Homeric Odyssey as a contrast to the lives of the Dublin working class. The entire work takes place during Dublin's "dailiest day possible," (Bloomsday) Thursday, 16 June 1904. The bleak lives of the Dublin working class formed a stark contrast to the heroic Odyssey, and Joyce's frank realism was too avant-garde for the cultural police of the day.

An an English Major in college, I could go into it deeper, but frankly I feel much of what I say would be lost.
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Old 06-17-2004, 01:48 PM   #7
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It would probably help if I read it first, also, but feel free to elaborate! I am actually interested in reading more about it.
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Old 06-17-2004, 02:46 PM   #8
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Wasn't that considered as the most toughest book to read by a pro board of writers a while back?

It's pretty famous piece... and quite something. Written in the way where the description of the main character picking his nose will take four pages... to give you the idea.

I've read it of course. I like to consider myself somewhat a minor expert on literature, and couldn't have this one missing from my CV.
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Old 06-17-2004, 03:36 PM   #9
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Ah. So you would recommend me at least trying to read it?
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Old 06-17-2004, 03:45 PM   #10
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I'd recommend trying to read it aloud. That is the way Joyce is meant to be read. What I've heard some people do is have parties, where you get tanked and take turns reading passages from the book. The same could be done with Joyce's other masterpiece, "Finnegan's Wake", which is completely incomprehensible. But, in a wierd way, it makes sense to SAY it rather than read it.

"Ulysses" is hard to get through, but hearing it read out loud last night made some of the harder passages more accessible, in ways I never knew they could be. There's a lot of humor there, and it really comes alive in the performance; it's quite phenomonal to hear the difference, it's almost like a different book when performed live. Do yourselves a favor, get some friends together and read it out loud to each other, it really is a blast. And it could be ANY of Joyce's works, they all make for great out loud readings.

Here endeth the lesson.--Sean Connery, "The Untouchables", 1987
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Old 06-17-2004, 03:46 PM   #11
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Cool. Thanks for the tips!
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Old 06-18-2004, 05:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ben Friend of Indy
Ah. So you would recommend me at least trying to read it?
I must tip you my fedora if you even try. Since I know people better versed than me who haven't even bothered.
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Old 06-18-2004, 06:34 AM   #13
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Well, as one who loves to read, now that this topic has come up I'm going to have to give it a shot. Sounds like an interesting challenge...
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Old 06-18-2004, 06:20 PM   #14
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Some would recommend a progressive build up to Joyce's more difficult works, using his four greatest and most famous books.

First comes Dubliners, a collection of short stories which reveal epiphanies of wisdom in the lives of some common Irish folk.

Second ought to be A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. This book is slightly slower going than Dubliners, but not that imposing at all.

The third and fourth spots become complicated.

Ulysses is often regarded as both the greatest novel ever written and the most difficult to read. You can get an idea of what it's about from the above.
Finnegan's Wake is also quite difficult to read, this one more because of the tremendous number of made-up words in the story than anything else.

Both of these employ stream-of-consciousness writing, which is really what accounts for the difficulty. I, personally, plan to read Ulysses before tackling Finnegan's Wake, but this is merely my opinion.
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