Trying to post more often (+some thoughts on Joyce’s Ulysses)

Normally, I post fairly length posts three times a week (almost always during a weekday). And I propagate all my posts to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. But I think I am going to start trying to post whenever I feel like it (i.e. more than three times a week) and then I’ll only propagate some of the posts to Facebook (which directs way, way more traffic in my direction than all the other services). That way my biggest fans can get more of me and I can also address lighter topics when I want.

Hmm, now I need a lighter topic…well, I started reading James Joyce’s Ulysses. I’m a tenth of the way through and enjoying it so far. Even when I don’t understand what exactly is happening, I still like the writing. It really puts you there. The whole third part of the book is Stephen Daedalus walking along a beach and thinking about stuff. And sometimes that stuff is pretty obscure. But you always get brought back to the beach. It’s a very concrete, beautiful, and lonely place.

I’m not reading the book w/ the help of any kind of guide. I find that guides and footnotes and all that stuff are good for academics, but they’re bad for the reading experience. I don’t want to understand every bit of Ulysses…I want to enjoy it. However, I can definitely see why reading guides exist. Take for instance, this passage (from the aforementioned walk along the beach):

Wombed in sin darkness I was too, made not begotten. By them, the man with my voice and my eyes and a ghostwoman with ashes on her breath. They clasped and sundered, did the coupler’s will. From before the ages He willed me and now may not will me away or ever. A lex eterna stays about Him. Is that then the divine substance wherein Father and Son are consubstantial? Where is poor dear Arius to try conclusions? Warring his life long upon the contransmagnificandjewbangtantiality. Illstarred heresiarch’ In a Greek watercloset he breathed his last: euthanasia. With beaded mitre and with crozier, stalled upon his throne, widower of a widowed see, with upstiffed omophorion, with clotted hinderparts.

Now, obv, this is about Arius, a 3rd century Christian heretic–he believed that the Father was greater than the Son and arose prior to him, rather than them being equal–who died because his bowels burst.  And I think the reason he’s coming up is because Stephen is thinking about his own relation to his family (and church, etc, etc.)

I got this reference because I know about Arius. But it made me realize that there must be a ton of references that I’m not getting. Which is fine by me. Nothing is more annoying than stopping to look stuff up.

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  1. tjic (@tjic)

    > That way my biggest fans

    Hey, it was only one candy bar. And I’m going to hit the gym again tomorrow.