Step 4d: The Great Gray Out

Let’s create a metaphor.  If we string together all lines of outside dialogue and descriptions, we have a third-party “clothesline” upon which hang the parcels of internal monologue.  With this clothesline, we can follow along in space and time no matter where it goes.  (I should add, until the chapter, Scylla and Charibdys.  Things get wilder in the second half of the book.)

Continuing with this metaphor, the parcels of internal monologue become the “clothing” hanging upon space and time.  If we can see one, we can see the other.  We will also learn quite a bit about Joyce’s conception of how the mind works, and perhaps how our own minds work.

Now, some might wonder why I would impose so much upon the text.  My response would be that I’ve seen interior monologue in Ulysses penciled and highlighted so very much through the first 2, or 3, or 5 chapters in used student texts and in library copies,–that I’ve come to believe that they’re suppose to be there.  I now find a clean white-washed digital copy to be a choice, but also a little unnatural.

I now say, why not just do the job and be complete–and share this with the world?  I’ve gone through the Gutenberg copy of Ulysses, all the way through Scylla & Charybdis, with my PDF XChange Highlighter.  Compared to commenting, this does not take very long, and it would not hurt me to have my markings tweaked.

I have made the illustrations above to make it thickly apparent that nothing’s hurt as long as it is not distracting.  In some of the future postings, I will be returning to chapter 1 and describing how this mixture of highlights, rollovers, and hyperlinks–and maybe a comment or two–can give shape to the text like light on sculpture.  The sculpture, in all its greatness, is there.  I’m just track lighting.

Some teachers, reading this, might wonder whether I’m subverting their profession’s efforts to give their students an education.  I could be, but that is not my intention.  This is a tough, durn book–greatest novel of the twentieth century or not.


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