The Results . . .

pp. 5-8 unmarked

At left, pp. 5-8, pre-1923 edition, from the conversation about the “skivvie’s” cracked mirror to the cloud covering the sun, Stephen’s image of Irish art, and then to the depths of Stephen’s reveries over his deceased mother, the pantsing of Clive Kempthorpe.  Quite a lot in four pages.

And that’s not all.  Stephen broaches the serious matter of Malachi’s taking Stephen’s mother’s death so lightly.  Malachi deflects, then sings some lines from “Who Goes with Fergus?”, which sends Stephen into mourning reverie in memories of his mother.

I have chosen this contiguous sampling because I think it is representative of the technique and difficulties of many chapters of Ulysses.  Conversation-reflection-conversation-reflection.  Pp. 6-7 are relatively “clean” of remarks, as are many passages of external narrative.  Why would you think so many readers give up at ch. 3?

(passage in draft) I’ve also remarked, previously, that starting at ch. 4, with Bloom, confers no advantages.  Little happens in his chs. 4-6 externally, but they are extremely dense–even chatty–internally.  My casual analysis of chapter 1 (& 2 & 3) convinces me that Joyce is providing the reader with a comfortable lofting into his technique.  As for chapter 3, skip it!  No reason to be this uncomfortable, this early.  However, a shaded copy of ch. 3 is a great comfort.  I recommend them.  Just visit “Media & Resources”.

Below is the same as above, but with markings as this blog has suggested.  My goal, once again, was to make the digital equivalent of the analogue well-marked copy, such as Coleridge would return to Charles Lamb and, well, you know that story . . .

The dialogue on pp. 5-9 has many fewer references than Ulysses Annotated.  I’ve asserted that the “ideas and sensations” reference is too distracting to be needed in a first reading.  I still can’t figure out why it’s there, but the dialogue functions perfectly without an explanation.

As appears to be typical for this chapter, I have used approximately half of all citations from Ulysses Annotated.  All are fascinating; not all are needed to become instant authorities.  Gifford cites something over 30.  I have cited about fifteen.

If I had to guess what sort of citation would most often be needed in an initial reading, it would be any that relate to the culture and slang of Dublin.  Someday, I may, with authority say that “ineluctable modality of the visible” is truly worth ignoring–for now.

Certain passages will always be intensive.  If this technique can slow a reader down once in a while, I will have achieved my life’s work.  Many passages are intensely beautiful, but not intensely easy.  Kempthorpe’s pantsing is a concentrated passage of images that necessarily reflect Joyce’s meditations on Irish/English relations.  As well, I must have some manner to display the beautiful “Who Goes with Fergus?”, with meter properly typed out, for the user to understand how intricately the poem has instilled Stephen’s mind.

I support the “cartoon balloon” appearance of the markings.  They are, in fact, exactly what I’d wish for.  I reapplied them so that they are more clearly contiguous.  To some,  this may be going too far.  Rather than anticipate a reply, I will await a response.  They are much more purposeful and tightly delineated around the interior monologue.

Clicking on the image below, and then clicking again on the new image appearing in a new window, will bring you close to the actual size of the pages.

pp. 5-8 marked


Re: Joyce, Episode 64: Blind Man’s Bluff

aug 31, 2011

Re: Joyce, Episode 64: Blind Man’s Bluff

“Sargent who alone had lingered came forward slowly, showing an open copybook. His
thick hair and scraggy neck gave witness of unreadiness and through his misty glasses
weak eyes looked up pleading. On his cheek, dull and bloodless, a soft stain of ink lay,
dateshaped, recent and damp as a snail’s bed.

He held out his copybook. The word Sums was written on the headline. Beneath were
sloping figures and at the foot a crooked signature with blind loops and a blot. Cyril
Sargent: his name and seal.”


A boy stays after class, and Joyce toys with both authority and identity.

Re: Joyce, Episode 63: A Lot of Nonsense

aug 24, 2011

Re: Joyce, Episode 63: A Lot of Nonsense

“The cock crew, The
sky was blue: The
bells in heaven Were
striking eleven.
‘Tis time for this poor soul
To go to heaven.
What is that?
―What, sir?
―Again, sir. We didn’t hear.
Their eyes grew bigger as the lines were repeated. After a silence Cochrane said:
―What is it, sir? We give it up.
Stephen, his throat itching, answered:
―The fox burying his grandmother under a hollybush.
He stood up and gave a shout of nervous laughter to which their cries echoed dismay.
A stick struck the door and a voice in the corridor called:
They broke asunder, sidling out of their benches, leaping them. Quickly they were gone
and from the lumberroom came the rattle of sticks and clamour of their boots and tongues.”

As Stephen’s class lets out, a riddle is asked and answered, satisfying nobody.

Re: Joyce, Episode 62: God and Caesar

aug 17, 2011

Re: Joyce, Episode 62: God and Caesar

“Talbot repeated:
―Through the dear might of Him that walked the waves,
Through the dear might …
―Turn over, Stephen said quietly. I don’t see anything.
―What, sir? Talbot asked simply, bending forward.
His hand turned the page over. He leaned back and went on again, having just
remembered. Of him that walked the waves. Here also over these craven hearts his
shadow lies and on the scoffer’s heart and lips and on mine. It lies upon their eager faces
who offered him a coin of the tribute. To Caesar what is Caesar’s, to God what is God’s. A
long look from dark eyes, a riddling sentence to be woven and woven on the church’s
looms. Ay.
Riddle me, riddle me, Randy Ro.
My Father gave me seeds to sow.
Talbot slid his closed book into his satchel.
―Have I heard all? Stephen asked.
―Yes, sir. Hockey at ten, sir.
―Half day, sir. Thursday.
―Who can answer a riddle? Stephen asked.
They bundled their books away, pencils clacking, pages rustling. Crowding together they
strapped and buckled their satchels, all gabbling gaily:
―A riddle, sir? Ask me, sir.
―O, ask me, sir.
―A hard one, sir.
―This is the riddle, Stephen said:”

Stephen is a somewhat merciful teacher. Musings on Jesus, government, and riddles.

just the text Ma’am

Let’s do something fun.  I have extracted, from the impenetrable text of ch. 3 below, the few scraps of text (or clothesline or longline, as I call them), knotted them all together, and placed just that underneath the original text.  With a little help, pretty legible, if dry.

Stephen closed his eyes to hear his boots crush crackling wrack and shells. . . . They came down the steps from Leahy’s terrace prudently, Frauenzimmer: and down the shelving shore flabbily, their splayed feet sinking in the silted sand.. . . Airs romped round him, nipping and eager airs.. . . His pace slackened. . . . The grainy sand had gone from under his feet. His boots trod again a damp crackling mast, razorshells, squeaking pebbles, that on the unnumbered pebbles beats, wood sieved by the shipworm, lost Armada. Unwholesome sandflats waited to suck his treading soles, breathing upward sewage breath, a pocket of seaweed smouldered in seafire under a midden of man’s ashes. He coasted them, walking warily. A porterbottle stood up, stogged to its waist, in the cakey sand dough. . . . He halted.. . . He turned northeast and crossed the firmer sand towards the Pigeonhouse.. . . His feet marched in sudden proud rhythm over the sand furrows, along by the boulders of the south wall. . . . He had come nearer the edge of the sea and wet sand slapped his boots. The new air greeted him, harping in wild nerves, wind of wild air of seeds of brightness.. . . He stood suddenly, his feet beginning to sink slowly in the quaking soil. . . . Turning, he scanned the shore south, his feet sinking again slowly in new sockets. . . . He lifted his feet up from the suck, and turned back by the mole of boulders. . . .

He climbed over the sedge and eely oarweeds and sat on a stool

of rock, resting his ashplant in a grike. . . .

A bloated carcass of a dog lay lolled on bladderwrack.  Before him the gunwale of a boat,

sunk in sand. . . .

A point, live dog, grew into sight running across the sweep of sand. . . .

The dog’s bark ran towards him, stopped, ran back. . . .

Re: Joyce, Episode 61: In a Paris Library

aug 10, 2011

Re: Joyce, Episode 61: In a Paris Library

“It must be a movement then, an actuality of the possible as possible. Aristotle’s phrase
formed itself within the gabbled verses and floated out into the studious silence of the
library of Saint Genevieve where he had read, sheltered from the sin of Paris, night by
night. By his elbow a delicate Siamese conned a handbook of strategy. Fed and feeding
brains about me: under glowlamps, impaled, with faintly beating feelers: and in my mind’s
darkness a sloth of the underworld, reluctant, shy of brightness, shifting her dragon scaly
folds. Thought is the thought of thought. Tranquil brightness. The soul is in a manner all
that is: the soul is the form of forms. Tranquility sudden, vast, candescent: form of forms.”

Stephen’s classroom; a library in Paris; Blake and Aristotle; dragons and souls.