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.