Again, with Mike Norton’s Ulysses: Cyclops

Sometimes, the most impenetrable chapters of Joyce are written in the parlance and accent of the pubs.  If you are not Irish, and do not know that atmosphere, you may be flummoxed.

Jim Norton’s audio recording of Ulysses once again comes to the rescue.  The sheer gigantism, the “thrust” of language right into our bodies has now been accomplished for me only with his reading, his strategic use of accents and varying recital speeds.  The occasional mountains of words do not obstruct (anymore for me, at least) a rather plainly told, occasionally hilarious, and rancidly rascist hour of Leopold’s visit to a pub where the Citizen takes exception to his very existence in Ireland.

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3 comments on “Again, with Mike Norton’s Ulysses: Cyclops

  1. Mike says:

    Ha. This is one of the few advantages I have in my ongoing challenge, the Dublin pub – its vernacular, smell, pushing’n’shoving and bonhomie. I’m at Eumaeus and have a feeling that the worst is behind me 🙂

    • Ben Logan says:

      Yes, the worst is definitely behind you. And I think you’ll like Ithaca. It has great deadpan humor.

      The big rock for me is still Circe. It certainly is long and difficult. I hope I’ll learn to love it with time.

      Ben

    • Ben Logan says:

      Oh, the glories of audible.com! I’m listening to the Circe episode now as I work.

      Mike Norton’s version is some four hours long, and I figure it should really be about six hours. My Gosh, Norton is obviously reading that as fast as he possibly, and it sounds rushed. Reminds me the Stephen Rea film version of Ulysses. Everything sort of “works” as a nice film until Circe, and then all those interior scenes just run hell for leather. Made me wish he would have just rescued Stephen after he smashes the chandelier, and I really don’t need to know what he’s thinking.

      Zero Mostel (from that old Mel Brooks film The Producers) first became famous for playing Bloom in a Broadway version of just the Circe episode, called Ulysses in Nighttown. I sure would love to hear that.

      Ben

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