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.