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A new sort of introduction to Finnegans Wake has just been published. Joyce's retelling of Aesop's fable of the ant and the grasshopper - 'the Ondt and the Gracehoper' - has been extracted from the Wake, illustrated by Thomas McNally, and published accompanied by an extended essay (also by McNally) on the themes in the Wake which illuminate and are illuminated by the spinoozed grimmgest of Jacko and Esaup.

It is a brilliant idea, and it is brilliantly executed. Every sentence is illustrated largely and finely, and the space given the text leads one to pay attention to all the tiny decisions Joyce made, which are lost if one reads at anything like the rate at which one reads a normal novel. The accompanying essay is excellent: clear, accessible, artistically and philosophically competent, and containing original contribution to the critical tradition on the work - which last means that, despite the fact that the work is primarily an induction to the Wake, it also illuminates the work to those who know it.

Anyone interested in but daunted by the Wake, and anyone who knows and loves the Wake and wants to see it in a different light, should certainly consider buying this wonderful book.

The work is the first of a projected series of illustrations of the fables of Finnegans Wake. I hope there will be sequels. (And I hope Lilliput Press is again behind it. From the font to the margins to the paper to the binding, the attention to detail in the publishing is second to none.)
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Happy Bloomsday, everybody! And happy hundredth anniversary of the publication of Dubliners!

Let me tell you all about the day that started too much mine, but then was shared. I returned to my native Dublin from the ever faraway land of Albion, and arrived just too late for fried liver at the bookshop of Messrs. Hodges and Figgis, but just in happy time for some amateur readings of the tale of hero Bloom. The reading read, we decamped hands bookful to Davy Byrne's, the moral pub, to eat as Bloom ate Gorgonzola sandwiches and to drink the hearty black stout of our green land. Outside this longlived establishment and the adjacent shortlived scaffolding were more readings, dramatised shoutily over the sunned and happy crowds. There I made some friends, two smiling and sharpeyed Italians, visiting with their students (who - the students I mean - were elsewhere) to learn (again, the students doing the learning here) English. (For what good the only sart of English ye'll pick up in Dublin'll do ye in any respectable vocation at all, but sure I guess they're better off aren't they with an English with a bit a music to it.)

Hands shook and characters awkwardly ascertained to be at all events acceptable, we three wandered north past Trinity College, through O'Connell Street and its Spire (which we stopped by to look up at, but not for very long, and not much wiser for it, though we did agree that we probably liked it), and eventually to the James Joyce Centre, one of the Bloomsday centres, as you might imagine. The HCE Players from Boston (so local lads then) dramatised a couple of passages, most memorably the blessing of the opening of Barney Kiernan's pub, and Ithaca. They did a fine job of it. (You could tell because the audience was splitting its sides laughing.) A wander up and around the Centre then, to see the table on which Joyce wrote the Night Book that followed today's day book; to watch a short documentary about Joyce's relationship with the National Library; and down to see the door of 7 Eccles Street, the latchkey to which is presumably still in the back pocket of Bloom's trousers that he was wearing the previous day but one (now - how an imaginary latchkey is supposed to open the door I don't know, and perhaps it couldn't (we don't know as Bloom gained ingress through the kitchen door) - but perhaps now nothing else could open the door, as no normal key, I daresay, could open it; for it is a portal detached from any passage, the house now being the site of Hospitium Mater Misericordiae, whose doors need to be bigger, and nothing now behind that door through which Stephen Dedalus accepted graciously and comprehensibly hospitium but brick). Then our own egress, back south past the Spire and O'Connell Street and Trinity College, to Meeting House Square, where, basking in the rare summer sun, we lay back and listened to some music, and some more readings, finishing with Molly's I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.
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Дамы и Господа, обращаю Ваше внимание на анонс этого мероприятия в контакте: http://vk.com/bloomsday_saratov

Bloomsday in Saratov 2012: we'll joice Saratov this summer!

Ирландский Праздник, посвященный роману "Улисс" за авторством Джеймса Джойса.
Справка: http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Блумсдэй

Уважаемые дамы и господа!

• Ежели без ума Вы от литературы и от Джеймса Джойса всю жизнь мечтали отпраздновать хорошенько Bloomsday сиречь фривольный праздник Леопольда Блума к дню действия Романа приуроченный
• Ежели вашей жизни не хватает насыщенных деньков в славной компании поэтических вакханалий сочных приключений и прочих безумств
• Ежели хочется Вам побывать в граде первопрестольном Дублине воплощенном художественно на бумаге замечательной саратовской художницей Натальей Красильниковой и визуально рядом артефактов от предыдущих Блумсдэев оставшихся и предоставленных неким Сергеем Хоружием* то

Приготовьтесь! – Гражданин Вас просит.


Великое гедонистическое празднество искусств, любви и жизни!

16 июня
Мы намереваемся устроить
грандиозный Блумодень, и без вас нам никак не обойтись!

Проекту требуются участники, помощники, спонсоры.
Зрители – по предварительной записи.
Не стесняемся!

Контакты: vk.com/zotow
8 906 302 46 36

*+ зажаренные свиные почки, scrotumtightening sea (ирландского) алкоголя и других занятных интересностей из романа «Улисс» Джеймса Джойса - ирландского писателя-модерниста.
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 A while ago I wrote here that I'm writing a seminar paper about Joyce use of music in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and in "The Dead" and I asked people for some ideas. Well, I got some really good ideas which really helped me in writing my paper and I've been meaning to post it here but I kept forgetting to do so. So after a long time, here is my seminar paper if anyone is interested in reading it. (: I got 88 on it. lj has messed up my formatting.

Read more...Collapse )
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Just realized 3 days after the fact that 1-13-11 marks the 70th-year anniversary since James Joyce passed away.  On a much more positive note, 2-2-12 will be the 130th-year anniversary since Joyce's birth, and the 90th-year anniversary since the publication of Ulysses.  Looking fwd to Bloomsday 2012!
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I'm writing a seminar paper about the use of music in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and "The Dead". I wondered if you could suggest to me some good articles about the subject or about these two works in general.

Thank you,

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As they turned into Berkeley street a streetorgan near the Basin sent over and after them a rollicking rattling song of the halls. Has anybody here seen Kelly? Kay ee double ell wy. Dead March from Saul. He's as bad as old Antonio. He left me on my ownio.

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He [Shakespeare] puts Bohemia on the seacoast and makes Ulysses quote Aristotle.
John Eglinton in the Library chapter of Ulysses.

Weldon Thornton (Allusions in Ulysses, 1961) and Don Gifford (Ulysses Annotated, 1974) both agree that the first half of the sentence refers to a "much-cited boner in The Winter's Tale", and the other one to Troilus and Cressida, "though it is Hector and not Ulysses who 'quotes' Aristotle."

I'm currently re-reading Troilus and Cressida, which has been one of my favourite plays since I was a schoolboy. Only now I realize what a bitter satire it is, but it turns out that I still like it. About this quoting of Aristotle: It is true that Hector very obviously does so in Act II, sc. ii (...not much/ Unlike young men, whom Aristotle thought/ Unfit to hear moral philosophy), but what about Ulysses in Act III, sc. iii?

What are you reading?

A strange fellow here
Writes me that man-how dearly ever parted,
How much in having, or without or in-
Cannot make boast to have that which he hath,
Nor feels not what he owes, but by reflection;
As when his virtues shining upon others
Heat them, and they retort that heat again
To the first giver.

This is not strange, Ulysses.
The beauty that is borne here in the face
The bearer knows not, but commends itself
To others' eyes; nor doth the eye itself-
That most pure spirit of sense-behold itself,
Not going from itself; but eye to eye opposed
Salutes each other with each other's form;
For speculation turns not to itself
Till it hath travell'd, and is mirror'd there
Where it may see itself. This is not strange at all.

I do not strain at the position-
It is familiar-

And familiar it is indeed. I haven't got a decent commentary* at hand, but a quick internet research proves the ideas Ulysses quotes (and Achilles' replies) to be so commonplace, that possible contenders for their authorship range from Plato, Cicero and Seneca, via John Stobaeus, Thomas Aquinas and Erasmus, to Montaigne, Thomas Nashe, John Davies, John Marston and Thomas Wright. Even Luke 6:19 (vertue vvent forth from him, and healed al) and James 2:17 (Euen so the faith, if it haue no workes, is dead in it self) are brought into consideration, but surely neither of them qualifies as "a strange fellow".

I also found a (promising?) snippet from William R. Elton's essay "Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida" (Journal of the History of Ideas - Volume 58, Number 2, April 1997, pp. 331-337): ... Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, ed. H. N. Hillebrand and T. W. Baldwin (Philadelphia, 1953), 411-15, which ignores Aristotle in favor of Plato, on the "strange fellow." ... Does Elton show how the author in question might have been Aristotle? I would really like to know that, but unfortunately I cannot access any more context.

Mind you, I'm not trying to defend James Joyce or "John Eglinton" against Thornton and Gifford. Someone may have been sloppy or overly pedantic there, but I don't care much who. I'm just genuinely curious about that book. And fictional characters that go about with their noses in some writing have always been close to my heart: Rosalind and the papery tongues that Orlando hangs on every tree of the Forest of Arden; Hamlet and the "words, words, words" of the "satirical slave" of his (lisant au livre de lui-même); book-loving Prospero in his rotten carcass of a boat still prizing his volumes above his dukedom; Silvia, using Valentine as a secretary to write and read her billets-doux to himself; poor deluded Malvolio and all the other people deceived by forged and misleading letters.

* By the way, I'd be grateful for any recommendation of a good Shakespeare commentary. Kenneth Muir edited Troilus and Cressida for Oxford World's Classics, and David Bevington for the Arden Shakespeare. Which series is to prefer? And does the Arden series differ very much from Bevington's Longman editions of the Complete Works (available in one or in four volumes)?

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