Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Ulysses - post VII

I have to admit that reading this book today has been hard going. It has produced all the things that I feared Joyce might have in store. When I started putting together some bullet points it became clear it is not the easiest thing to do when you don't know what is real or a dream and Joyce seems determined to make life as difficult as possible for the reader and is almost so keen to lose you he will violently shake you off.

Bullet points between pages 420 – 500

* Things start slowly with Bloom appearing to go and visit a brothel where he is known to the madam in charge and is obviously a former visitor but then things take a surreal turn and the text is written like a stage play with italicised descriptions and directions for the cast

* Some police suddenly threatens Bloom with arrest and as he tries to argue his way out of it things start to take a very surreal turn and he is in a courtroom in front of a judge answering all types of charges and changing his character almost with every new accusation

* Throughout the case there are numerous references to numbers with three whores, the eight beatitudes (it should be seven shouldn't it?) and along with that there are moments when your head starts hurting when Bloom appears to change sex and at one point gives birth to seven boys

* The court case still rumbles on and all of the main characters so far seem to make an appearance including the talking corpse of the man they buried that morning and at various moments Stephen plays the piano and makes a few odd comments not always related to the proceedings

I am going to struggle on tomorrow...

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