Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ulysses criticism in an Ithaca stylee

What was the most trenchant insight from Declan Kiberd's introduction?

Men had killed and maimed one another’s bodies in the name of abstract virtues, so Joyce resolved to write a materialist ‘epic of the body’, with a minute account of its functions and frustrations. Soldiers were dying in defence of the outmoded epic codes which permeate The Odyssey, so Joyce set out to remind readers that if Odysseus – also known as Ulysses – was a god, he was most certainly a god with a limp. In this book, the very ordinariness of the modern Ulysses, Mr Leopold Bloom, becomes a standing reproach to the myth of ancient military heroism. Man’s littleness is seen, finally, to be the inevitable condition of his greatness. What one man does in a single day is infinitesimal, but it is nonetheless infinitely important that he do it. By developing Bloom’s analogies with Odysseus, Joyce suggests that the Greeks were human and flawed like everybody else.

What was the second most trenchant?

The French Revolution, which purported to put an end to all myth-making, instituted the myth of modernity, the notion of perpetual renewal which animated spirits as diverse as those of Ezra Pound (‘make it new’) and Leon Trotsky (‘permanent revolution’).

What word from Ulysses should come back as twenty-first-century slang?

Phiz - a person's face or expression; abbreviation of physiognomy

What word did Blogspot's spell checker improbably, but intermittently, recognize?


What passage might Margaret Mitchell have read?

Gone with the wind. Hosts at Mullaghmast and Tara of the kings.

What's the best dis in the entire novel?

He's a caution to rattlesnakes.

Give an example of another dis.

Shakespeare is the happy hunting ground of all minds that have lost their balance.
What word might bring Skrillex to mind?


Show a passage that is the literary equivalent of cinematic crosscutting.

—This is real Irish cream I take it, he said with forbearance. I don’t want to be imposed on.
Elijah, skiff, light crumpled throwaway, sailed eastward by flanks of ships and trawlers, amid an archipelago of corks, beyond new Wapping street past Benson’s ferry, and by the threemasted schooner Rosevean from Bridgwater with bricks.

What's the most moving moment in the novel?

Fa is dead. My father is dead.

Is there a b, d, c repetition?

Ben Dollar called. Begone, dull care.

What name of a future number one Hollywood box office star can (almost) be found in the novel?

Micky Rooney

Give an example of Joyce's concern for his characters even after they die.

Questioned by his earthname as to his whereabouts in the heaven-world he stated that he was now on the path of pralaya or return...

Is there a passage that discusses the effect of hanging on erections while touching on the insufferability of the main character?

That can be explained by science, says Bloom. It's only a natural phenomenon, don't you see, because on account of the...

And then he starts with his jawbreakers about phenomenon and science and this phenomenon and the other phenomenon.

The distinguished scientist Herr Professor Luitpold Blumenduft tendered medical evidence to the effect that the instantaneous fracture of the cervical vertebrae and consequent scission of the spinal cord would... 

Is there a passage that touches on the insufferability of the main character while ecstatically praising him?

And they beheld Him even Him, ben Bloom Elijah, amid clouds of angels ascend to the glory of the brightness at an angle of fortyfive degrees over Donohoe's in Little Green Street like a shot off a shovel.  

Is there bit of slang that is too silly to come back in the twenty-first century having likely been written as a parody in the first place?
All Tuesday week afternoon she was hunting to match that chenille but at last she found what she wanted at Clery's summer sales, the very it.

Is there a parody of bad literature?  

Her griddlecakes done to a golden-brown hue and queen Ann's pudding of delightful creaminess had won golden opinions from all because she had a lucky hand also for lighting a fire.

Give another example.

He would be tall with broad shoulders (she had always admired tall men for a husband). 

Give two more examples of cinematic crosscutting. 

he put in the incense and censed the Blessed Sacrament and Cissy Caffrey caught the two twins and... 

he never took his eyes off of her and then Canon O’Hanlon handed the thurible back to Father Conroy and...   

Is there a moment when eroticism is allowed to blossom in the public sphere?

At last they were left alone without the others to pry and pass remarks.

Is this eroticism consummated in a passage that taps into the corny yet ecstatic metaphors for orgasm?

And then a rocket sprang and bang shot bund and O! then the Roman candle burst and it was like a sigh of O! and everyone cried O! O! in raptures and it gushed out of it a stream of rain gold hair threads and they shed and ah! they were all greeny dewy stars falling with golden, O so lively! O so soft, sweet, soft!

What fleeting impression might jumpstart an essay on the relation between cinema and Ulysses

Mutoscope pictures in Capel street: for men only. Peeping Tom.  

What are the World’s Twelve Worst Books?

Froggy and Fritz (politic), Care of the Baby (infantilic), 50 Meals for 7/6 (culinic), Was Jesus a Sun Myth? (historic), Expel that Pain (medic), Infant’s Compendium of the Universe (cosmic), Let’s All Chortle (hilaric), Canvasser’s Vade Mecum (joumalic), Love-letters of Mother Assistant (erotic), Who’s Who in Space (astric), Songs that Reached Our Heart (melodic), Pennywise’s Way to Wealth (parsmonic). 

Are there moments when Ulysses seems to parody itself?  

To cut a long story short 
No pun intended 

Is there a prediction that this novel would be immortal while adhering to the theme of finding the heroic in the very ordinariness of modern personhood? 

If Stephen would continue to live until he would attain that age in the year 3072 A.D...

What's the one line you remembered from your attempt to read Ulysses in junior high?

he can stick his tongue 7 miles up my hole

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home