1670886944 458 CENTENARY OF ULYSSES BY JAMES JOYCE I Veraz Newspaper


“Complex, demanding, but brilliant novel.”

mtro. Jose Miguel Naranjo Ramirez.

It all happened on June 16, 1904 in an average time of 18 hours. Yes, the history made up of 809 pages[1] it happens in a brief instant, which at the same time is a vast universe. Why is reading the novel complex and why is it revolutionary? I will try to exemplify the first thing I detected in the reading in this paragraph: I am writing the first article on “Ulysses”, my mind is on the one hand trying to organize the ideas, I analyze everything written down and underlined in the reading, but, at At the same time, several more thoughts are going through my mind, thoughts that provoke sensations, reflections, for example: at this moment that I am writing I am trying to be clear with my ideas, however, I am also thinking about my friend Rafa and the difficult circumstances he is going through; illnesses, worries, anguish, and invariably you deliberate about the meaning of life, the value of time. I go back to the writing and understand the main protagonist of Ulysses named Leopold Blomm.

Leopold Bloom through encounters with other characters, and, above all, through a very extensive mental journey, introduces us to his world. Leopold is married to Molly Bloom, they have a daughter named Milly, a cat who is his companion. The mental variety of ideas is widely developed in the novel and great care must be taken when reading so as not to lose the meaning of the dialogues. Leopold is talking with his wife, she has been reading a book: “. “They put if what” he asked. “Here,” she said. What does she mean? She leaned forward and read near her polished thumbnail. -Metempsychosis? -Yes. Where did that come from? “Metempsychosis,” he said, frowning. It is Greek: it comes from Greek. It means the transmigration of souls. – What nonsense! she exclaimed. Say it in simple words. He smiled, squinting into her mocking eyes. The same young eyes. The first night after the charades. The Dolphins. He turned the dirty pages. Ruby: the pride of the track. Hello. Illustration. Fierce Italian with a coachman’s whip. It must be Ruby’s pride on the bare floor. Kind loan of a sheet. The Maffei monster gave up and flung its victim away with an oath. Cruelty behind all that. Doped animals. The mob watching with their mouths open. Break your neck and we’ll all burst out laughing. There are whole families. Dismantle the young so they can metempsych each other. So that we live after death. Our souls. That the soul of a man after he dies. Dignan’s soul. You finished it? he asked. “Yes,” she said. There’s nothing obscene about it. Is she in love with the first guy every time? – I never read it. Do you want another? -Yes. Get another one from Paul de Kock. He has a nice name. She poured more tea into her cup, watching it flow out of the corner of her eye. I have to replace that book in the Capel Street Library, or they’ll write to Kearney. Reincarnation: that’s the word. Some people believe – he said – that we continue to live after death in another body than the one we had before. They call that reincarnation. That we have all lived on earth thousands of years ago, or on some other planet. They say we have forgotten. Some claim to remember their past lives. Lazy cream spiraled curds through his tea. Better remind you of the word: metempsychosis. An example would be better. An example?”

Ulysses for the Roman world, Odysseus for the Greek, is a human hero, he is no longer a demigod who can do everything, even so, when you know his life through the pen of Homer, you have the feeling that he is closer to the divine that to the human Leopold Bloom, like Ulysses, will live many adventures, disagreements, however, this character is absolutely human because he is full of doubts, certainties, fears. There are moments when his silence is an answer, a position, sometimes silence is synonymous with sadness, pain, he really is a profound protagonist who demands that you think about it, reflections. Another important character, or rather fundamental, is Stephen Dedalus. Dedalus is the alter ego of her creator, in fact, Joyce brought Dedalus to life in her first novel: “Portrait of the adolescent artist.” At Ulises Dedalus he is a poet and works as a teacher. In the first pages of the novel it is clear that Dedalus has a strong conflict over the death of his mother, the delicate thing about the death is that she asked her son to help her die calmly and peacefully, and everything indicates that he did not he wanted to pray for her… in the following articles this conflict of the character will be clear and developed.

Leopold Bloom attends Dignan’s funeral, in the vehicle that takes them to the cemetery he is accompanied by Dedalus, Cunningham, Power, among others. Here we learn that Dignan died of cardiac arrest. The characters affirm that it was a good death because it was quick and thus suffering is avoided. Nothing to suffer, a blink of an eye and it’s over. This very thing makes us meditate on the meaning of life and particularly on the importance of acts and things. It is not a matter of being pessimistic, however, if we are analytical we will detect that a large part of our time is exhausted in trifles, we worry and stress over things that are so insignificant: if he looked at me badly, if I don’t have this or what another, and we forget that finitude haunts us day by day. I think of my friend Marduck, a man who was 47 years old, a good life, two young children, a beautiful bookstore, financial stability, and suddenly, whoops! death, the end. We are forced to rethink our position in life, there are many things that we cannot avoid, however, today more than ever we must take advantage of time, rebel in life so that when death comes to us it does not catch us in nothing, because in itself nothingness is already assured after life.

Like my friend Marduck, Dignan died in the middle of his life. That feeling of courage remains due to the lack of time. Even so, both deaths come off as a bad move for them and their family and friends. Cunningham tells his companions that the worst of all is when a man takes his own life. Power maintains that it is the worst misfortune for a family. For his part, Dedalus claims that it is a cowardly act. Cunningham concludes that it is not for them to judge this act. What does the reader think about suicide? A universal example is that of Hemingway, some say that he shot himself because he had discovered that he had an incurable disease, and believed that it was better to finish on time without suffering unnecessary pain. If so, personally I consider that it is a justifiable, understandable act, and even more so if you reach approximately 80 years of age, at that age: How much can you expect from life? What was done was done, and what was cowardly not done, can no longer be done…

The bet is always for life. However, let it be that, life, that is, action, movement, thought, rebellion. Mr. Bloom’s father didn’t think so, because Cunningham was very sorry to tell his classmates that Leopold Bloom had no opinion on suicide because his father took her own life, reasons we still don’t know. Until what is narrated here is part of the adventures, encounters and disagreements of Leopold Bloom. There is still a long way to go, it seems that he is cheating on his wife with Marta and that she is not as faithful as Ulysses’ Penelope.

In the end, let’s remember that the protagonists are as human as we are and that makes them loyal and disloyal, virtuous and defective. The interiority of the characters is the interiority of ourselves…

Email: miguel_naranjo@hotmail.com

Twitter @MiguelNaranjo80

Facebook: José Miguel Naranjo Ramírez.

[1] The edition in which I read the novel is: “Ulysses” James Joyce, Editorial Galaxia Gutenberg, translation by José Salas Subirad who was the first to translate it into Spanish.

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