How to look like you’ve read James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’

Would you watch a series about a gray executive of an advertising agency come to ruin who leads an equally gray life and discovers that his wife has a lover? What if in the first chapter he finds out when his wife and the aforementioned lover are going to sleep for the first time and he has the opportunity to do something to prevent it? What if that series later addressed the theme of love and sex? Basically: why is sex so important for a relationship to work? What if, over the course of five seasons and 62 one-hour episodes, we learned more about the wife’s sexual desires, but they also told us about the complexes and neuroses of the character who is going to be cuckolded? What if I raised the issue of whether sex is necessary in a love relationship? What if it turns out that he showrunner He would like to make it clear to us that sex is a problem, but that, after all, it is something natural? What if the gray protagonist thinks of Steve Carellfor example, were unable to have sexual relations with his wife, think about Amy AdamsBut would you have had a very risqué illicit correspondence with her in the past? What if the character of Steve Carell moved away from that of Amy Adams after their son died? What if his wife’s relationship with that lover is based solely on sex? What if she continues to love her husband? Would you watch a series like this in Netflix? In HBO?

because of this Ulises, from James Joyce (If the academics understand that I have made a mistake in my analysis, let them say so, please; and if any producer wants to hire me for being able to unravel James Joyce’s book in this way, they only have to tempt me). Although if the theme of sex does not fit you, the theme of death can fit you, very much in the style of two meters below ground. Would you watch a series where, by law, people are buried vertically and upwards instead of horizontally, to save space? Harold Bloom’s character, the gray publicist, has one of the most hilarious visions of death in all of literary history in Ulises. In the chapter ‘Hades’, Bloom raises exactly that. You will not tell me that it is not the germ of a very Netflix science fiction series.

My question in 99th anniversary of the publication of the Ulises by James Joyce is this: If you are capable of dedicating 62 hours of your life to watching a series, I don’t know, how breaking badWhy can’t you spend 34 hours reading your Ulises of James Joyce? It has 636 pages. It is usual to read 50 pages per hour. As it is a dense book, which requires attention, let’s say that you will only be able to read 20 pages per hour. Can you really not take 34 hours to finish that book you bought during the race, read five pages and then abandoned it to its fate? In a month you can read it and imagine everything you could boast. Well, and if you don’t want to, repeat the first paragraph of this article (I’ll leave you) and pretend you’ve read it. You just have to look outraged: How can it be that it is not a best-seller in 2019?

Which leads us to the following questions: Is it Ulisesfrom James Joyce, the most difficult novel to finish in history? Is it because of its extension? Is it because of the story it tells? Is it because of the style in which it is narrated, in which not a single detail of what its characters think, see or do is omitted (Stephen Daedalus, Leopold Bloom Y Molly Bloom) throughout a day in your life? Each chapter is narrated in a different way. Chapter 15 is presented as a play, but chapter 13 borrows the tone of a romance novel. Then 12 is a game that seems to be taken from an impro show in which the narration is interrupted by exaggerated situations, one after another. Chapter eleven wants to become a musical score, playing with alliteration and onomatopoeia. And 14 imitates the most classic English narrative. As a whole, the text contains complex puns and riddles aimed, according to Joyce himself, at literary critics. Is it “one of the most boring books in the history of universal literature”, as he once said Aldous Huxley? A work of an “illiterate”, as he came to insinuate nothing more and nothing less than Virginia Woolf? Or is it “damn wonderful” as he said Ernest Hemingway? It is undeniable that the story behind the book, the story of how it was published and was a persecuted and banned book, is exciting. Now you read that the last book of Haruki Murakami has been censored in China, and you put your hands in your head, but Joyce’s book was censored in the West. 100 years ago, but in the West.

The February 2, 1922 James Joyce’s book was first published Ulises. It was precisely the day of the writer’s 40th birthday. And it was a controversial post. The book had originally appeared serialized in The Little Review between March 1918 and December 1920, but the 684-page novel that we all know and that few have read (we mean few in proportion to the number of people who have bought it), turns 97 years old. The New York Association for the Suppression of Vice immediately condemned the work as “obscene, lewd and lewd” while it was still being serialized in the magazine The Little Review. For more than a decade, it was illegal in Britain and the United States to sell, advertise, import or distribute the book now considered by literary critics to be the greatest novel in English. “If ‘Ulysses’ isn’t worth reading, then life, in general, isn’t worth living,” Joyce said as soon as non-literary critics began to attack him.

The sunday express assured that “the most infamously obscene book in the history of literature, both ancient and modern”. The Dublin Review said in its pages that “read Ulises It is a sin against the Holy Spirit, the only unforgivable sin from God.”

On February 2, 1922, he caught Joyce in Paris. Specifically, at number 12 rue de l’Odeon, in Paris. In the Shakespeare & Co bookstore, one of the few places in the world where at that time the book could be bought legally (there were more countries where it was legal, and others where it had not been considered whether it was legal or not, and others, simply, where books in other languages ​​were not sold). The fact is that that morning of February 2, Sylvia Beach, editor and owner of the Shakespeare & C0 bookstore, went to the Gare de Lyon to pick up the first two copies of Ulysses sent from the printing house. One went straight to the window of her store: it was nothing more and nothing less than the forbidden book that everyone was talking about. The second was for the author, a birthday present. Because the date was not a coincidence.

The book had to face three trials: in a New York City Criminal Court in 1921, in a District Court in 1933, and in a Court of Appeals in 1934.

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But what draws our attention is the climate in which it was published on February 2. The Little Review had been serializing Ulysses since January 1918 but, after part of the ‘Nausicaa’ episode in the July-August 1920 issue of The Little Review fell into the hands of John S Sumner, Secretary of the New York Society for the Suppression of the Vice, the problems began. Sumner decided to take legal action against the magazine. The most curious thing is that the one who alerted him to the content was his daughter. However, the publication had already aroused Puritan anger since it first appeared in the magazine.

The Little Review began serializing Ulysses in March 1918, and in the same month the writer ezra pound he warned Joyce that her explicit language would create problems. Pound was referring to the ‘Calypso’ episode he was reading at the time, and cut 20 lines from it before sending it to Margaret Anderson, the editor of the Review. Pound justified this prior censorship on the grounds that Joyce’s language would surely cause trouble, but he did not tell Anderson or Joyce what he had done. Take from the jar.

The censored ‘Calypso’ appeared in June 1918, and serialization of Ulysses in the Review continued smoothly until January 1919, when the ‘Lestrygonians’ episode began to appear. The magazine issue was confiscated by the Post Office for obscenity and was burned. Fortunately for readers, the magazine was fortunate to have the services of a Serbo-Croatian printer who did not mind obscene language or Post Office confiscations, and so the printing of Joyce’s texts continued.

In May 1919 another issue of the magazine, the final part of the episode ‘Scylla & Charybdis’, was confiscated and burned. Meanwhile, Joyce’s New York lawyer protested, unsuccessfully, the legal channels for the seizures. Never mind what they did. At that time, both Ezra Pound and his lawyer advised him to stop publishing the novel by chapters in the magazine and try to get the book out. Basically, they both thought that the published book would be easier to defend as a whole than isolated bits and pieces that periodically aroused the ire of Puritan society.

Again, in January 1920, the Post Office confiscated the Review issue containing part of the ‘Cyclops’ episode, but it was not until the July-August 1920 issue of the magazine that it contained the final part. from the ‘Nausicaa’ episode, which eventually caught the attention of Sumner and the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice.

Sumner filed the Society’s complaint against The Little Review on September 20, 1920, and a month later the complaint was brought before a magistrate, and the editor and proprietor of the magazine were prosecuted in the Court of Special Sessions. And so until February 2, 1922.

Conclusion: the book deserves more than to be on your shelf, dying of laughter. We propose something better: Do not presume that you have not read it, pretend that you have read it. In this article we have given you a few ideas. And so you buy time so you can sit down and read it and give you time to finish it this time.

And if we haven’t convinced you, there’s (of course) a fabulous TED Talk (only this one is worth spending some of your time on, if you’re interested in getting the book off that dusty shelf):

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    How to look like you’ve read James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’


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