Ulysses, by James Joyce – Zenda

The urban legend tells, not the black legend, that Ulises It is one of the books that more people with the intention of appearing educated say they have read, without having done so. And that same legend says that, of those who tried it, only a few went beyond page 55, to end by explaining that some are recognized because they praise the virtues of the work as if they had understood it perfectly, when one of its virtues is its complexity. They also say that she has a part without punctuation marks, but that is completely true, since Joyce expressed in written form what happens in Molly’s mind when she is overwhelmed by thoughts of her. I cannot comment on the rest of the legend and its veracity.

The fact is that this year marks a century of Joyce’s immortal work, which narrates a day in the life of Leopold Bloom and his wife Molly, as well as the young Dedalus, living in Dublin. And it begins, how could it be otherwise, with breakfast on June 16, 1904. Or to be more exact, with a bowl ready with shaving tools. From this moment we have, now yes, the famous breakfast with kidneys (never a protagonist had a first sentence so graphic, unpleasant and brutal as that of Leopold Bloom), we follow the protagonist to the pharmacy, to a funeral and to his work as a salesman. Lunchtime arrives and Dedalus appears, there is a walk, a brothel… nothing relevant. As he said, one more day.

Ulises He also draws Dublin, but he does so from a city that transcends the names of the streets to those of people, environments and conversations

Ulises is an epic novel in which the feat is to spend a day like any other, or perhaps the deed is the reading itself, especially if it is done for the first time. This does not mean that it is necessary to reread it to understand it, but it is true that having seen the relationship between its characters helps us situate ourselves and produces a sense of security. We already know that Dedalus and Bloom are going to meet, we already have wickers on which to build the reading. And it is, despite its intricate appearance, a simpler vision of nearby moments that scholars have often endeavored to explain in a complex way. And it is that Ulises cannot be read as if it were a novel. A reader cannot open the book with the intention of confronting it. Neither this nor any other. But this in particular is a book to read slowly, a reading to savor and let yourself be invaded by the sounds and words. To forget everything they told us and, paraphrasing the author, to discover that “it’s not about that, but about what’s behind it”. To be surprised because the stairs go up as we see a person appear or disappear and the sirens only hide their legs; to see that there is a lot of provocation and that this elevated language also speaks of farts, as if the author himself knew what was going to happen to his work in certain circles in which today they boast of not reading it giving it the same value without knowing it as those who presume to have read it.

Ulises He also draws Dublin, but he does so from a city that transcends the names of the streets to those of people, environments and conversations. That is the true portrait of a city that she has immortalized and that now she annually pays tribute to the work and its author the same morning that Leopold Bloom got up. Joyce plays with language, placing words to generate both chaos and beauty, and the most widely read readers find echoes of great classics in his work, while those who approach them before having gone through them will be Bloom who dazzles them without the need for go to nothing And in moments when you feel lost, remember that everything goes on and that one reads to enjoy, and this title, like any other, opens and is read without the intention of studying or obtaining a professorship for having finished it.. It is simply about enjoying the journey.

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Ulysses, by James Joyce – Zenda


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