The lives of James and Nora Joyce have always fascinated me - and I am not sure why. I certainly have no scholarly attachment to Joyce... or anything else for that matter, but he & Nora have figured in a number of my earlier artworks.
Hearing certain women read the Molly Bloom soliloquy rocks my soul like a lullaby (as opposed to rock n' roll) - I find it profoundly comforting. YouTube is my MB instant gratification center. I enjoy the Leonard Bloom Soliloquy as well, but I do not crave it.
I am one of those "who are only dimly able to hear Joyce's magnificent language through silent reading." Bits and starts of Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake jump off the pages at me... but then my mind takes those bits and wanders off on it's own. This is not true of The Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
A dear friend gave me an astonishing gift back in the late nineties - the 40 disc AudioFile set of Donal Donnelly and Miriam Healey-Louie's oral interpretation of Ulysses. It is over 42 hours long. I took it with me on a 5 week Christmas 1999 - New Year 2000 artists' retreat on the mountainous NorthCarolina/Georgia border. I found absolute solitude, the wee hours of the morning and good scotch whiskey essential to the experience of hearing the entire book. Although I had read Ulysses several times during the 70's and 80's, hearing it was quite an "other" experience. Please do not ask for a book report.
For 18 months in 1994-5, I lived alone in an old grist mill/trout farm up a dark Tennessee hollow surrounded by rock faces and running water. I kept my bed (& electric blanket) on a third floor screened-in porch. My half-asleep perceptions of the spring gushing from the bluff to my left, the laughing creek to my right, the various insects, frogs and nightbirds - that symphony - like cosmic gossip - was as close to what I got out of reading The Wake and Ulysses as I have ever come without actually reading Joyce. I can't make Joyce hold still. Never could.
I don't think I have ever recommended Ulysses to anyone. I have recommended recordings of Molly's Soliloquy to all and sundry. I experience a queasy sense of pretension even admitting that I am... uh... something something something James Joyce. I have enjoyed radio programs about Shem the Penman or whateveryoucallim - but more often I have found discussions of Finnegan's Wake or ULYSSES to be unbearable. I have seldom enjoyed the company of Joyce enthusiasts. Reification of Joyce? No thanks. I am getting antsy even thinking about it. Go figure.
Edited by: CURTIOSITY at: 2/3/2013 (20:27)
To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.
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