A couple of years ago I stranded about half-way into Ulysses. It did not click. One of the greatest novels ever written, but I had little use for it. So I put it aside for another time. Recently I came across a rather insightful video (highly recommended) about Joyce and his work, and all of a sudden a lot of things clicked!
But not to rush into it too fast, I picked up Giacomo Joyce first. A small and a rather easy read, but classic Joyce.
It’s a collection of poem-like loose and short to very short phrases and sentences about Joyce’s encounters with a young female student. My copy has the English text on the left and the Dutch translation on the right, which is very useful when you are reading someone who helped shape the English language. Also the notes by the translator are remarkably enlightening. Joyce could write three sentences, and you would think you understand what he says, that is until you read the explanation about the six references and metaphors Joyce crammed in there.
Since it is a very loose collection of thoughts (that Joyce almost threw out) and that were only collected by someone else, I couldn’t help but wonder: why did you write it down in the first place then (or why do people blog)? Funny, is that he answer that question more or less himself:
Also published on Medium.