NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!

Lezlie



Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'm Scared . . .



I just picked up James Joyce's Ulysses unabridged on CD from the library. 40 CDs, 42 hours, 30 minutes. I reached the conclusion that I needed my first time through this book to be as painless as possible, and this seemed like the least intimidating option. And I have the Cliff Notes. Still. I'm scared. Why do I keep hearing Darth Vader's Theme playing in my head?



31 comments:

Meghan said...

I admire you so much for trying! Good luck with it. =)

bermudaonion said...

I'm not sure I could stay focused on a book like that on audio. Good luck.

Literate Housewife said...

I read this book as part of a class with a wonderful professor who loves James Joyce. That made all of the difference to me. You can do it, I know you can. You might also want to look up Ulysses Annotated, which provides a ton of additional information on this novel. There's a lot of imagery that I would never have gotten without that book. I love Molly Bloom, and her chapter (the last), is like a reward. Good luck!

Lezlie said...

Meghan ~ Thank you!

Bermudaonion ~ I'm afraid if I read the physical book it would be too easy to put down if I got flustered. With the audio, I'm a capive audience in my car and at my desk. Not that my mind doesn't wander anyway. . . :-)

Literate Housewife ~ I have Ulysses Annotated on my Amazon Wishlist and may be One-Clicking it soon. :-) There is also a Teaching Company course for Ulysses that I thought I might pick up later. Thankfully, there are lots of options for helping a person through it. How great to have read it with a teacher who loved it! There is nothing that can compare to that experience!

Lezlie

Heather J. said...

Puss Reboots is reading this one now and doing rather funny weekly commentary on the chapters - check out her blog if you want ... it is sure to give you a new perspective on this book. :)

JoAnn said...

Audio probably is the least painful way to approach this...but still scary! Good luck!!

Jo-Jo said...

I think I would go with the audio version as well. You go girl!

Amanda said...

Oh I've been wanting to read this one (but I'm a bit scared) so rock on!

Lezlie said...

Heather ~ Her entries look great! I'll have to keep an eye on her blog. Thanks for letting me know!

JoAnn, Jo-Jo & Amanda ~ Thanks so much!

Lezlie

Shelley said...

This is a fear I have not faced yet! Good luck. I think the Darth Vader music in your head might be an added benefit!

Lezlie said...

Shelly ~ I think you're right. The soundtrack should at least make me smile when the going gets tough! :-) Joyce is the one author I can think of by whom I am truly intimidated.

Lezlie

Charley said...

Good luck! I tried to read this book on my own during college, and it was a huge mistake. I definitely needed guidance.

Rose City Reader said...

Audio may be the way to go -- it's a book you have to hear in your head even if you read it with your eyes. So listening may be better.

I've been meaning to re-read Ulysses. In fact I started re-reading it on the 100th anniversary of Blookmsday a few years back. I only got through the first page. (Now, that is a joke you can only get if you read the paper version because the only thing on the first page is a giant letter S.)

Have fun!

Lezlie said...

Charley ~ I know I'll never make it without help. You were brave to try!

Rose City Reader ~ You recently finished Finnegan's Wake, didn't you? So you've read them both? You're my hero you know! :-)

Lezlie

Carrie K. said...

I commend your bravery and ambition! I like long books, but I have to admit that I've avoided this one. I'm curious to hear your thoughts when you finish.

Andi said...

Good luck! I have it...I started reading it once...I think I might it 50 pages in. Give or take a few. I hope you have good luck with it on audio! Can't wait to hear more about it.

Lezlie said...

Carrie ~ Thanks! Audiobooks are great for those chunksters, but this is the longest one I've ever listened to. I think even"Roots" was only 25 or 26 discs.

Andi ~ Peter tried a couple years ago and made it about 100 pages before throwing in the towel. I'm hoping to be able to recommend this method to others like me who are a-feared of this book. :-)

Lezlie

Belle said...

I think you're brave! I can remember slogging through Ulysses ...

Teddy Rose said...

I wish you good luck! I have read a few Joyce and not too fond of him. I can't imagine trying to tackle him on audio. I have found that he has the kind of writing that you need to read a lot of sentences or paragraphs twice to glen his meaning.

Lezlie said...

Belle ~ Thanks! I know a lot of people with bad memories of this one. But there are quite a few who liked it, too, so we'll see what happens!

Teddy Rose ~ This wil by my first Joyce. I'm assuming at this point that the entire book will have to be read more than once eventually, so this is really just an introductory read. :-)

Lezlie

Diane said...

Wow, I am impressed: Ulysses and (40 cds). I can't wait to read your thoughts once you finish.

Lezlie said...

Diane ~ I hope I have some and I'm not just brain-fried at the end. :-)

Lezlie

Jeane said...

I'd be scared, too. Joyce is one of those authors who intimidates me, because I'm afraid I'd understand none of it! Although I did like Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, I know half of it went right over my head.

Veronica said...

GOOD LUCK!!! :)

Trish said...

I've only read Joyce's Portrait...twice...and hated it both times. Not my favorite author. :) Good luck. Ulysses scares me to death also.

Lezlie said...

Jeane ~ As with The Faerie Queene, I've already tried to accept that I won't understand a bunch of it. That way I can just go with the flow. And the Cliff Notes. :-)

Veronica ~ Thanks! I'll need all I can get!

Trish ~ I was hoping to read that one first to get my feet wet, but this became available more quickly that I thought it would. Maybe I can find a way to make it less scary for all of us. :-)

Lezlie

Terri B. said...

I like the way you are hearing Darth Vader's theme song in your head when you consider Ulysses! You just made my Friday :o)

Lezlie said...

Terri ~ It just seemed so appropriate. I'm equally terrified of them both! :-) Have a great weekend!

Lezlie

Rose City Reader said...

Yes, I read Finnegans Wake a couple of years ago and it almost did me in! As daunting as Ulysses is, it's a walk in the park in comparison.

I'm looking forward to your reaction to Ulysses once you get into it.

pussreboots said...

You can do it. One episode a week and you'll be done in no time. Just have fun with it especially if you're not reading it for school. Since my posts were already mentioned, here's the latest one.

Lezlie said...

Pussreboots ~ I've enjoyed your postings on Ulysses very much! Thank you for the link! I've reached the halfway point, and overall I'm liking the book. There are definitely lots of "Huh?" moments, but there are also scenes that I enjoyed immensely, such as the funeral.

Lezlie