A Book of Note

I’ve been too busy today to do a proper blog, but I did pop out at lunchtime to buy the above book (for the princely sum of €3). I can’t believe I haven’t read it before now, but I am definitely looking forward to it and will be making a start at the weekend!

 

 

7 Responses to “A Book of Note”

  1. I loved this book when I read it many years ago.

    It’s the only Joyce I’ve successfully read. I started Ulysses once but didn’t make it very far. Given that experience, I decided not to try Finnegan’s Wake. I don’t know why I never tried Portrait of the Artist. Maybe I’ll give that a go some time.

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      Ulysses was very well analysed by Gilbert Highet in one of the best books I have read, The Classical Tradition: Greek and Roman Influences on Western Literature. Highet had clearly mastered almost the entire literature of Western Europe over a thousand years in its original languages, and understood the themes that ran through it stemming from antiquity. He commended Joyce’s Ulysses for its energy, but not very much else.

      I’ve not read Dubliners but I enjoyed Portrait of the Artist. I gave up very quickly on Finnegan’s Wake long ago but was given the key to it by an Irish friend: imagine it spoken out loud.

      • telescoper Says:

        I remember reading Ulysses when I was a student. I approached it with some trepidation as people told me it was heavy going. I didn’t find that at all. I thought it was wonderful: vibrant, colourful and energetic. I must read it again.

        Finnegans Wake (sic) is an extraordinary book, which I think of as a very long poem rather than a novel. In that sense I think your friend is right about reading it loud. It plays a lot with words and the sounds they make. It also give us ‘quark’…

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        Yes, reading poetry in books is like reading musical scores. For poetry (and for driving) I am glad of audiobooks.

        Speaking of Dubliners, do you like Beckett? Three years ago I saw Waiting For Godot during its run at the Arts Theatre, London, where its English language version had premiered 50 years before under a young Peter Hall. Beckett also briefly played first-class cricket.

      • Yes, in fact my school staged a production of `En Attendant Godot’ (in French) in which I played the title role.

      • Beckett played twice for Dublin University, a strange Higher Education Institution which has only one constituent college (Trinity)

  2. I haven’t (yet) read Ulysses or Finnegans Wake, but have read A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Dubliners. The last story (novella really) in Dubliners, “The Dead”, is one of the finest examples of literature in the English language.

    Interestingly, Dublin and Ireland feature prominently in Joyce’s work, though he lived and wrote most of his life on the Continent. I’m not sure, but I suspect that his earning from his writing during his life were negligible.

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