Wednesday, January 17, 2007

So then, Joyce, you right bastard.


There walked a man 'pon Erin's shore,
Saw Erin was shite, walked there no more,
Walked instead 'neath Alpine peaks,
By alpine woods and alpine creeks,
But a voice said clear, a voice said true:
'You'll always be Irish,' o this Joyce knew!
And he was rightly fucked off about it.

So I handed in the aul Joyce essay on Monday, blessedly. I didn't think much of it. It ended suddenly, it was fairly unfocused, if a fella cam up to you an said 'show us a run o the mill English Literature essay, or the bunny gets it' (he has a bunny, and an anti-bunny weapon of some description), you'd have to do no more than usher him toward 'Names and Narrators: the Power of Perspective in "Cyclops"'. God, it's painful rememberin even that much. Even the title's drippin wi convention, like a stripey jumper, or anythin on channel 4. I can only hope that its middling qualities soothe the markers into such a state of incapacitation that they forget what essay they're readin an give it a good mark. These things I hope against hope.

Talkin shite? Borin my beatnik friend utterly shitless? This you may never know.


Joyce wasn't a terribly fascinatin chap, as far as conventional critical opinion goes; the author himself is represented in the book by Stephen Dedalus, an introspective, morose little bastard if ever there was one. Quite a hero o mine, so he is. The most interestin characters, e.g. Stephen's dad, his roommate Mulligan, an the Citizen, are the ones the author paints in the worst possible light. In a strange way, the author has been left thoroughly behind by the sheer brilliance of the text: Ulysses is now so much more than a mere novel with a writer an protags an plot: the fact that anythin like it exists is unbelievable. Some clever chap, I can't remember who, defined art as somethin that makes you proud to be human. I can't thank JJ enough for bustin the borders o literature so wide it made me proud again.



So then, Joyce, you put me through hell, and I'm not even sure what I gained from the experience. But by God, I loved every minute I spent in your company, engaged in a work of fiction that made you sorry to leave. Every man jack floatin bout Dublin that day in June was a sonnuva bitch one way or another, but its the full realisation of that shitty sidea folks makes a fella so happy to spend time with them. Finally, says the wee voice that'd rather be playin Baldur's Gate, finally a writer who knows what people are like.



In other news, I was out second in a field o seven at poker the night. Scundered I was. I was gunna buy a coppy o The Riverside Friggin Chaucer (Pointless Expenditure Edition) wi the winnings. Bastard Middle English.


Tomorrow: Dave on Richard Dawkins and 'The God Delusion.'

Thanks for readin,
Dave

1 comment:

Duke De Mondo said...

the novel im currently scribblin has a central theme about how much the protagonist detests James Joyce, a hatred stemming from the fact that the ol' bastard nailed every thought worth thinkin on everything worth sayin, from childhood to wankin to pishin to religion to writing. if he'd been of some other nationality, it wouldn't be so bad, but that he was IRISH, and that our poor hero is doomed to wander in the shadows of his scribbles forever, that is unforgivable.

i am very much enjoying these screeds, sire.