The Linati Schema

19041There are many different ways to enter the labyrinth of Joyce’s text and, challenging bastard that he was, Joyce often left many well-intended but ultimately false breadcrumb trails for us to foolishly follow while he sat safely in the the shade of a forest elm  laughing at our academic and misguided assurances of correct navigation. He was, at the end of the day, a genius-prankster, a terribly devious minister of his own sense of modernism, who never missed out on the opportunity to lead pilgrims astray. Hell, he longed for that opportunity and set about finding more and more ways to reach it in the new and uncharted waters of “a fully modern novel.”

But he did chart these deep waters for readers trying to  understand ULYSSES and,while sometimes those maps are intentionally oblique and deceptive, there are things her which he stated and allowed to be published outside the novel that help to inform our reading. Or they could just be “smoke up our ass.” I’m not sure that Joyce invented this phrase but, damn, it does suit him and his approach to art.

Developed  by Joyce in 1920, the Linati Schema is a plan for what to watch for in each chapter of the novel and we’ll be referring to it quite a bit throughout the course of this project.

Some people I know find that this document makes things over-complicated and draws readers away from the naturalism of the text by making them look for constant clues within antiquity. That could be true. but I’ve found that with understanding Joyce its good to get all the detail you can manage just in case your lost somewhere on the forest path.


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