More Uncommon Associations

If I know you, and I think I do, you’re wondering what that dog is doing posing beside a rather stiff waxwork dummy of the great man himself? That dog is Clive and he’s a Dubliner, a working dog and one who appreciates the finer points of literature and history by the looks of things. Check the continuing adventures of Clive (and Murray) on the wonderfully named Assistance Dog for Autism blog! Clive met Sean O’Casey too, but who cares about that?

Our last stop off on the blog this week was at the Hufffington Post (see previous post) and we return to that now for a timely article on Ramadan that demonstrates the most common use of any reference to ‘Ulysses’. If you want something to seem multi-layered and complex, beyond the obvious subject all you have to do is invoke James Joyce’s work. It’s most likely to be Ulysses rather than ‘Finnegan’s Wake’ or ‘Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ simply because it’s easier to type. How about that for a theory? Not that I’m saying it isn’t true in this or in any other case – just that it’s an easy shorthand, possibly even a cliché, and a bolt hole for every lazy writer. I should know!

There are quizzes and then there are quizzes, and, despite impressing the missus every evening with my prowess on The Weakest Link, here’s a quiz where I barely understand the questions let alone the answers. From Michael Tomasky’s blog on the Guardian Online and, yes I did get the question regarding Ulysses wrong! In fact I guessed everyone of them so lady luck gave me a score of 5 out of 12!

The New York-based group American Friends of James Joyce announces its first James Joyce Literary Tour to Ireland. It doesn’t look cheap but it does look interesting. I hope it’s not too late to start saving your dollars and cents!

If you live in or around Manchester (that’s in the UK!) there’s a chance you can still sign up for the WEA course on James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’. You’ve a month left to enrol and it’s free to anyone on benefits – not that they’ll be many people on benefits left the way this country is going but that’s another story!

There is a fringe festival somewhere everywhere and here’s a review of one show that features the dramatisation of one famous soliloquy dear to our hearts. It isn’t a very positive review, but perhaps you saw it yourself. Anyone? Another reviewer finds it only slighter better than the previous one.

On a more serious note Joycean scholars might be interested to learn of this collection of Irish writing in the Spencer Research Library in Kansas. If nothing else, and as Libraries go in general, it does look like an interesting place to visit.

Always on the lookout for new readers of the novel I shouldn’t be surprised by this brief post on Pepidemic. The Ulysses “Seen” crew are grateful naturally.

The name Declan Kiberd rings a bell. Ah yes, another unread book on my shelf! In the Irish Times he lets rip on the new technology that gives our own project wings to fly. He seems to claim we may not actually be ‘there’! The comments demonstrate a healthy counter-view for balance.

From India another new and apparently accidental reader comments. His musings are just that and, as a word, I quite like snotgreen!

Of course one of the problems keeping track of James Joyce and Ulysses across the web is that you’ll likely end up reading things you didn’t know you weren’t interested in. Library escalators is a case in point. I don’t see why I shouldn’t share the pain. One of the unexpected benefits is finding an article that I wasn’t looking for, that helps me, and that has little or nothing to do with the subject here. You win some. You lose some.

See you next week.

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