Sunday, April 24, 2011

Daley and the Long Roman Candle

I also have to say "thanks" to Ulysses--both the book and the class--for giving me the opportunity to spend my Saturday sitting around drinking whiskey and reading aloud with two dudes, while they tell me things like "I really like what you're doing with the climax part of the reading, but the orgasm has to be way louder and more ridiculous. Make it raunchy!"

Just in case I am leaving some mysterious person in the dark here, some context:
Even though I am but a lowly sophomore, I am currently in a senior seminar focused solely on the reading of James Joyce's epic-ordinary-day "novel," taught by my dear and trusted adviser.  The twelve of us in the class have now finished reading the book (and those who haven't, really, get to pretend they have), and rather than writing a big final paper or something like that, we decided to do a marathon reading of the book. We are reading each chapter of Ulysses in groups of 2-4 students, in various public locations around the Augsburg campus and the surrounding neighborhoods, with most readings lasting between 45 minutes and two hours. Sometimes there is nothing else going on but people reading right from the book, but a few readings got a little theatrical; one student actually cooked a kidney on a hotplate in the library for the performance of "Calypso," for instance.

All of my group readings are this week, starting with "Scylla and Charybdis" (Stephen argues with older literary dudes about Shakespeare) tomorrow night, followed by "Sirens" (musical-word-sounds-chapter, takes place in a pub with awesome raunchy barmaids) on Wednesday night, and, finally, "Nausicaa" (the public masturbation chapter that got the book banned) at noon on Friday. I am really excited for all of them, but especially "Nausicaa."

After this week, things are still crazy. The whole class will read "Circe," the hallucinatory-red-light-district-chapter that's written like a play, all the men in the class will read "Ithaca," and the whole affair will be capped off with all of the women in the class reading "Penelope" together in the Augsburg film studio.

Another cool tidbit is that apparently the oft-mentioned adviser was born on Bloomsday, and my birthday is the day after (upon which about half of the book takes place anyway). This year, the dates are going to correspond to the days of the week in the book and everything, so I hope that we will have a celebration of some kind.

Anyway, Ulysses has basically taken over my life, for better or for worse. Probably better.

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