Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The mega project

I have finally undertaken that mammoth project - of reading Ulysses! I think I must have promised myself this read years ago when I saw this book top the Modern library critics list of 100 best novels - but something (or someone) always prevented me from doing the same. I think it was partly laziness, and largely apprehension. Now that I am on to the project I can figure that the apprehension was not misplaced. In the last ten days, I have progressed to only 100 pages and there are 700 more to go. I have read and re-read pages and lines and get rapidly lost if the internet is not at close disposal for reference. Wikipedia has been a terrific help, with its entry on the novel and additional terms that keep cropping up during the reading.

To be frank, I have not been able to appreciate the book too much yet - it is slow and it is complicated. It keeps getting into the labyrinths of the minds of the characters - and honestly, the labyrinths are messy and unclear (well at least to my eye). The similitude with Odyssey (which I have not read but am familiar with on a summary level) is remarkable and the symbolism is interesting. Hopefully I will soon turn the last page on the book and not give up on it midway.


Vivek Sharma said...

I am sure Ulysses is an infinitely boring book:)

and yet critics can't ever stop raving about it!

Madhuri said...

Oh yes - critics always back up the most painful things - something they are sure people will find too tedious to read and question their judgment.

Nice to see you on Blogger - where are you these days?