The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

In Praise of the Classics: James Joyce’s Ulysses

Written by: Jimmy Hitt, CC2K Staff Writer

Click HERE to read the introduction to the In Praise of the Classics series

Click HERE to read an essay describing the brilliance of Anna Karenina

Click HERE to read an essay on the dysfunctional love in Wuthering Heights 

Click HERE to read about the timeless beauty of Gone With the Wind

Click HERE to read about the ageless wonder that is The Brothers Karamazov

Click HERE if you think you're man enough to read Jane Eyre

Click HERE to read about the cosmic brilliance that is The Iliad

A Cantankerously Coniferous Caiaphas Concerning Joyce’s Magnum Opus: Ulysses

Image How to begin in a fashion that can appease the CC2K writers’ desires whilst maintaining street cred and my goddamn boss is on the phone hold up a minute ok where was I something about starting originally or Joyce or I don’t know Rob Van Winkle rhymes with sprinkle ice cream would taste good Portofino want to visit need the funds to make that happen probably not for a while but Italy looked good in Casino Royale which recalls the tux for the wedding I’ll need to make changes to the order and keep it from the woman who would probably stop me stop me oh stop me stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before it would be cool to try to do something like mostly loathed yet hardly read Ulysses trod forth bounding plundering and pounding (and punning) its strangely elegant langue once banned for obscenity now barred for perplexity reason qui hath the outsized wit requisite qui hath the bile for it Vonnegut he loathed the semicolon  Wallace methinks he of Infinite Jest infinitely jests for there is no entertainment was it to stand that this scribbler can lay claim to Joyce whilst pecking away at Holly’s bark now that’s a good pun well worthy of Joyce whilst nestling amongst Michael’s Bay oh there’s another one he would dig on I suppose envisage visually impoverished James dowsing Promethean papyrus aflame via a…commode shatting and chatting all the while droving and dovetailing complaints and critics ne elucidation pas con autre queso Finnegan’s Wake vomit previous bile gratuity of twenty pounds ten on the deutschemark audience (stow your lol) and grant me convocation as it were the above makes a mockery of Ulysses and not because Ulysses requires mockery but simply because without a little tongue-in-cheek affectation I don’t know how I could ever mood-up for this article or set the proper tone for the reader…you know, you. 

I’ve been to Buck Mulligan’s tower oh fair reader of CC2K the haberdashery free to all there truly is no avenue circuitous enough to extol the virtues of Ulysses nor a forum large enough from which to fan its flames or a soapbox tall enough to rain down its confetti like Times Square with a mind in tune Highlander-style to all of mankind you the masses oft belittled for having peanut brains and stumping for Texans were not chosen to receive the word of Joyce see in a place and a time whence education health and culture intertwined a cosmologically erudite man stole everything without the aid of Wikipedia what’s on the homepage today something random about comets or making mulch once everything was his—all the language all the history all the experience all the knowledge…ALL THE PAINS OF MAN six years passed by watching Ulysses’ gestation more painful than the birth of Iraq I don’t know that could be controversial better delete it not leave it no delete it no not the nine years Salinger hogged for his adolescent six anum 1914-1922 tempus convergum welding of space. 

The English language ever has it grown on the tombs of my forebears yet as an amalgamation it hardly owns the title inimitable Latin before it Greek before that time has cross-pollinated man’s mind our frontal lobes where language hides harboring the ultimate truths of man maybe we’re all just monkeys swinging from virtual trees and pounding sticks on our keyboards like so much dirt culled from centuries of explosive growth from the spear itself is there a word we can speak and in that word speak all? 

An eye to the future wrought novus ordo seclorum and etched it on our currency Yeats’ eye glanced ever back to the pre-triumvirate to the contemporaries of Stonehenge before the Book of Kells before the Troubles he saw the Wanderings of Oisin befitting a courageous Ireland an Ireland filled with an aching to be an island of men past the yoke of Union Jack and for that he would need some fire and some death always with the death isn’t there anything better than death oh wait Ulysses maybe that’s not saying much but I’d rather have read it than have read Yates now that I know the truth but it’s from Joyce’s mouth so can I trust it Joyce envisaged a pre-Oisin Ireland devoid of steel or spear tip in Leopold Bloom—outsider Jew—he hid his ghostly obsessions and his manly barometers his songs of innocence etched from experience a warless meadow people a Libra constellation of souls he attributed Oisin to seafaring feasters who bestowed Ireland with an injurious mythology maybe he was right but why make Leopold one of God’s chosen people I hope that answers your question because it’s the best and worst I can do and if anything I think that is the point.


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