Monday, April 11, 2011

Ulysses: Can't Read It, Can't Not Read It

Ha—an article* in Slate by Ron Rosenbaum almost made me want to re-read Ulysses. Note that I carefully said RE-read…yes, I took a class in college that would force me to read the book. I’m not sure what, exactly, I remember of it, but I am pleased that for the rest of my life I’m able to nod in a superior sort of way and say, “Oh, yes, Ulysses. I read that.” I was kind of hardcore about it, too: on my own, I read The Odyssey the summer before the class. Oh, I kind of miss that English major intensity sometimes….

Anyway, Rosenbaum also uses his essay about Joyce’s “catechism chapter” to talk about the Q & A format as a possible narrative device, which was quite interesting.

“Is there more to it, your interest in the catechism narrative method?
Well, to be honest I've only recently become fascinated by the catechism chapter and the way it uses Q&A as a narrative and meditative technique. But I love the way the form can both move things forward and also allow them to pause. To be endowed with unexpected and often surprising depth, detail, and dimensionality through the use of the interrogative (sometimes the interrogation) mode.”

*The whole article can be found here:

Here’s a site that promises links to major Bloomsday events in New York City and around the world:


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.