Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Odyssey in Ulysses Part Four: Lotuscation, Lotuscation, Lotuscation

Our book club met to talk over the first half of James Joyce’s ULYSSES a bit back.

I think James would have approved of our evening, as the conversation met three Joycian characteristics:

1) There was alcohol involved.
2) It was random and wacky
3) No one understand a thing anyone else said.

You see, we decided to meet in a pub, really being the only way to discuss ULYSSES. What we hadn’t realized was that the pub added a live band to its intimate setting.

With our table right next to the band, or more to the point right next to the band’s very large speakers, it was nearly impossible to hear each other.

Here is a snippet of our conversation:

Bob: (shouting) Is anyone going to have a hard lemonade or a Guinness?

Jack: (shouting) Of course he was. He had to be with all those references to history and literature.

Me: (shouting) What?

Heather: (shouting) No thanks, I’m fine over here.

Bob: (shouting) So that’s one beer. Should I get a pitcher?

Jack: (shouting) My version didn’t have any. Just text.

Me: (shouting) What?

Heather: (shouting) I agree, even though the Supreme Court ruled that it wasn’t that crude.

Bob: (shouting) Lets finish ordering the drinks first, then we can settle on food.

Me: I don’t think I was reading the same book as any of you guys.

Eventually we realized that the pub wouldn’t work, so we moved to a café. The conversation seemed to go smoother.

Jack talked about the history of publication, then showed a map of Dublin marking Mr. Bloom’s journey through the book.

Heather talked about the parallels to Homer’s work, and the choice to directly mirror some characters while only superficially echoing others.

Bob dissected some of the authors and literary forms that Joyce was emulating and then deconstructing.

Vicki spoke about how each chapter not only represented a chapter from THE ODYSSEY, but also an art form, color and body organ.

And my contribution:

Me: (shouting) What?

Just my thoughts,


1 comment:

Kevin Swan said...

Ah, pub-collaboration; there's really no substitute. It reminds me of my favorite t-shirt. There are 2 chocolate bunnies--one with his ears bit off, the other with his ass bit off.

The assless bunny says, "My butt hurts."
The earless bunny says, "What?"

The only real difference was the lack of shouting.