And French theory.
In Mankiewicz's Julius Caesar, all the characters are wearing fringes. Some have them curly, some straggly, some tufted, some oily, all have them well combed, and the bald are not admitted, although there are plenty to be found in Roman history. Those who have little hair have not been let off for all that, and the hairdresser - the king-pin of the film - has still managed to produce one last lock which duly reaches the top of the forehead, one of those Roman foreheads, whose smallness has at all times indicated a specific mixture of self-righteousness, virtue and conquest.
What then is associated with these insistent fringes? Quite simply the label of Roman-ness. We therefore see here the mainspring of the Spectacle - the sign - operating in the open. The frontal lock overwhelms one with evidence, no one can doubt that he is in Ancient Rome. And this certainty is permanent: the actors speak, act, torment themselves, debate 'questions of universal import', without losing, thanks to this little flag displayed on their foreheads, any of their historical plausibility.
He’s definitely a modernist and I’d argue experimental in hi own way. And yes, funny.and Proust as well ( not particularly experimental, but I think he might be regarded as "super serious", "monumental", and "modernist" by some? ) - anyway, I remember laughing out loud at the hundred or so pages he spends trying to describe a lift ( or "elevator" as our friends across the ocean may call them )
Nausicaa is one of the highlights of the book for me. I was so glad that it affected me as so magical, having got the impression that it was one of the great episodes from various sources (Nabokov, e.g.).
Interesting (though perhaps not particularly telling) that two of the peaks in Ulysses are both attempts at evoking female consciousness—although in the case of 'Nausicaa' it's hardly as simple as that since Gerty can't really be imagined to be thinking in uninterrupted chick lit cliches.
If you mean that not only the incident but Gerty's thoughts are in Bloom's head then I guess that would help explain the style of the first half, Bloom being familiar with chick lit/smut ("Raoul!"), but it seems far too complex and deep an evocation of her thoughts and feelings to be entirely Bloom's invention. As for the incident, I suppose we should take Joyce's word on it, and in a sense it wouldn't really make much difference whether or not she really was teasing him, since he stands at a distance and never speaks to her.
Incidentally, I think it might have been Kenner who pointed out how Gerty's perception of Bloom as a sort of 'dark stranger' links to the poem Stephen writes while walking along Sandymount strand earlier on in the novel. (I think he also points out the 'vampire' in this poem and how that connects to the three masted ship that arrives at the end, probably a nod to Odysseus's ship beginning its voyage home but also to Irishman Bram Stoker's famous novel.)
It's fascinating to think about these ambiguities and points to one of the extraordinary things about the novel at large, which is that you often don't know if what you're reading comes "direct" from a character's thoughts and feelings, or from an effectively omniscient narrator, or is lyrics from a song, or a snatch of advertorial copy. These things all melt into each other, which is of course what the world is like, the porousness of mental and physical and (if you like) spiritual experience.
Finished the Kenner earlier. The central thesis is what he calls 'The Uncle Charles Principle', the idea that a narrator can talk about something other than the immediate action of the novel. He also points out Joyce's narration will often take on the qualities of the closest character, like light bending round a star. He'll start using words and phrases the character would, even when the character isn't speaking or thinking.
Another thing that comes up is the idea of multiple narrators and one of them becoming increasingly restless and irritated as the novel progresses, which is why all the parodies and language games start appearing. The narrator's showing off and playing around before disappearing completely toward the end and being replaced by another narrator questioning The Muse in 'Ithaca' and then the raw, unfiltered Muse, "the Muse without Homer" in 'Penelope'.
I wish I knew. But thanks for reminding me, I have to start reading Ulysses this summer.Banging post corpsey.
I haven't actually finished the episode yet. It seems like one of the easiest to read - you don't need to keep referring to notes to follow it - but also one of the deepest so far because of the ambiguities you mention in the narration.
I'm sort of leaning towards the idea that it is all in Bloom's imagination, not just cos that's what Joyce himself said, but also cos Gerty's part is all in the third person in contrast to Bloom's interior monologue, and she's portrayed as a clearly male fantasy of femininity. But it's impossible to call it either way really.
I wonder what @malelesbian thinks?
Just read that bit, yeah, really good. The gothic parody just before it was great too.I read De Quincey's 'Opium eater' after being wowed by Joyce's parody of him, and was disappointed by it, it wasn't as good. Maybe De Quincey wrote better stuff elsewhere.