Quantcast

Thursday, February 23, 2012

109

James Joyce Book Trip Idea

If you need a reason to go to Ireland that involves reading and pictures of meringue-like beer foam (yes), Hairpin pal Chiara Atik and Lauren Leto have started a Bloomsday reading-and-travel club. Yes! That leaves 114 days to get through Ulysses and countless Guinnesses before meeting up in Dublin. Yes.

Tags:

books, travel, yes



109 Comments / Post A Comment

HMSBeagle

Damn. I came back from a trip to Ireland on Monday. I suppose I'll just have to go back. For James Joyce!

Things I didn't know that I learned in Ireland: The Blarney stone is at the top of a castle. Oscar Wilde was Irish. Guinness tastes better in Dublin. Penneys is an amazing store that everyone should visit.

boyofdestiny

@heliotropegerbil8 Guinness sucks. Yeah, I said it!

@serenityfound

@heliotropegerbil8 One of my favorite pictures of myself is chillaxin' with that bronze statue of Oscar Wilde in Dublin!

HMSBeagle

@heliotropegerbil8 When I saw that statue, my first thought was, "Of course". I truly regret not getting a picture of myself with that statue.

rayray

@heliotropegerbil8 Guinness is amazing, and so is Penneys (Primark in the UK - where I spend at least 50% of my money)

O'Malley

@heliotropegerbil8 @rayray GUINNESS AND PENNEYS. yes.

rayray

@O'Malley I saw 'meringue beer' and got all excited cos I thought this was a real thing one could get in Dublin and I was about to find out where. When I realised it was just Guinness I was disappointed, but only cos it wasn't meringue beer.

@serenityfound

@O'Malley Can we throw out a little love for Jameson's? Because WHISKEY

rayray

@@serenityfound My boyfriend's apartment is literally above the Jameson factory and I still haven't been. Is that bad.

O'Malley

@sernityfound Jameson's love thrown. WHISKEY! also, DIGESTIVES.

@rayray i hate to boss you around, but yes that is bad! you must go to the Jameson distillery.. they have the best hot toddies and Irish coffees to be had.

rayray

@O'Malley Okay. We're planning a day of doing touristy stuff when I go visit at Easter, cos I've only ever been to meet friends who live there who understandably aren't bothered about that stuff. So we're gonna do the Guinness, Jameson, and historical stuff, and probably some literary stuff if I get my way :)

O'Malley

@rayray ahh I'm so jealous of you! The Jameson tour is nice to do after a day of touristy stuff, especially if it's been colder! The whiskey really warms you right up!
There is a good literary pub crawl tour thing that might be perfect for you!

atipofthehat

@@serenityfound

There's nothing wrong with Old Bushmill's.

@serenityfound

@rayray The only time I've been to London was to visit the then-boyfriend who lived there....but was a complete teetotaler. He didn't judge or mind if other folks drank, but I still felt weird dragging him to the distillery. Also, just getting to Dublin literally emptied my bank account so I didn't get to do anything that cost money (no Guinness tour either) :(

Speaking of cake, I have cake

@rayray Glasnevin Cemetery is a really good touristy thing to do, especially the guided tour. Just about every well-known Irish person ever is buried there. You don't have to know loads about Irish history to enjoy it (though it helps)

Speaking of cake, I have cake

@heliotropegerbil8 You can get I HEART PENNEYS bags

HMSBeagle

@skyandgorse Oh I did!

fondue with cheddar

@rayray I saw "meringue beer" and read it as "merengue beer", which sounds much more fun.

She Saved The World, Alot

I am so down for this! I took a class on Ulysses a year or so ago with my faaaavorite professor. I did not understand any of it but I READ ULYSSES GUYS.

annepersand

@She Saved The World, Alot I "read" Ulysses in 9th grade because my teacher basically told me I couldn't and I don't react well to direct challenges. Needless to say, when I eventually re-read it 8 years later, there was no recall WHATSOEVER.

Porn Peddler

@annepersand I was the student who decided at 14 that the short list of suggested books for our first high school research paper (Catcher In the Rye, Old Man and the Sea, etc) was not good enough and Catch-22 would be just fine.

She Saved The World, Alot

@annepersand I did the same thing with Moby Dick in fourth grade! We had to read it again in 11th grade and all I remembered was that there way a whale and a guy with 1 leg. And that might have been just what I remembered from the cartoon...

She Saved The World, Alot

@Third Wave Housewife I STILL don't understand Catch-22. I tried to read it last summer, and I had no idea what was going on, so I re-read The Handmaid's Tale instead...

Porn Peddler

@She Saved The World, Alot It actually ended up being one of my favorite books ever. The first time I picked it up (same with Brave New World) I couldn't get into it (does this mean I picked it up before I was 14? It does.) but I reread it from time to time. So good.

She Saved The World, Alot

@Third Wave Housewife I loved Brave New World. I think I need to keep giving Catch-22 a try, because I keep hearing that its really good. I think the problem might have been that I tried to read it at the tail end of 1984, Brave New World, and The Handmaid's Tale, and my brain was like STOP IT. PUT IT DOWN AND READ A DIFFERENT GENRE.

annepersand

@She Saved The World, Alot "Is this book better than re-reading Margaret Atwood?" is a question that I ask myself a lot*

*alot? PS I LOVE YOUR USERNAME I DON'T KNOW IF I CAN EXPRESS HOW MUCH.

Princess Slayer

@She Saved The World, Alot I read the Hunchback of Notre-Dame unabridged in fourth grade because, well, I'd seen the movie and for some ridiculous reason they had a leatherbound copy at my elementary school. The main thing I got from it was that everyone died at the end and Disney lied to me.

She Saved The World, Alot

@Princess Slayer The HoND is *another* one that got away! (God this thread just makes me seem like I have atrocious reading habits.) I bought it for myself a couple of years ago and then just...didn't read it? IT'S ON MY LIST. Don't know how I'll make it through without Victor, Hugo, and Laverne, though.

@annepersand Thank you alot! The Handmaid's Tale is one of the only novels that legit freak me out. Like, nightmare-freak-out. 1984 is the other one, I think. I need to read some more Atwood, though, she's great.

I'm reading "Reading Lolita in Tehran" right now (it may go into the 'these books terrify me' list as well, actually) and I'm probably just going to read everything on Nafisi's book list. And then all the romance novel suggestions that were posted on a thread here a few days ago.

What's everyone reading right now??

feartie

@She Saved The World, Alot I'm reading Vinland, by George Mackay Brown. All about Leif Erikson and his merry Norsemen (and one stowaway wonder-boy called Ranald) discovering America c.1000AD. It reads like a saga and is quite lovely, although Leif is sort of all-wise all-knowing - and actually respects the Native Americans they meet with. Not sure how much I believe it on that account.

annepersand

@She Saved The World, Alot I'm reading Madame Bovary (the Lydia Davis translation). I can't believe I'd never read it before. I think if I'd read it any earlier in my life though, I would not be able to deal; right now, I'm very much in a place where I'm into female flawed anti-heroines, and Emma Bovary is definitely hitting the spot. After that - a really long book about Mallory and Everest that my mum got me for Valentine's Day.

teaandcakeordeath

@annepersand
Book twins! Im reading it too! I read it when I was about 14 and remember thinking that it was the first classic book I've read that felt like it was about real people with real feelings and not just some sort of literati caricature. That was sort of inarticulate. Emma is a flawed character but I love that her flaws make sense and you get a real understanding of her misery. Writing that makes me feel like a sadist.

atipofthehat

@annepersand

melis climbs mountains TOO ??

annepersand

@atipofthehat SHE DOES EVERYTHING. DOUBT HER NOT.

@teaandcakeordeath You're soooo right. I don't have the book on me so I can't quote exactly but there's a passage fairly early on where she's just like, watching the weather and slowly suffocating of boredom and when I read it, it just punched me in the gut with how familiar and terrible that felt.

atipofthehat

@annepersand

I have the L.D. edition, too!

I will shortly see if hers reads better than the version by Karl Marx's daughter.

annepersand

@atipofthehat I've flipped through other translations for comparison and I think hers is the superior translation. I also have a writer/ladyboner for Lydia Davis, so you know. There's that. I am hesitant to take Rick Moody's authoritative word on much, but his assessment of her as "the finest prose stylist in America" is not as much of a hyperbole as it might seem.

atipofthehat

@annepersand

She is very nice in person, and will even give French pronunciation tips.

feartie

@annepersand Terribly sad what happened to that other famous translator of Madame Bovary, Eleanor Marx - Prussic acid, just like MB herself (spoilers, I suppose).

anachronistique

@She Saved The World, Alot I just started "Fire and Hemlock" by Diana Wynne Jones, and by that I mean I'm like half a chapter in and haven't had time to settle in and read. This weekend I am just holing up with my teapot and this book and the cat.

Speaking of cake, I have cake

@teaandcakeordeath unrelated but I love your username! Just rewatched Dressed To Kill at the weekend, yay for serendipity

annepersand

Oh, another tempting reason to quit my job and burn through my savings travelling. Must be Thursday.

camanda

I want to go to Ireland, but not bad enough to reread Ulysses.

Daisy Razor

@camanda Yeah, I love Ireland and I love Guinness, but Joyce? Never again.

leastimportantperson

@Daisy Razor I have never met a Joyce I didn't immediately and forever loathe.

notandersoncooper

114 days? I think I can get through the expurgated version.

@serenityfound

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED (both in terms of savings and book reading). I'll reward myself with milestones in Ulysses with Stephen Kind and/or 'Ender's Game' novels. #plans

Edit: I clicked through and realized this is contingent upon living in New York and meeting in person. :( Anyone interested in a virtual arm?

Chiara Atik@twitter

@@serenityfound You can read it at home (we have a Google Group, so you can still be up-to-date with what's going on) and then come join in Dublin!

@serenityfound

@Chiara Atik@twitter Yaaaaay! I am super excited to go buy a copy this weekend, then.

Chiara Atik@twitter

@@serenityfound Email me so we can add you to the Group to get all the emails, etc!

@serenityfound

@Chiara Atik@twitter I will do it! Although I just realized that is the same weekend my younger sister is (finally) graduating from college. I'm already skipping a family reunion for Comic Con this summer, so I don't know that I can get away with skipping off to Dublin in place of Lil Sister's graduation. #sadface

cherrispryte

Bloomsday, yeah! If you can't make it to Ireland, there are lots of cities that do Bloomsday readings, the internet will provide more information. I've gone to DC's a few times - my most favorite English professor (who taught a class we affectionately called "James Joyce & Friends") participated in the reading a couple of times, and it's super fun.
(I mean, if your definition of "super fun" involves sitting in a faux Irish pub with a bunch of strangers, some of whom have dressed for the occasion, and listening to them read snippets of nearly-indecipherable Irish literature.)

annepersand

@cherrispryte NYC does a bunch of events of various levels of prestige. I know that 92Y has a Thing every year which I've never been able to go to because I've been at work but this year....

tortietabbie

@cherrispryte I'm sorry, are there other definitions?

Chiara Atik@twitter

@cherrispryte Philadelphia has an amazing program every year at the Rosenbach Museum!

atipofthehat

@annepersand

My favorite NYC Bloomsday is at Symphony Space.

And the time years ago when an Irish Joyce scholar and I read the Sirens episode aloud in an IRA bar and lived to tell the tale.

bangs
bangs

Awesome idea!

Caitlin Podiak

I only made it through the first third of Ulysses, but I did do a (mandatory) Ulysses-based walking tour around Dublin as part of a CTY summer course on Irish literature when I was 16.

anachronistique

@Caitlin Podiak I took an Irish Lit class and read most of Ulysses for it when I did study abroad in England and we did a walking tour as well. Half the dudes went swimming and I thought they were insane.

rayray

I'm in Dublin on the regular and have a 'Pinner friend there too! PIN UPPPPPP (and everyone can just ignore the fact I haven't read Ulysses, yeah?)

redheaded&crazy

@rayray ... you haven't read ULYSSES?????

SHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME.

i haven't read it either.

catfoodandhairnets

Does anyone actually ENJOY James Joyce? I am Irish and so have read Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and they were... not the worst books I have ever read. Ok with good parts. But I also ploughed through Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake. After reading these, I honestly lost any respect I had. They were the least enjoyable books I have ever read. Long, obtuse, unengaging. I have just assumed that "liking" James Joyce is either a pretentious thing (backed up by a crowd of idiots who have claimed to like James Joyce), or I can grudgingly admit that it could maybe be a proud that I completed this hard slog thing. Am I wrong? Is there a hairpinner that honestly likes James Joyce?

cherrispryte

@catfoodandhairnets I've barely flipped through Finnegan's Wake, and probably only read 70-80% of Ulysses, but I truly and deeply love Portrait of the Artist. For me, in that book, Joyce has a way with words where I can spend hours examining and getting lost in the beauty of a single phrase, and I love him for that. There are parts of Ulysses that have that beauty for me too, but Finnegan's Wake is just a descent into madness that is either over my head or the perfect example of genius gone too far.
So yes. I honestly like James Joyce.

Decca

@catfoodandhairnets Of course people honestly enjoy James Joyce? I've read Dubliners, Portrait and Ulysses (the whole way through) and been part of a Finnegans Wake reading group, and there are lots of things to enjoy in his books, aside from the more academic read one could do: the humour, the wordplay, his generosity with characters, the sensory descriptions of Dublin in the early decades of the C20th, etc. I find it bizarre that Joyce, in particular, inspires such vitriol from people. Of course he's not for everyone but to suggest that he's just for idiots who namedrop him to sound pretentious is false.

But anyway. If any Pinners come to Dublin, I'll take them out for karaoke.

Chiara Atik@twitter

@catfoodandhairnets I'll let you know in 114 days.

atipofthehat

@catfoodandhairnets

LOVE Joyce. Many people don't realize that Ulysses is 1) a comedy and 2) hilarious.

It is also a wonderful book to hear performed -- marathon readings or recordings are a great way to experience it.

annepersand

@catfoodandhairnets I ADORE Joyce. As atipofthehat said, Ulysses is incredibly funny, and Dubliners is just... gorgeous? Perfect? It's a cliche but the last paragraph of "The Dead" is one of the finest things ever written in any language.

MmeLibrarian

@catfoodandhairnets I love Joyce. Portrait was so important to me as a teenager. I've read Ulysses twice and wrote my undergrad thesis on the 10th episode. In a weird coincidence, after college, I met and married a man with a last name that's... erm, important in the book. I tossed all of my surly feminist sensibilities out the window and changed my name when we married, just because I wanted the reference. No regrets.

Gentle suggestion - "plowing" through Ulysses and Finnegans Wake may have been the problem. Those books are meant to be read slowly and definitely not for the plot. I have a book of annotations for Ulysses that's longer than Ulysses itself. It greatly enriches the experience. I know of a scholar who has been reading Finnegans Wake for literal years.

atipofthehat

@annepersand

The ending of "Two Gallants" is pretty good, too!

Decca

@annepersand Hear, hear. The last sentence of The Dead is quite perfect. My first winter away from home - I was flying home for Christmas, but just about, on the 23rd - I was extremely homesick and missing Dublin in the lead-up to Christmas. My dad emailed me and when I opened the file, it was just the last paragraph of The Dead and an attached photograph of our front garden covered in snow. I just burst into tears like a crazy loon.

stephanieboland

@catfoodandhairnets Yup, adore Joyce, founded a Wake reading group, writing my undergraduate dissertation on it, go to Joyce events etc etc. There's plenty of us around if you know where to look (libraries: follow the weeping).

annepersand

@atipofthehat Oh god, yes! I had almost forgotten. Those last lines retroactively made that story for me.

annepersand

@Decca That is just the sweetest e-mail.

atipofthehat

@stephanieboland

I will confess that I first read Finnegans Wake when I was a teenager, but I did glue black construction paper over the cover of my paperback.

meetapossum

@atipofthehat And the end of "Eveline"!

stephanieboland

@atipofthehat Aha, I think I'm not long off the cover falling off mine. If you ever find yourself in London, I'll hook you up with some sweet Joyce reading groups. I'm like a Joyce dealer.

catfoodandhairnets

@everyone. Aww man. This makes me sad. I love books and the old country. I think maybe I'm too dumb to get it. Perhaps it's time to try again and 15 years later I will see something in it.

stephanieboland

@catfoodandhairnets My advice would be to join a reading group- and there's not really such a thing as smart people literature, so not to overthink it.

atipofthehat

@stephanieboland

I hope to be back in London someday!

sparrow303

@catfoodandhairnets I love Ulysses SO MUCH! I had a really great, enthusiastic teacher, a helpful annotations guide, and a deadline to finish. I ended up just letting the confusing parts wash over me like poetry.

I totally adored the book and still do (even after reading the whole bleeping thing), and would give my left tit to go on this trip EXCEPT I'm the best woman in my darling friend's wedding which is taking place on Bloomsday. (I excitedly informed him of the coincidence, to which he replied, "Huh?")

Speaking of cake, I have cake

@Decca Haven't read all of Ulysses but I did enjoy the bits I have read. It's a book you can open at any point and just read a section and enjoy. It's the only thing I've ever read that successfully replicates how the brain thinks while you're wandering around. It's like being inside a person's head. That's why the Stephen parts are super annoying cos you're inside his head and he's super annoying....

I really like Dubliners, especially the story about the young clerk who gets shitfaced after work, angry cos a hot woman ignores him because he's not a big rich hotshot, then he goes home and takes it out on his wife. It just feels so immediate, so vivid, and tragically is the kind of thing that still happens today in almost exactly the same way.

Us Dubliners (well half-the-time Dubliner in my case) should do up a funky itinerary for the visitors! We can use inside knowledge of cool/characterful places that aren't in the book. Like Library Bar or L Mulligan? Iveagh Gardens? Cobblestone? (Actually that is probably in the book)

Decca

@skyandgorse Yeah!! I love the Iveagh Gardens. Merrion Square park, too, with all the mad statues. And for the more Flann O'Brien minded, Grogans. Grogans all the time.

teaandcakeordeath

I read 2/3rds of the Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner which is meant to be similarly incoherent to Ulysses and it just frustrated me. Then fate intervened when my copy got stolen in a pub. Ha ha - jokes on you, thieves!

Even so, going to Dublin sounds fun!

atipofthehat

@teaandcakeordeath

The last 1/3 of the book is the Jason section and an omniscient section, which are very clear compared to the first 2/3 -- you should finish it!

feartie

@teaandcakeordeath I found the Sound and the Fury surprisingly clear and easy going - I loved it. Now Ulysses isn't my favourite (took me a year to read it and I can tell it's funny, but it's not my sense of humour at all) but if we are talking true confusing/slogfest literature - Finnegan's Wake. Absalom Absalom. Add as necessary.

camanda

@teaandcakeordeath See, what everyone in the previous thread is saying about Joyce is how I feel about Faulkner. LOVE Faulkner, and The Sound and the Fury wasn't incoherent, to me. Not his best book, though. My favorites are Flags in the Dust, Light in August, and Intruder in the Dust.

I agree with @atipofthehat, Jason's section is where the book really picks up. Finish it!!

atipofthehat

@camanda

FINNNISH ITTTTTTTT

teaandcakeordeath

@everyone
Ha - this is like digital peer pressure! Ok you may have convinced me on Faulkner but I'm still Just Saying No to cigarettes. ;-)

tiny bookbot

Noooooooo, I just finished reading Ulysses on Tuesday night and I still have a Joyce hangover, I can't do it again.

Also I don't live in New York. I guess I'm off the hook.

atipofthehat

I own a rare, pirated paperback edition of Ulysses from the 1960s with ads in the back for penis enlargers, a book of Polish jokes, assorted novelty items, and various one-handed novelettes.

annepersand

@atipofthehat I.... really want to see your Ulysses and I mean that strictly literally.

atipofthehat

@annepersand

I will bring it to the next NYC Pinup!

(Once I would have replied with a pun, but now I consider that a poor trait of the artist as a young man.)

annepersand

@atipofthehat Yes!!

atipofthehat

@annepersand

If your hands are clean, I'll let you hold it.

[[[ I RESISTED AS LONG AS I COULD ]]]

teaandcakeordeath

@atipofthehat
Oooh a Dubliner Entendriner!
(well not really)

annepersand

@atipofthehat Yes I said yes I will Yes.

atipofthehat

In Flann O'Brian's The Dalkey Archive, Joyce is discovered serving up pints in an out-of-the-way pub.

stephanieboland

@atipofthehat Oh my God and you also like Flann O'Brien?!

stephanieboland

@atipofthehat Can we be bros

atipofthehat

@stephanieboland

Hatchjaw remarks (unconfirmed, however, by Bassett) that throughout the whole ten years that went to the writing of The Country Album de Selby was obsessed with mirrors and had recourse to them so frequently that he claimed to have two left hands and to be living in a world arbitrarily bounded by a wooden frame. As time went on he refused to countenance a direct view of anything and had a small mirror permanently suspended at a certain angle in front of his eyes by a wired mechanism of his own manufacture. After he had resorted to this fantastic arrangement, he interviewed visitors with his back to them and with his head inclined towards the ceiling; he was even credited with long walks backwards in crowded thoroughfares.

—The Third Policeman

atipofthehat

@stephanieboland

Not excepting even the credulous Kraus (see his De Selbys Leben), all the commentators have treated de Selby's disquisitions on night and sleep with considerable reserve. This is hardly to be wondered at since he held (a) that darkness was simply an accretion of ' black air', i.e., a staining of the atmosphere due to volcanic eruptions too fine to be seen with the naked eye and also to certain 'regrettable' industrial activities involving coal-tar by-products and vegetable dyes; and (b) that sleep was simply a succession of fainting-fits brought on by semiasphyxiation due to (a). Hatchjaw brings forward his rather facile and ever-ready theory of forgery, pointing to certain unfamiliar syntactical constructions in the first part of the third so-called 'prosecanto' in Golden Hours. He does not, however, suggest that there is anything spurious in de Selby's equally damaging rhodomontade in the Layman's Atlas where he inveighs savagely against 'the insanitary conditons prevailing everywhere after six o'clock' and makes the famous gaffe that death is merely 'the collapse of the heart from the strain of a lifetime of fits and fainting'.

—The Third Policeman

Decca

@atipofthehat "A plurality of bottles has often induced this in me".

Two-Headed Girl

Now seems like a good time to mention that my Halloween costume this (last?) year with my boyfriend was James "Jagermeister" Joyce and Norah Bro-nacle. There was a lot of hair gel, guys. And bronzer. SO much bronzer.

...I still have all the stuff. I wonder if I could convince him to reprise it for Bloomsday?

Munich Pixie Dream Girl

Ah! I'm totally going to be in England until June 30th. So going to Dublin for that weekend. Yet another reason I love The Hairpin-reminding me about Bloomsday (I am an awful English Major!)

dirkbenedict'sfeatheredhair

"That leaves 114 days to get through Ulysses and countless Guinnesses before meeting up in Dublin."
Ahhhghhh. Want. I will probably have to be satisfied with just the Ulysses and the Guinnesses sadly.

Speaking of cake, I have cake

Anyone who's interested in literary Dublin should read Dead as Doornails by Anthony Cronin. It looks at the lives of Brendan Behan, Flann O'Brien, Patrick Kavanagh and others in Dublin and London in the 40s and 50s. It's vivid, hilarious and so sad. And boozy

Centipede

Hey guys, I'm a bit late commenting but I live in Dublin and would be up for meeting up for a tasty Guinness. Co-incidentally I have a comic strip about Ulysses, you might decide you hate me and don't want to meet up because of it though... www.shotguncentipede.blogspot.com (It's called 'a short history of ulysses')

eringobragh

so we're talking Dublin for Bloomsday? I'm seriously thinking about it, I've always wanted to be there for the pub crawl in June, and the last class I'm taking for my MFA this semester is an Irish lit class (in which we are taking MOST of the class to rd Ulysses,but I digress) So I am IN!!

Zeki Yol@facebook

great work, thank you. i always follow web sites. thanks for sharing. Fıkra .

Post a Comment

You must be logged-in to post a comment.

Login To Your Account