Saturday, November 26, 2011

riffday: homeless, ulysses and jigsaw puzzles

Well, I'm posting every day but I'm not sure it counts since this week has been mostly filler posts.  here's another one, and after Nell goes back to Seattle tomorrow maybe I will have time for something more interesting.  We closed on the sale of our house yesterday, but for some reason the title company wouldn't let us do both closings on the same day, so the closing for the purchase of the new house isn't until Monday.  We are temporarily renters and not homeowners.  We are also--for the weekend-- the richest we've ever been, because technically speaking we have the proceeds of the sale of this house but haven't bought the new one yet.  Woo-hoo!!  Maybe we'll go to Starbucks and get a vente to celebrate.

Part of what I've been working on with Ulysses is a hypermedia (web) version of Ulysses. Eventually it will have annotations, maps, audio, etc.  It's very cool.  Have I talked about this before?  I'd give you the link, but I don't want them to be able to link back here to my blog, so it will have to wait.  Anyway, my part of it has been preparing the text so that it can be displayed in HTML.  I did the first 12 episodes during my independent study last spring, and two more over the summer.  The fifteenth episode, Circe, is 150 pages long, far longer than any of the other episodes.  I've worked on it off and on all semester and finally finished it yesterday.  PHEW.  It was a bugger. 

The thing about Ulysses is that even though it's not exactly fun to read the first time (although it has its moments), if you read it again, you start to get hooked.  It's like a puzzle.  If you're a jigsaw puzzle fan, and I am, if you see a puzzle set out on a table, you go over and start to look it over, and then you put one piece in while you're still standing there looking at it, and then maybe you find another one, and before you know it, you're sitting down and utterly absorbed.  It's one of my favorite winter activities. 

oh, wait I was talking about Ulysses.  Anyway.  Apparently I've got the bug.  The more you read it and work on it, the more the more aware you are of all the connections and the detail and the more you are in awe of what Joyce did.  It's an amazing book.

Another day down.  This NaBloPoMo thing is going to end just in time for me to bury myself in papers.  I'm working on them already, but I haven't quite hit the panic stage. 


  1. Circe is one of those lost stories around here. I did a re-telling, from the women on the island's viewpoint. Channelled it actually. But it can't be found right now. Apparently I'm supposed to wait. (???)

  2. Really? You've mentioned your lost tales before, but I didn't know Circe was one of them. I would be fascinated to hear it. The Ulysses version of Circe is only very loosely connected to the "real" story-- Joyce takes the idea of being drugged or under the influence from Homer's version and expands it into a 150-page hallucination (more or less), which is a raunchy, funny, eerily accurate picture of paranoia-- or at least it is once you get the hang of reading it.