What remains after these past 14 days?First of all the good feeling that I "did" it finally!
Nevertheless, I would lie if I said this was an easy trip: some chapters were really hard and I needed a lot of pauses, discipline and stubbornness to continue. But somehow it flatters my weird ego that I am still able to emerge myself in such an awesome "opus absolutissimum".
As I said, you definitely need some encyclopaedia and still, you cannot look-up everything. At some very early point you just should let it go, because Ulysses is not about understanding every detail (you can leave that to eager scholars!). When you have finally decided to do so you will be astonished: Within Mr. Bloom's microcosm you will discover literature and language at its best.... and you will find out: Ulysses is actually very funny!
For many years Ulysses was thought to be untranslatable. Considering this incredible firework of language, all this playing on words, all these sociolects, all this transforming of words etc., it seems to me that even the best translation can give only a first idea of Joyce's language. Nevertheless, a first - not very successful - German translation was published in 1927, but in the early 70s a new one was made by Hans Wollschläger.
Again I have to cite Oscar Wilde: “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”
Ok, reading Ulysses all over again right away would be quite eccentric and probably a suicide attempt!
to time, I discovered that last year a German audio book
of Ulysses was released: 31 cds, 37 (!) hours, read by
40 German actors! Instead of reading the book again
just hearing might be the perfect solution!
Anyway, I told my uncomplaining best husband of all both the audiobook and the commented edition would come first on my wishlist for next Christmas. He didn't comment this at all....(maybe until Christmas he will reconsider?!)
After all, it is difficult to recommend a book like this.
But I can tell you one thing:
if you are a bibliophile and a language addict, just go for it !
|Goodbye Mr. Bloom, I am done !|