Ulysses can be slow going. I have been trying to catch up on my page a day (look in the links, you'll find it) as I have been waaaay behind. I read about fifty pages today and some of it is slow going. That is the nature of such a style of writing though. Stream of conciousness has it drawbacks.
The particular section that I have been reading is kind of serpentine. Characters meet on the street and the story follows one and then doubles back to the meeting to follow another. There are easily 30 characters that wander in and out of the story- line and thus, the story itself repeats and starts and stops. The reader is lead into converstations that are already in progress and into stories that seem to be unrealated to the characters that...well...let's just say it's complicated.
I have read the book before with guidance (in college) but reading it on my own is more challenging. But just when I think it's pointless, that, "Hey, stupid, you have no idea what you are reading and didn't you read this all before anyway?" I find a sentence that makes it all worth it. Today this was the sentence: "We had a midnight lunch too after all the jollification and when we sallied forth it was blue o'clock in the morning after the night before."
I could deconstruct why I think this sentence is so lovely. I could point out the word "jollification" and how just reading it makes me feel...jolly. I could talk about how the phrase "sallied forth" brings up visions of bowlered men and long skirted women arm in arm, laughing as they wander down the street. I might want to have a midnight lunch that ends at "blue o'clock". I do, in fact want such a thing. But really, the only point is that sometimes a little work pays off.
Thank you, Mr. Joyce. I may not always understand you but everyonce in a while I remember why I love you.