Speaking on Midlands 103 on Groundhog Day
Updated: Nov 4
Speaking on Midlands 103 on the morning of Groundhog Day, the presenter Will Faulkner immediately admitted that he has never read Ulysses despite all the various mentions to Bloomsday and Joyce every year.
I always enjoy my interviews with Will Faulkner on Midlands 103 and love how he leads the listener into our interviews.
Personally I never imagined myself reading Ulysses as I was never an avid reader as a child. In fact I am a very slow reader and Ulysses isn't exactly a page turner. Is it?
Ulysses almost becomes academic as people research and annalyse everything and at times I felt like a kid trying to finish a book report.
The book is a damn complicated read and I would say I read the first 300 pages twice with all the times that I lost where I was or didn't full understand something and found myself rereading a paragraph, page or even chapter over again.
Speaking of chapters, where are they? Each chapter has a name and we start with Telemachus but my Wordsworth Edition doesn't distinguish his chapters and it was page 523 before I found a clear space between pages never mind chapters.
In the last couple of chapters, I couldn't even find any full stops in the pages. I knew there was an absence of punctuation before ever opening it up but I couldn't believe the sheer lack of full stops at the end of sentences.
I guess Joyce really pulled out all the stops when he wrote Ulysses.
Even opening up Ulysses was a challenge for me and my book sat on a bookshelf for years after a failed attempt to read it, a few years ago.
I bought Ulysses and Don Quijote at the same time and both Wordsworth Editions gathered dust but here is the thing, only a quarter of Spanish people have read Don Quijote so I won't feel bad that I hadn't read read them.
I wonder what percentage of people in Ireland have read any of Joyce's books.
2022 is as good a time to pick up Ulysses because a century later, we have different ways to consume Joyce. There are audio and digital versions available to download and reference books and guides.
I recommend an audio version of Ulysses because it is a book written to be read aloud and my interest in Joyce comes from live readings by the Bloomsday Society in Madrid.
If you are interested in picking up any of Joyce's challenging reads, remember that there is a chance to win won of five collections of James Joyce's work in February, March, April, May, June and for Bloomsday in July, curtesy of Wordsworth Editions.
HAND ME MY WORDSWORTH
Well, four collections, congratulations to Eugenia Sanches Acosta in Uruguay who won the February book giveaway. To enter, all you have to do is share a selfie or shelfie with Ulysses and tag @thegroundhogdaychallenge on Instagram.
UNESCO City of Literature