My mother and Heather tell me they read and get the gist of the book. While I stop and look up words (mainly because as an engineer I know so few). Tonight I was backtracking in the book a bit to look up some of my words. I will admit I read with a pencil and underline unknown words, favorite phrases or make comments in the margins. I am hearing gasps. How dare I write in a book? I am not defacing a piece of literature, I am enjoying it in my own way. President John Adams wrote all over his books, too! And he did it in INK!
Anyway, I was looking up words in the section when we first are introduced to Mr. Bloom. I must say it was TMI (too much information) – I really did not need to know about his “Costive one tabloid of cascara sagrada.” Translated – he is constipated and needs a laxative. So looking up words was a bit much here but it gets better. Leopold is thinking about the warmth of the day and remembers a time in Ceylon. “… in dolce far niente.” – Pleasant idleness. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? “Sleep six months out of twelve. Too hot to quarrel… Flowers of idleness. The air feeds most. Azotes. Hothouse in Botanic gardens. sensitive plants.” The imagery was so delightful. Azotes. looked that one up… stop the presses! I am jolted out of my imaginary hammock to find out the meaning of this word. Spanking! Well, well, well, doesn’t that bring a whole new dimension to this paragraph?
Off to look up more definitions!