I am so proud of myself! I finished another James Joyce book. I must say I enjoyed this one better than I did Ulysses, partially is because I understood it more. The dictionary and Google were distant relatives this go round vice close friends. I am still trying to decide if James Joyce was brillant or just a bit off or both. I am astonished at the depth and breadth of his literary repetoire. He was knowledgeable in Irish History, Catholism, Philosphy, Math, Latin, French, German, Literature and on and on. Who does that any more?
This book does not disappoint as we enter Stephen’s first phase of his life. Child to Twenty-something. A large portion of this book was Stephen’s struggle with Catholicism. Being Catholic, I found this fascinating and a learning experience. The references to the Catachism, Saints and mass hit home for me. I do wonder if you aren’t Catholic if this would be drudgery. Ireland and politics continues to be a prominent factor and his love/hate relationship of his birth country. We see a lighter side of Stehpan as he discovers women and one in particular that is threaded through his life. Unfortunately, we don’t see this resolved and the hopeless romantic that I am wants a happy ever after. We see Stephan struggle with all the emotions a teenager and young adult do – especially a nerdy somewhat eccentric person. He wants to fit it and doesn’t understand why he doesn’t or rather can’t. Ending with him leaving on a self discovery journey to Europe. I wish I had read these in chronological order since I know he ends up back in Ireland and following in his father’s drunken, depressed life despite his intellect and quick wit. I do wonder how he gets from one point to another and deparately hope that Finnegan’s Wake wraps this all up nicely for me.
Until then, my brain is happy to move on to non-Joyce novels and a little less thinking. Or at least sticking to just one language! I have started on the next book Lolita and it is a page turner. No posts until my English half wraps up her thoughts on Artist. Until then… Grab a book and READ!!!