I am currently claiming to read "Ulysses" by James Joyce. I have this whimsical notion that it can be read. It is not a book to be approached with common methods of assimilation. Firstly, a degree in the classics should be a prerequisite. The main character in the first stage of the book,(I am only to assume that this book flows in stages) is (stephen)Daedalus, who you might remember as the father of Icarus. Who fashioned wings to escape from crete.
I think it is a book that you read once to establish coherency, and then another read to understand it. That said, it's an amazing novel. I've never read a book where every line could stand on it's own. You could flip the book open and throw a finger blindly upon a page and find a beautiful poem. Even so, this book requires a steady resolve. i would recommend it to everybody. I personally take it slow and read a couple pages a day and reread them until i think i have understood what is going on. It's not all complicated, the more you read the easier it becomes. I'm sure a lot of you have read it anyway, so perhaps I am merely making a fool of myself. a randomly selected paragraph by means i explained earlier on.
"Ugly and futile: lean neck and tangled hair and a stain of ink, a snail's bed. Yet someone had loved him, borne him in her arms and in her heart. But for her the race of the world would have trampled him under foot, a squashed boneless snail. She had loved his weak watery blood drained from her own. Was that then real? The only true thing in life? His mother's prostrate body the fiery Columbanus in holy zeal bestrode. She was no more: the trembling skeleton of a twig burnt in the fire, an odour of rosewood and wetted ashes. She had saved him from being trampled under foot and had gone, scarcely having been. A poor soul gone to heaven: and on a heath beneath winking stars a fox, red reek of rapine in his fur, with merciless bright eyes scraped in the earth, listened, scraped up the earth, listened, scraped and scraped."
That one makes more sense than some. It's a great book.
[This message has been edited by pulmonade (edited 11/11/2003).]