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View Diary: 20 book people pretend to have read (259 comments)

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  •  I read it. Tried first in HS, gave up. Assigned (9+ / 0-)

    it in college, read it.  It's impenetrable.  It's grueling.  It was an intellectual exercise, put it that way.  And when we were in Dublin recently, it was not "Ulysses" that came back to mind as we walked around; it was Joyce's "Dubliners".  Pity.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 05:23:28 AM PDT

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    •  I enjoyed Dubliners (10+ / 0-)

      but my first exposure to Joyce was "the Dead"  - it was the novella we had to read in preparation for the final in Freshman English.  I remember when our professor came back from the meeting where they designed the essay question for that final, and he told us only that he was very upset about the question.

      Having a sense on how his mind worked, I prepared for the final thinking about the significance of the title.  Sure enough, the question on which we were to expound was something like "What is dead about The Dead?"

      I aced the final.

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 05:33:06 AM PDT

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      •  It is indeed a clever student who tries to figure (5+ / 0-)

        out how his/her professor's mind works.  In graduate school there was one professor, whom I adored (and who was a reader on my dissertation committee later on), with whom I took a class on "poetic difficulty."  It was one of the two worst classes I've ever taken in my life, in part because I could never figure out where he was coming from with regard to this idea of "difficulty in poetry."  It wasn't just that he was all over the map and hadn't put things together very well; though that indeed made the class a bad class in my book.  

        It was also that I was miserable not being able to figure out how his mind was working in that class!  

        That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

        by concernedamerican on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 06:12:13 AM PDT

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        •  I had several advantages (4+ / 0-)

          1.  I am fairly intuitive on some things

          2.  I often read body language, voice inflections, and facial expressions pretty well

          3.  He had made clear his attitude towards obvious symbolism - he thought it was low level

          4.  I had baby sat for him several times, and as is my wont had glanced at the books he had out, which also gave me some clues as to how his mind worked.

          "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

          by teacherken on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 06:20:58 AM PDT

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      •  The Dead!!! (5+ / 0-)

        That is beautiful.

        I've read Portrait of the Artist and Dubliiners as well. Frankly, I prefer Dorothy Richardson (I just get a little tired of the MANNISM in Joyce - it is a perspective I get tired of having to put myself into; ditto DH Lawrence), but all her stuff is out of print, more's the pity.

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