Progress: pathetic and sad.
Since the last time I wrote about my experience reading this book, I’ve been busy. I got distracted by… things. And my reading time ended up falling by the wayside, which means that when I finally got un-distracted and picked the book back up, I had pretty much forgotten everything I’d read. I mean, I know what I read, but I lost the rhythm of it.
In short, I’m starting over.
I’m reminded of being 17 and being assigned A Tale of Two Cities to read before school started, and I’d begin the book, get distracted by life and put it down, rinse and repeat. By the end of July that summer I had the first chapter memorized. (I hated A Tale of Two Cities, by the way, and I’ve never tried picking it up again to see if I hated it because I was 17 or I hated it because, well, I hated it.) Though the beginning of Ulysses may be worth memorizing (my internal jury is out on this), here’s hoping that I don’t start over enough to memorize the beginning. Here’s also hoping that I’m not still reading this in July.
So as not to be entirely pointless, I do have some things to say about the book. Having gotten through the first section of it (and being a bit of a nerd about Homer), I had a fun time looking for parallels between the beginning of Ulysses and the Telemachiad (the beginning of the Odyssey) — no really — and who knows? Maybe the second time around it’ll be even better. I have a question, though. I remember a time when I used to be able to read books without constantly looking for symbols and allusions and other assorted what-nots, and I sort of wonder if the fact that I don’t seem to be able to do this now is something of a hindrance. I mean, isn’t there something to be said for just reading a book? Does working at literature make it more or less enjoyable? I’m not sure, but it’s something I think about a lot.
Maybe if I’d spend less time thinking about the act of reading and more time actually reading I’d be further along. But then, thinking too much has always been one of my very favorite pastimes.
I guess I’ll leave it there. Until next time (when I hope I’m not on my third beginning of Ulysses).