I’ve decided my brain is atrophying.
I am sleeping in a small hayloft usually occupied by a daughter when she is at home, and there by my pillow I find James Joyce’s hefty tome.
Surely a writer worth her salt should be able to open this and read it like any other novel?
I’ve been trying for a week.
I think it will defeat me. I am on page 80 and cannot say I am enjoying it.
There doesn’t seem to be a protagonist – except perhaps, the understood subject of the title, the ballad of which I know well.
Is Finnegan dead or merely shamming?
And what’s with the interminable lists?
And why is there no recognisable human emotion in the text so far?
A couple of times I have laughed out loud, or lollarded, lulled, toralooralaid in marmelatory concupiscent cornutopias….
Aha. Maybe this kind of stuff is more fun to write than to read.
I’m looking at the Faber Book of Parodies, too, which has a JJ spoof that almost makes me think I understand the original.
Maybe my brain is shrinking, shrunk-scrimshanking from thought-skimming, mind-skating, stout Cortex multiplex logorrhoea induced by too frequent visits to newspapers, Facebook, Radio 4.
Should I try the ‘Artist’s Way’ cold turkey for a week to see if my brain cells become more vigorous? Able to digest and assimilate the weighty fatfulness of the 800+ pages?
Anyone out there managed to read this book not for an exam or for other reasons than pleasure?
I am ready to be swayed.