Monday, January 01, 2007

Ulysses and the New Year

I have just finished reading, here on this lovely and bright January the first of 2007, the opening chapter of James Joyce's Ulysses. It is, to be blunt, amazing. The last time that I can remember enjoying a bit of prose so much was my brief liaison with the journal entries of Gerard Manley Hopkins.
The syntax is a veritable freak show of perfection, the slipping between thought and dialogue smooth and sweet, and the characters livid with animation. Buck Mulligan is doing wonders for my heart.
This may be presumptuous, but if the first chapter is a clue, this book will be one of my favorites long before I reach its faraway final word. It is, after all, not in the least a short novel.
And the new year is here. As you might have induced from my last two poems, I spent some of it in the desert. Mojave National Preserve, 100 miles southwest of Satan's National Preserve. No, I'm not talking about Death Valley - that's 100 miles due north. I'm speaking of Vegas. Las Vegas. The Vegas. And what are the Vegas? No one really knows, but shoot, can they put on a show.
Sorry, my verbosity has been aroused.
Back to Stephen Dedalus.

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