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Is the quoted passage an example of Stream of Consciousness or is it idiosyncrasy of James Joyce? 
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Post Is the quoted passage an example of Stream of Consciousness or is it idiosyncrasy of James Joyce?
I'm reading James Joyce originally for the first time, I listened and read about him before (been doing it deliberately from past 6 months). To be honest, hitherto I like Joyce because T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound liked him and said so much about his modernist works , I revere James Joyce because Finnegans Wake is considered one of those books which sheds the actual light on lifelessness of life, Now, I want to like him (the process seems to have been already started) by my own and so I'm giving a try to Ulysses.

Here is a passage from Ulysses's Part 1, Chapter 3

Quote:
Stephen closed his eyes to hear his boots crush crackling wrack and shells. You are walking through it some howsoever. I am, a stride at a time. A very short space of time through very short times of space. Five, six: the nacheinander. Exactly: and that is the ineluctable modality of the audible. Open your eyes. No. Jesus! If I fell over a cliff that beetles o'er his base, fell through the nebeneinander ineluctably! I am getting on nicely in the dark. My ash sword hangs at my side...


What happened after Stephen closed his eyes to hear his walk? Something happened, Joyce was writing something totally out of context, is it meaningful? Is it meaningless? Yes, it does seem meaningful, no it doesn't, it seems masterpiece! But what is it? nacheinander? Why German? The passage looks like a painting, different words representing different colors, the German words with German color! Punctuations are marvelous, never seen a colon after six, never seen a sentence consisting of "No" only (except when we reply to somebody, Open your eyes was a command No was a reply but who asked and who replied?)

Is he writing whatever is coming to his mind (stream of consciousness)? Can he write that he is feeling hungry or smelling something foul? Is he writing all that he is thinking or is he thinking only of what he has to write? Is it only James Joyce that do things like this (I myself don't know which or what "this")?

Thank you (and sorry).



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DWill, Robert Tulip
Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:04 am
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Post Re: Is the quoted passage an example of Stream of Consciousness or is it idiosyncrasy of James Joyce?
That is the beauty of James Joyce. Sometimes, you think he is just rambling and other times he is a genius.
Someone recommended I read his work and I chose Ulysses also. I intend reviewing it next week.


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Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:25 am
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Post Re: Is the quoted passage an example of Stream of Consciousness or is it idiosyncrasy of James Joyce?
Emekadavid wrote:
That is the beauty of James Joyce. Sometimes, you think he is just rambling and other times he is a genius.
Someone recommended I read his work and I chose Ulysses also. I intend reviewing it next week.


One friend of mine had a practice of reading the whole of Ulysses on Bloomsday - 16 June. Quite a formidable challenge, given the strangeness of the language and its length - 730 pages.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulysses_(novel)

https://ulyssesinaday.wordpress.com/


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Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:24 pm
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Post Re: Is the quoted passage an example of Stream of Consciousness or is it idiosyncrasy of James Joyce?
I recall reading that Joyce relished the idea of professors puzzling out his meanings endlessly. So maybe there is just a bit of mischief-making in such passages. But the usual explanation for stream of consciousness (which the passage is) is that writers wanted to more realistically capture mental life. It isn't the case, after all, that as we go through the day we think in coherent paragraphs. Such coherence is a literary convention that writers like Joyce and Wolfe wanted to escape.



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Sat Apr 10, 2021 8:01 am
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Post Re: Is the quoted passage an example of Stream of Consciousness or is it idiosyncrasy of James Joyce?
@RobertTulip There is a very high propensity of liking Joyce for the reason so many other people like him that much :) I want to develop a sort of adoration for him whose origin cannot be traced in other people's admiration for him.



Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:07 am
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Post Re: Is the quoted passage an example of Stream of Consciousness or is it idiosyncrasy of James Joyce?
For what it's worth, here's my own stream of consciousness when reading Joyce's passage in the OP. :x

First, I stop at the word "wrack." Uh oh, what is that? Checking several definitions, perhaps the best one, since he mentions shells, refers to kelp or dried seaweed. Moving on...Ok...Ok... Uh oh "nacheinander." German for "successively." Hmm...Perhaps counting steps or marking time... Moving on... Oh Lordy, "beetles o'er his base." Whaaat? Interesting, that's from Hamlet.
Quote:
HAMLET
Why, what should be the fear?
I do not set my life at a pin's fee;
And for my soul, what can it do to that,
Being a thing immortal as itself?
It waves me forth again: I'll follow it.

HORATIO
What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,
Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff
That beetles o'er his base into the sea,
And there assume some other horrible form,
Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason
And draw you into madness? think of it:
The very place puts toys of desperation,
Without more motive, into every brain
That looks so many fathoms to the sea
And hears it roar beneath.

Well that complicates things even more - moving towards something that beckons, but be wary of madness? Moving on... Uh no, "fell through the nebeneinander ineluctably!" I got nothing, can't fathom that phrase at all. And yet in the next sentence, I need to figure out what an ash sword is outside of Pokémon. Siiiggghhh...

Wow, that is a heck of a lot of work for a short paragraph! But much easier with Google; it would have been incomprehensible pre-internet except for academics? :blush: I have no idea if I'm even in the same area code as what is actually going on in that passage. Oh well, maybe I'll take a stab at it when I retire and have more time for such puzzles.



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Post Re: Is the quoted passage an example of Stream of Consciousness or is it idiosyncrasy of James Joyce?
I was trying to read Joyce the other day. Does not seem worth the time it will take and honestly, I cannot appreciate what he does. Let's just make shit up and be so mysterious and quirky that we become legendary... Is that it?


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Post Re: Is the quoted passage an example of Stream of Consciousness or is it idiosyncrasy of James Joyce?
Thinking about it further, it seems Joyce ties that passage from Hamlet to Ulysses and sirens sweetly singing. Does anyone agree with that link? I expect it's a skillful point, but as Mr. Pessimistic suggests, it takes a lot to get there. I don't think I could handle another paragraph until tomorrow. Maybe I can handle two per day once I'm retired. :lol:



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Post Re: Is the quoted passage an example of Stream of Consciousness or is it idiosyncrasy of James Joyce?
LanDroid wrote:
Oh Lordy, "beetles o'er his base." Whaaat? Interesting, that's from Hamlet.


That is something I want to know, I mean how you do it :clap2: ? Hamlet is a big work (I mean it's not short like poem where every line matters), how you recognized that Joyce was referring to Hamlet? And I find these types of allusions very much in the work of Pound and Eliot, too.



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Post Re: Is the quoted passage an example of Stream of Consciousness or is it idiosyncrasy of James Joyce?
Well I just googled "beetles o'er his base" and it came up. I am not a scholar of Shakespeare, got lucky on that.



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Post Re: Is the quoted passage an example of Stream of Consciousness or is it idiosyncrasy of James Joyce?
I did a review of Ulysses on my channel, stating the main themes and the message as I perceive it.
I hope you do watch it and give me comments.
Ulysses is dense but I tried my best after being on it for a week.
https://youtu.be/Sd95-K8zg1E
Enjoy


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