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Trying another tack to getting myself into fighting shape, I’ve resolved to:

1) Actually read at least the International Herald Tribune, more or less cover to cover, every day. This used to be easy; no one had to ask me to do it. But the other day someone started talking about Mumbai and it was late enough that I should have known, but I had to bluff my way through the conversation. Jesus. Solipcism. Not like me….

2) Read a hundred pages of something each day. Adjustable for density of course. I’ve not been reading except for work, and sometimes not even then. No reading and the wells run dry.

3) Write daily. That is to say nightly. Or daily when I can.

4) Post daily. Something, anything. Blogging keeps me moving in some direction too. Not sure why, but when I don’t blog, it’s not a happy sign.

So, yes, it’s some sort of auto-poetic CBT soup for the faltering intellectual’s soul. Kneel (almost wrote knell) and belief will come? When I talk to this philosopher I know, I habitually get the Pascal bit wrong, even when I don’t even mention the name. Am getting it wrong now. It’s a wonderfully expressive parapraxis, I think, and so I will persist.

Tonight, wouldn’t you guess, I’ve started rereading Ulysses from cover to cover. I believe this is the first time since the first time, though I’m sure I’ve read it through several times over but in parts. (Should post some time on the effect of growing up with cable television, the movie channels, and watching movies that would come to have a formative influence on me over and over but never start to finish… Always picked them up where they were, sometimes left them off when it was time to do otherwise…. Never once seeing them all the way through. See, it’s working – there’s a post idea, the first in weeks!)

Strange to read it though now. The date I wrote on the inside cover of my Gabler edition is Fall 1996. When I read it first, I was younger than Stephen. Now I’m six years short of Bloom. Back then, I thought I’d write novels for a living. Now, I am considered a Joyce specialist though thankfully not a Joycean. Teaching literature is a strange way to make a living, full of hidden stresses and panics that are only sometimes material in nature. I take Stephen differently now, though perhaps not in the way that you or I would expect.

Written by adswithoutproducts

November 29, 2008 at 11:46 pm

Posted in joyce

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