Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Best This Week Is Dedicated to Beauty: Literature.

In case you were worried or wondering, yes, I'm reading Ulysses and yes, I'm having a great time. It's going slower than anticipated and it turns out the book is trickier than I remembered but still I'm loving every minute and every sentence.

Originally I had pretty ambitious notions of making a post about each chapter of the book and dropping lots of quotes and insight and research on you. After spending the better part of a Sunday several Sundays ago just tackling the introduction to my thoughts on Telemachus, the book's first chapter, I realized that that ambitious notion wasn't going to happen.

BUT that doesn't mean you aren't getting any Ulysses. This week I've mostly been reading the Wandering Rocks chapter and I came across a scene I just thought was too nice not to share. Please, read and see what can be done with words. (A little background: in this chapter Stephen Dedalus, one of our protagonists, is walking around Dublin):

Stephen Dedalus watched through the webbed window the lapidary's fingers prove a timedulled chain. Dust webbed the window and the showtrays. Dust darkened the toiling fingers with their vulture nails. Dust slept on dull coils of bronze and silver, lozenges of cinnabar, on rubies, leprous and winedark stones.

Born all in the dark wormy earth, cold specks of fire, evil lights shining in the darkness. Where fallen archangels flung the stars of their brows. Muddy swinesnouts, hands, root and root, gripe and wrest them.

and a few paragraphs later:

Stephen went down Bedford row, the handle of the ash clacking against his shoulderblade. In Clohissey's window a faded 1860 print of Heenan boxing Saers held his eye. Staring backers with square hats stood round the roped prizering. The heavyweights in light loincloths proposed gently each to other his bolbous fists. And they are throbbing: heroes' hearts.

Just little descriptions, that's all. But to me they stood out.

No comments: