Sunday, March 26, 2006

Brown professor Arnold Weinstein is a great talker -- I know this because I've listened to a lot of his lectures in the car, usually on modern literature. In his Ulysses lecture he's occasionally made the point that Joyce needs to be rescued from the academics, liberated from the university -- it needs to get back on the street and get down with the folks. He now has a book devoted to the larger subject in general, which gets an amusing but respectful review from Ron Powers in today's Times: Recovering Your Story: Proust, Joyce, Woolf, Faulkner, Morrison.

There have occasionally been popularizing attempts at breaking down the walls with some of these writers. Woolf had The Hours. Faulkner has Oprah, and Morrison -- whom I am not sure needs the help -- has Oprah. The big two fish, Proust and Joyce, have a lot of p.r. flaks between them and students, fewer between them and common readers, and I doubt they'll turn to Weinstein.

5 comments:

Elizabeth M. said...

And it's such a shame about Joyce. Ulysses is far more accessible book than I was ever led to believe. It's more work than the average novel, of course -- I completed my first read-through with a guidebook in each hand -- but so rewarding.

RW said...

Extremely. Which guidebook did you use? My standard aids were Nabokov's Lectures on Literature and Anthony Burgess' ReJoyce -- which worked well together.

Elizabeth M. said...

I used Blamires' New Bloomsday Book and Stuart Gilbert's guide. The second time through I just used the Blamire. I also listened to about half of it on tape (Recorded Books) recently and that was helpful in some ways, irritating in others.

RW said...

I can imagine -- like listening to Faulkner. Another resource you probably already know: Richard Ellmann's James Joyce.

Elizabeth M. said...

I really liked the bio of Nora Joyce that came out a couple of years ago. It was refreshing to view James Joyce from one step away.