James Joyce. His Bell Tolls (for me).

It continues to haunt. James Joyce and Ulysses. Unfinished, brooding on my book shelf. I first discussed his book in a earlier post: Just Can’t Finish. Then I tripped into this video. Luck? I don’t think so. It’s time. Time to pull it off the shelf and give it another whack…

Larry Kirwan, 71, Irish writer and musician, on James Joyce:

Never once did he doubt his own genius, and God knows he had a awfully hard life. He became almost blind to his always broke, always borrowing. And yet he knew his strength. His strength for story, and words and music. I think we read him because of his music and his rhythms.  Catching the soul of a person. And catching the inner dialogue, say in the Molly Bloom thing, you could never have met a woman and read Molly Bloom and know what a woman is about. He’s that strong a writer to me.

Frank Delaney, 71, Irish journalist, author and broadcaster, on James Joyce:

This is what he does better than anyone else. He understands the tiny sins, the tiny virtues, the tiny venalities, the tiny advantages that people will look for in life. And nobody else ever did that before and nobody, I would contend, has done it as well since.


  1. SIgh…me too. The book that remains only partially read, and the compelling reasons why I need to take it off the shelf. I struggled with it; maybe this time I will concede at the outset and just try and go with it.


  2. Apparently, you’re not alone. Actor James LaValle says of Ulysses, “… If you make it to the end…”


  3. ‘catching the soul of a person.’ – yes, and why we are drawn to certain authors and all works of art i think.


  4. Please do start at the beginning and go to the end. Remember, he’s tracing the voyage of Ulysses in a modern manner, Don’t strain; just relax and let him take you on the ride.


  5. Very persuasive video clip.


  6. Ah, Joyce. I feel like Sisyphus laying hands on my boulder when I pick up one of his works. I know there are many who laud his genius (and I respect their opinion), but I’m never managed, as the English professor above counsels, to “just relax and let him take me on the ride.” Maybe it’s time….


  7. Sisyphus, incredibly great analogy….LOVE THAT. Yes, maybe it is time Lori.


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