Friday, 18 December 2009

Ulysses and the Mod Fenian

A few weeks ago I finished what is arguably one of the most difficult feats of literature. With no respite I devoted every available moment outside of work to devour James Joyce's Ulysses in just seven days. The experience was viscerally unsettling as I witnessed the English language swallowing its own tail off every line, letter, word and page - only to be vomited back up and reconstituted in a wholly new form.

The biggest problem, however, with a text that is so uninviting and complicit in its own ostricisation from conventionality, is it leaves only academics - and the most intrepid - who dare to peel away it's mystery and accept the work for what it really is -- one of the greatest novels of all time.

On finishing the work, these are the words that best capture my reading of Ulysses:

And done the dragon he did slain.
Battled and bested in a seven day.
The Best of Erin, gutted not by steel, nor by flint.
Felled was he by the Eater of Words.
Devourer of Lines.
Slurper of Syntax.
By champion Lexis Mechanica extraordinaire.
Break, bend, barricade, bump, best and burn the Word.
Ye English is dead.
Long live the Mod Fenian and his tricks!

- lexis mechanica

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