Sunday, March 23, 2008

Episode 7

Fun Fact: Am I the only one who noticed that we did not get the 5 important aspects of this episode from the group on Friday?

Aeolus is a fun episode to read because the headlines Joyce implements help structure the tone and attitude of the subsequent paragraph, a welcomed stylistic technique. I'm guessing, however, that the typographical shifts only get more obscure. Some more fun was to be had on page 121 with "orthographical" and the "sllt"s. The implication of life speaking in the only way it can (even in the absurdity of a printing press chopping papers) makes some of the larger issues seem more real, or at least more important. Obviously, the hyperbole of the striking of a match does not speak to the lives of the characters, but when Stephen says that he is haunted by his dreams, and the reader grasps the notion that life is literally"speaking" to us, we take Stephen's mourning more seriously. Or when Leopold is reminded of his father, we ought to take that seriously too. More than just memories, these thoughts alter the way the characters see the world and like a thorn in the side, constantly reminding and never going away.

The concept of lost causes is interesting on two levels. First of all, Irish history can be seen as a lost cause with all the failures and horrible misfortunes that happened (think famine and civil wars and colonization and cultural oppression). But when the heading "Lost Causes Noble Marquess Mentioned" discusses the futility of a Latin professor, one might perceive the futility stretching further than that, and address the missing culture and wealth of knowledge and beliefs that came with the Romans. When Joyce says that Latin is a lost cause in an Irish context, and uses Ireland as the setting for a story called "Ulysses", I find a strong relationship comparing the existences of Ireland and Rome (at least on a microcosmic level).

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