I went to hear something interesting. If he needed my help, he should have stayed in the bar. I hadn't read the introduction to the annotated edition at that time either, but I felt the guy could have given that presentation without having even read the book, just a good introduction. I suppose I should have known an hour long talk on Ulysses couldn't amount to much, just something to make some English teachers feel like intellectuals. He didn't speak in any detail about the book. He talked a lot about the publication history. Surely nobody came to hear that. I would think most of the people there were looking for help with an extremely difficult book. I was looking for something to inspire me to reread it. Ironically, I actually got that. I'm about two thirds of the way through it now. Alas, I feel I'll have to read it again to make a class on it. I feel I need to read it more slowly, and I want to read other things too, and I don't have enough time. I swear it's impossible to live when you have to work. My idea is to give nine or more classes on the eighteen chapters of Ulysses. My New Bloomsday Book is a very good guide, and Burgess's ReJoyce has many interesting insights, as does the Nabokov lecture. I think I can help people get through the book with those, and make them feel it's worth getting through. I don't know if I'd ever have gotten through without the NBB. I had twice failed to make it halfway.
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