Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Link to Karl Marx, "On the Jewish Question"

Here is the full text of Marx's famous essay, "On the Jewish Question," where he dealt with the question of the secularization of both European governments (i.e., so they would begin to offer civil rights to non-Christians). The essay also advocates the internal secularization of the Jewish community itself.

It's a complex essay; it will take some doing to relate it back to Joyce.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

For those interested in obscure vocabularies

Vladimir Nabokov, in his published lectures on literature, describes Ulysses as a "fat book of more than two hundred sixty thousand words" and a "rich book with a vocabulary of about thirty thousand words." To use thirty thousand DIFFERENT words in the span of one novel is, needless to say, impressive, and for those of us who celebrate the esoteric language Joyce employs, I recommend the following site:

This link will take you to "Forthright's Phrontistery," a database dedicated to compiling WEIRD words, archaisms, etymologies, etc. It's a trip--enjoy!
Paul Sisko

Ulysses Web Resources

Hi there,

This was the syllabus for my undergraduate course on Ulysses. I am posting the syllabus because the weblinks listed are quite varied and interesting. Each link takes you to a whole series of other links, so be cautious, otherwise you may find yourself still surfing after an entire afternoon has passed. I do think that some of these websites are useful, though.


Happy surfing.


Friday, August 27, 2004

"Bloomsday" links

What is Bloomsday?

"Bloomsday" is June 16, 1904, the day on which Joyce's novel is set. Every year on June 16, Joyce fans have been getting together in Dublin to retrace the steps of Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom around Dublin as reported in the novel.

This year was the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday, and there was quite a bit of coverage of the event.

On my personal blog, I did a couple of entries in June with links to various Joyce resources. See them here (a little); the more substantial post is here.


English 449: The Spirits of Modernity
Amardeep Singh
Fall 2004

Tentative Syllabus

8/24 Introduction
8/26 Ulysses 1, 2 (Telemachus and Nestor)
Recommended (throughout Ulysses): Gifford
Probably discuss: Ties to Portrait of the Artist; Stephen’s fall out of the priesthood; “Method” of each chapter; Relationship to The Odyssey

8/31 Ulysses 3 (Proteus)

Recommended: Ellmann biography excerpts on 1904 (avail. 8/27)
Moretti chapter on Joyce

9/2 Ulysses 4, 5 (Calypso, Lotus-Eaters)

Probably discuss: Bloom’s dietary practices, Irish Jews, Zionism, Jewish
Recommended: Marx, Neil Davison, Weinbaum

9/7 Ulysses 6, 7 (Hades, Aeolus)

Probably discuss print culture, newspapers, Irish nationalists,
Recommended: Declan Kiberd

9/9 Ulysses 8 (Lestrygonians)

9/14 Ulysses 9, 10 (Scylla and Charybdis, The Wandering Rocks)

Probably discuss Shakespeare; Ghosts, deconstruction (a little)

9/16 Ulysses 11 (Sirens)

9/21 Ulysses 12 (Cyclops)

Recommended: Enda Duffy, Maria Tymoczko
9/23 Ulysses 13-15 (emphasis on 15) (Nausicaa, Oxen of the Sun, Circe)

9/28 Ulysses 16, 17 (emphasis on 17) (Eumaeus, Ithaca)
9/30 Ulysses 18 (Penelope)

Recommended: Bonnie Kime Scott

10/5 Papers on Ulysses due; Maybe look at some T.S. Eliot poems in class (no new readings)
10/7 No class (pacing break)

10/12 T.S. Eliot: Four Quartets
10/14 T.S. Eliot: Critical essays on Literature and Religion

10/19 E.M. Forster: Passage to India

Probably discuss: concepts of space; Christians, Hindus, and Muslims; Khilafat
Movement; Urdu poetry (Ghalib, Faiz, Iqbal)

10/21 E.M. Forster

Probably discuss: riots, Mohurram festival in Shia Islam, Sepoy Rebellion (1857)
Recommended: Furbank, Freitag, Baucom

Note: Sizeable reading assignment this week

10/26 H.D.: Trilogy

Probably discuss: Sex and Sprit in the midst of war
Recommended: Janice S. Robinson biography chapters on Moravianism, Trilogy
10/28 H.D.

11/2 Salman Rushdie: The Satanic Verses

Probably discuss: Migration and identity; Good and Evil; Graffiti vs. Holy texts
11/4 Rushdie

Recommended: Background on Islam

11/9 Rushdie

Recommended: Aravamudan
11/11 Rushdie

11/16 Rushdie
11/18 Rushdie

Short paper on Rushdie, Eliot, or H.D. due
11/23 Start James Wood, The Book Against God

Also look at excerpt from Karen Armstrong, The Spiral Staircase
discuss: 20th century Spiritual autobiography
11/25 No class (Thanksgiving)

11/30 Finish James Wood
12/2 Last day of classes

12/9 Final papers due (tentative deadline). Any author or issue you are interested
in, including authors not on the syllabus.

English 449 Course Description

The Spirits of Modernity

For some, the advent of modernity turned human beings into machines, deadening the spirit via industrialization, the banality of commodity culture, and the specter of mechanized war. But modernist and postcolonial writers have generally found the experience of modernity more complicated. While most major writers of the 20th century rejected organized religious institutions, influential writers like T.S. Eliot actually turned to organized religious faith as an answer to the perplexing demands of modern life. Writers like James Joyce, H.D., E.M. Forster, D.H. Lawrence, and Salman Rushdie, for their part, have expressed profound ambivalence about religion and spirituality in their major works. The modern struggle with religious belief, textuality, and social identity leads to “answers” which are sometimes surprising, and which often engages issues of cultural difference as well as gender and sexuality. Though this is primarily a course in literature, we will also read essays by critics and theorists like Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Weber, Edward Said, and Talal Asad, among others. Also, final papers will be on topics of students' choosing, not necessarily limited to issues of “spirit.” Primary texts include: James Joyce, Ulysses, H.D. Trilogy, T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets, Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses, E.M. Forster, A Passage to India, and James Wood, The Book Against God.