18 December 2006

Piling it on

Another challenge? Am I insane? I am still working on the From the Stacks Challenge (Lincoln!!) and just signed up for the 2007 Classics Challenge (Ulysses? Oh lord...) so why in the world would I agree to another?

Well, fresh from my success at the GIFT Challenge, perhaps I'm feeling cocky. Also, I'm an avowed Optimizer and am unashamed to double-dip for my reading; I once submitted a paper on Montaigne for history class in college, then reworked the darned thing for my philosophy class as well. I consider it a survival skill in my hectic life, one that I take opportunities to hone now and then.

So, with that preamble, I reach again into the hopper and come out with Doris Kearnes Godwin's Team of Rivals, (754 pp, sans footnotes) and James Joyce's Ulysses (705 pp). Both qualify for the challenge, being sufficiently weighty enough to heave at the dog at need. Further, I have had a struggle reading Team, for which I have no idea as to the cause - it is a genuinely nice read, when I settle down with it. Perhaps that is the trouble; I tend to read on the go, while waiting somewhere or in 5 minute segments I grab somewhere. And this is a book that has to be read in place to do it justice. I anticipate the same struggle with Ulysses. My hope is that with a little extra nudge on these two - just the sort that a challenge can provide - perhaps I can crest the peak and wrap these up.

Thanks Bookfool for letting me know about the challenge!


Liz said...

E-gads! Ulysses?!?! What are you, insane, woman? I read it in college -- but only because it was the central text in a full-semester course; the only course REQUIRED for my major. Each week, we'd do one chapter from Ulysses, along with other works that informed our analysis of Ulysses. I am genuinely humbled by your willingness to take on Ulysses voluntarily. One suggestion, though: start with the last 11 pages (it's one sentence). Read it a few times through until you get the cadence. Then read the rest of the book -- mastering the end-of-book style makes the rest of it a lot easier.

Anonymous said...

I tried Ulysses and couldn't get through the first five chapters. I needed a heavy dose of P.G. Wodehouse, not to mention Jeeves rallying round with one of his life-saving elixirs, to chase away the jim-jams. Really, try "Code of the Woosters" or "Leave It to Psmith" instead, old loofah.

Aarti said...

I chose Team of Rivals as one of my reads for the Chunkster Challenge as well! Hopefully we can both cross it off the TBR list :-)