Monthly Archives: July 2010

Watch A&E Biography’s James Joyce

From the convenience of your own computer, watch Biography’s James Joyce.  It’s free!  The episode is split into eight segments, totaling about 40 minutes.  After watching Part I, Part II will automatically load, you may need to expand the screen by clicking on the minimized video that appears in the upper left-hand corner of the viewing screen.  Enjoy!

Update: I changed the link above so that it now takes you to a list of all the video clips on Joyce.  Just scroll down the screen until you’ve located Part I.  If this fails, search for James Joyce in the search box in the “Videos” tab at the top of the screen.  Sorry about all the trouble!  I can’t figure out why it kept going to Barry Manilow after Part I.



Filed under Supplemental Resources

Done with Part I!

Kudos to everyone for a great first week of discussions!  I can’t believe we had close to 120 people attend.  I hope you’re encouraged that you’re done with Part I.  Speaking for myself, I took a breather from the novel this last weekend, but I plan on tackling the next segment of readings this week.  I’d encourage everyone to start reading now, so you can harness the momentum we gained from last week.  September’s assignment is located in the Reading Schedule tab at the top of this page.

One of the recurring questions that came up last week dealt with how to go about reading for maximum comprehension.  I expect nearly all of us face this challenge.  If you have the time to devote to it, here’s what I recommend:

  1. Read the assignment once all the way through, without using summaries or guides.  This is not the time to pick apart the text. 
  2. Take a breather. 
  3. Before you open Ulysses again, read the summary/analysis of your choice.  You should now start to understand the framework of each episode.
  4. Read the assignment a second time, consulting detailed guides like Ulysses Annotated as you’re able.  As you read, things should now start to make sense.

As for reading guides, soon you should see copies of Ulysses Annotated and The New Bloomsday Book in the reference collections of all three Evanston Library locations.  We’ve also ordered several copies of Cliff’s Notes for UlyssesIf you have questions about passages, references, etc., please send them to me.  I’ll post them to the blog, and we can explore them together.  As you embark on the second phase of our journey, remember the words of Jennifer Levine in The Cambridge Companion to James Joyce:

 “Sometimes the need to know what everything ‘means’ in Ulysses should be resisted.”


Filed under Ulysses Thoughts and Comments

Chicago Reader

If you’ve found us because of the recent blurb in the Chicago Reader, please note that registration for any of our discussions is required (contrary to what was printed in the paper).  The high turnout for our June 16 meeting prompted us to split into groups and require registration.  See the post directly below this for instructions on registration, or call 847-448-8621.

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Registration Now Open

Registration for Mission Impossible: Ulysses is now open.  There are six sessions meeting at different times and locations.  Please register for only ONE meeting, as space is limited at each location.  Registering just once will secure your spot at your chosen meeting place/time for all future meetings.  If you need to change your meeting place/time after the first meeting, you may contact me at that point, and I will attempt to register you for another group if space is available. 

Times and Locations

  • Tuesday, 2-3:15pm – Small Meeting Room, Main Library
  • Tuesday, 6-7:30pm – Celtic Knot
  • Wednesday, 7-8:15pm – Small Meeting Room, Main Library
  • Thursday, 2-3:30pm – Celtic Knot
  • Thursday, 7-8:15pm – North Branch
  • Thursday, 7-8:15pm – Small Meeting Room, Main Library (first meeting will be in the Board Room)

How to register

There are two ways to register: online or over the phone.    

To register yourself online…

  • Go to
  • Scroll down to the week of July 18.
  • Locate your desired meeting date (July 20, July 21, or July 22), and find your desired meeting time by moving your mouse over Mission Impossible: Ulysses (a box will appear and reveal the event time and details).
  • Click on the correct event to start registration.
  • Enter required information and click “submit.”

If you cannot register yourself online, call the Reader’s Services Desk to register at 847-448-8621.

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Filed under Book Group Information, Date and Time Alerts

Reading Schedule for 1934 Edition

If you have a 1934 copy of Ulysses, please be aware I’ve added a reading schedule customized to your edition.  See the tab above called Reading Schedule.  You’ll find it located below the original reading schedule.  Also, I suppose this might be helpful to you if your book only goes through page 768.

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Farewell, Steve Diedrich

Some of you may have heard about the recent death of Steve Diedrich, who taught a course on Ulysses at the Newberry Library since 1987.  Diedrich’s goal was to make people “unafraid” of the novel.  Apparently, he wasn’t even an academic.  As someone without official training in Ulysses, I find that encouraging.  Read the full article by Mary Schmich in the Chicago Tribune.

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