Meme, The Classics Club

The Classics Club – November 2012 Meme

YAY! For the first time I’m not completely baffled/perturbed at The Classics Club moderators for their choice of a monthly discussion question.So I thought I would go ahead and answer it since I haven’t finished a book yet this month and wanted to get at least one post in this week. I should have another one in by Friday, but no promises.

This month’s answer to “What Classic piece of literature most intimidates you and why? (Or are you intimidated by the Classics, and why? And has your view changed at all since you joined The Classics Club?”, is actually an easy answer, so I won’t beat around the bush!

For me I am most intimidated by James Joyce’s Ulysses and this is for two reasons: I am afraid I won’t understand it and I’m afraid I’ll give up on it, being the first book I’ll give up on since I started blogging. I don’t have an English degree and I’m pretty sure I miss a lot of things in the books I read and I don’t mind that. I get what I want out of a book and most people who visit seem to appreciate it, but for some reason Ulysses, which I’m apparently supposed to fall in love with due to my fondness for At Swim, Two Boys, seriously intimidates me (as it does most people) and really worries me.

Prior to starting my reading for The Classics Club the “Russian’s” also intimidated me. And although I’m no longer intimidated by them, they are definitely still daunting due to the fact that I’m convinced every Russian ‘classic’ author felt the need to encompass the entire breathtaking expanse of Russian geography.

So that’s it. My book blogging secret. I have every intention of reading Ulysses next year, of course assuming I find a copy…or keep the one on my Kindle, but who knows.


25 thoughts on “The Classics Club – November 2012 Meme”

  1. Ulysses and the Russians are certainly intimidating. Currently I’m personally feeling intimidated by the Latin American magical realists. I need to start tackling some of them soon!


  2. I don’t think I’m intimidated by Ulysses. I just doubt it would be worth the effort! Although I quite respected Woolf’s stream of consciousness in Mrs Dalloway, I know I can’t handle much of this kind of writing. But the Russians?….yeah, I’ve been afraid of them until fairly recently!

    All the best with Ulysses next year! 🙂


    1. It really does have a lot to do with At Swim, Two Boys being one of my favorite novels. I’m afraid it’ll just make me question how beautiful I think it is.


  3. Yes, definitely intimidating! I don’t have Ulysses on my list, although to be honest I mostly picked books that didn’t intimidate me. It’s good to really challenge yourself..

    I think I could actually answer the question this month–will have to do a post on it soon.


  4. Ulysses terrifies me. It’s not even on my to-read list right now. Hearing everyone discuss how much of a challenge it is really doesn’t make me excited to get to it.

    It might be a book I tackle in retirement.. 🙂


  5. Don’t read Ulysses without support! I mean, grabbing an annotated version, using secondary sources, etc. Otherwise you will get only about 20% and it won’t be a very fulfilling use of your time…

    Check out Frank Delaney’s weekly podcast on Ulysses:

    Also, as for the beauty of Joyce, I wrote about that a bit on my blog today…

    Happy reading!


    1. Thanks for stopping by and for the comment/suggestion. I will definitely read additional material as I read it and check out those podcasts. Those are apparently the thing to do this year 😀


  6. Ulysses scares me to death. It’s on my 1001 list so I have to read it at some point, but I haven’t reached that point yet. I’m curious how you will react to it. I wish you luck and admire your bravery!


  7. I’m in the middle of War and Peace and am finding it enjoyable. I read other books in between each section of it. Not in a hurry to finish it – but reading it consistently and finding it worth it. Ulysses just isn’t on my list to read anytime in the near future. Maybe I’ll read it someday, though.


    1. Thanks for stopping by and for the comment 😀 I’m really looking forward to both even though they make me incredibly nervous/anxious. A lot of it is just hype and build up from other people. I do know I’ll have to take my time with both when I do get around to them.


  8. I have never wanted to read Ulysses but I don’t think it’s because I’m intimidated – simply I’ve always felt I wouldn’t like it . Maybe I’ll give it a go one day. Will be interested to follow your progress – good luck!


    1. Thanks for stopping by and for the comment! I don’t blame you for not being interested. For me it’s just a draw to the book because of it’s history and the comparison of my favorite book to his style.


  9. Ulysses is one of the books that a lot of people are mentioning. I almost listed it myself, but then I couldn’t figure out WHY I was intimidated by it…I only knew that I was. 🙂 I’m even more intimidated by it now that I’ve seen how much everyone else is intimidated!

    My November Meme is here


    1. Thanks for stopping by, and the comment!

      I can definitely see that being the case! I just keep reading authors that are compared to Joyce and that I’ve struggled with and if they’re compared to him I can only imagine the struggle for him. I’ll definitely check your post out.


  10. I picked Finnegans Wake for my meme answer, but I just as easily could’ve picked Ulysses. Everything I’ve read about Joyce makes me a bit way of trying to read his books. I felt the same way about Tolstoy before reading Anna Karenina, so hopefully, if I pick the right Joyce to start with, I’ll be able to get through Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. Maybe.


    1. Thanks for the comment!

      I don’t envy you with Finnegan’s Wake. I don’t think I will ever attempt that unless I’m in a class of some sort with a close reading of it. I’ve read a few posts and articles about it and those are confusing enough!

      Good luck though you far braver soul!


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