Friday, October 25, 2013

Books I've Bought Because of Ulysses

So my midlife crisis is taking the form of reading James Joyce’s Ulysses, which is an excellent excuse to buy more books.

1. As I’ve already pointed out, picking an edition of Ulysses is hard. And so I ended up buying the Modern Library version for my reader’s copy.

2. I know this person here would argue that you should just go it alone to get the true enjoyment out of the Ulysses, but I’ve tried that before. Granted this time has been easier (do I just remember stuff from the before?). Let’s face it, I’m academic at heart. I like reading annotations. So I bought Gifford’s Ulysses Annotated. And for good measure I got The New Bloomsday Book by Harry Blamires (3rd edition).  

3. I happened to find cheap copies of Chester G. Anderson’s James Joyce and His World and Edna O’Brien’s James Joyce.

4. For good measure, I bought a three volume set of James Joyce’s letters. I found a first edition set on eBay. I wanted the three volume one so I got both Stuart Gilbert and Richard Ellmann edited letters. My friend Mel Clayton turned me on to collecting writer’s letter collections. There’s something comforting glancing through and seeing Joyce complain about money and how the writing’s going. And, of course, the dirty letters.

5. I’ll write later about all the collector’s copies I had already acquired, am acquiring, and would like to acquire.

Ulysses has already given me so much—mainly a reason to get more books. The only thing better than reading is book collecting.

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