Sunday, April 03, 2011

Rebooting King's Chronicles

After almost three years of silence I am making an attempt to start blogging again. I hope this time I will keep up with it better. Some subjects for the immediate future should include:

  • HBO's adaptation of Game of Thrones
  • The Amazon Kindle
  • My experiences re-reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen

 

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Hyperion Movie

The internet is abuzz with the talk of a movie based on the first two books of Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos. At the forefront of this discussion is the proposed format for the movie. These first two books of the series, Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion, are two of my sci-fi favorite books, featuring a delicious blend of science fiction and classic literature (specifically The Canterbury Tales). Needless to say I am horrified at the thought of combining both books into one movie. To do it properly would take an effort on the scale of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies. Unfortunately, I do not think there is a large enough fan base for a movie studio to greenlight that kind of production.

As time goes by, I find myself wanting less to see my favorite science fiction books turned into movies.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Blogging Ulysses

Last year I listened to a borrowed copy of The Teaching Company's audio lecture Great Authors of the Western Literary Tradition. If you are a fan of audio books I highly recommend Teaching Company lectures. This particular lecture is quite an experience. Split into 84 half-hour lectures, it covers authors from the unknown writers of the Epic of Gilgamesh all the way up to Samuel Beckett. It took me about four months to make it through the entire series, listening in the car and during dinner.

What surprised me is that the lecture on James Joyce discussed A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man instead of Ulysses. I had always heard what a great book Ulysses was and I remembered back in 2000 that many surveys voted Ulysses as the greatest work of literature of the 20th Century. So why would this lecture about James Joyce not cover Ulysses? The final lecture in the series provided my answer. The final thesis of the lecture series was that 6000 years of western literature could be summed up in Ulysses. Through the use of various writing styles, Joyce's retelling of Homer's Odyssey represents many aspects of the history of western literature. So, the lecture on Joyce did not cover Ulysses because the entire series was really covering what went into the writing of Joyce's classic. My reaction was "Well, I guess I need to read Ulysses."

So here I am, taking on this daunting task of reading one of the most notoriously difficult books in literature. Inspired by the Blogging the Bible series at Salon.com, I decided I would blog my experience with reading Ulysses. After reading Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow several years ago I knew I would need some guide to fully appreciate Ulysses. So I went out and found some help:
  • Joyce's Ulysses - Another audio lecture from The Teaching Company
  • The Bloomsday Book - Loaned to me by my grandmother who once took a graduate level course on James Joyce
My first post following this one will be an introduction to the novel. It will provide the background of Ulysses and an overview of how it relates to Homer's Odyssey. Thereafter I will do one blog post per chapter of the book. I am very excited about both reading Ulysses and writing about it. I hope you enjoy reading what I have to say and follow along with my journey.