Beginners Course 2018

 An Introduction to James Joyce’s Ulysses:

Penetrating the ‘Impenetrable’

March 2018, precise date and location to be advised

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Monk O’Neill, an assiduous reader of James Joyce. Monk impersonated by Wayne Pearn. Photograph by Bernard Peasley.

Penetrating the ‘Impenetrable’: A Beginner’s Guide to reading James Joyce’s Ulysses

When: Saturday in March 2018 (date to be advised)

Where: to be advised

Cost: $70 (concessional rate, $50, for students and health-card holders).

Booking: Online, or by phoning Bob Glass on 03 9898 2900.

Classes will be restricted to 25 students and a waiting list will be kept and we need about 8 to make it viable. If demand warrants, a second class may be formed.

The course will be delivered by Associate Professor Frances Devlin-Glass (Ph.D., ANU), who has been the Director of Bloomsday since its inception in 1994, and who has taught Joyce at tertiary and other levels since 1980. She is a member of the College of Distinguished Deakin Educators, and the recipient of national and university teaching grants and awards. She will be assisted by expert readers and lovers of Joyce.

Course preparation:

Course 1: Curriculum
This is an intensive course conducted by Bloomsday in Melbourne for perplexed beginning readers. James Joyce’s Ulysses has an undeserved reputation for being impossibly difficult to read. Having said that, it is demanding, and is better done with a guide in the first instance. This course aims to demystify the novel, make it less formidable and intimidating, and to create enjoyment of its riches, in particular its subversive but wise comedy. The style of the course is a mix of lectures and discussion, and participants are encouraged to bring their own copies of Joyce, preferably an annotated edition (the Penguin Student’s edition, or the Oxford University Press editions are both excellent, or alternatively, if you are using an unannotated edition, you might consider purchasing Gifford and Seidman’s Ulysses Annotated, cheaply available from good bookstores and Amazon).In More Detail…..The curriculum will focus on the simpler chapters of Ulysses and has the following main components:

Session 1
12.30pm -2.30pm: The Architecture of a ‘baggy monster’ 

Joyce’s principles of organisation. Having a sense of how minutely and interestingly organised the novel is is a key strategy for understanding. Various ways of analysing its structure, some authorised by Joyce, will be undertaken.

Session 2
3.00-4.30pm: Getting up to speed on narrative techniques in Ulysses – how the novel teaches you to read it:

    • Learn about free indirect discourse and the varieties of inner monologue, stream of consciousness on offer in Ulysses
Starting with Bloom, and culminating in Molly’s great soliloquy. This will be a good introduction to Bloomsday 2017 which will range through the novel and focus on Joyce’s interest in smell, and in particular what science and the infancy of sexology were saying about the everyday matter of how we use our noses. Joyce’s take is, of course, comedic. Starting with Bloom, and culminating in Molly’s great soliloquy. 

Session 3
5.00 pm-6.30 pm: The Comedy of Joyce

Practising reading sections from the user-friendly chapters Calypso 4, Hades 6, Nausicaa 13, Penelope 18.
Having pre-read these four chapters will make the course more profitable for students.

6.30pm: Time to repair to the bar downstairs for a drink and/or a meal.

Download Beginners’ course curriculum in PDF format here.