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Help me out /lit/, please.
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Help me out /lit/, please.

I am a STEM student from a country that has no connection to English literature, but I want to understand and enjoy the greatest works of the English canon to the fullest. The one I'm more hyped to read is Ulysses, because everyone says it is incredibly great and I loved the Iliad and the Odyssey. Even though I'm in STEM for a carreer path it is from literature that I take the most pleasure in my life and to literature that I owe the molding of my character. I would go through great effort to understand a book like Ulysses.

I have read Dubliners and travelled to Ireland for two weeks (if that helps), and enjoyed it, even though I don't get what the rave about it is (maybe because I'm not Euro). I also have read the plays from Wilde and Dorian Gray.

The question I'm getting to is this one: Since I will not be able to attend to classes about Ulysses (because of where I am), how would I go about certifying that I am completely ready to understand it and enjoy it to it's fullest? And where would I go to learn and understand more about Ulysses after I read it? Thank you.
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>>7684889
start with the greeks
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>>7684889
Read Portrait first, shakespeare, the bible and the divine comedy.
And then read ulysses and get the companion book.
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>>7684893
Already have, I'm also through the process of going through almost the entire western philosophy canon, but I can attend to classes about those and /lit/ already has loads of detailed guides with links to lectures.
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>>7684900
All of Shakespeare?
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>>7684906
Shakespeare is quick.

Remember his plays were, you know, plays. Meant to be seen in an evening.
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>>7684911
And I just need these 3 things to fully enjoy Ulysses as long as I have a companion book? People here made it look like it was harder.
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>>7684906
Ideally, but hamlet will do.
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>>7684926
He is a modernist
You will never get ALL the references, allusions and similarities
Enjoy the ride
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>>7684926
Well, you already read the illiad and the odyssey.
That said, there is a lot of nitty gritty and wordplay and just straight up irish stuff. But i'm pretty sure most of this will be explained in the companion book.
Oh and also the color schemes and shit, and i'm guessing icarus would be relevant too
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>>7684945
This desu. I don't get new readers obsession with understanding every detail and reference in the books they read, it's much more fun when you know there's a lot more to explore.
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You don't need the companion book or Portrait. You dont even need to have read the Odyssey. Just read Ulysses and then read it again.
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>>7684926
It's just English words on a paper.

Joyce was not an alien, his stuff is tough to digest but if you have the required background and read carefully.

The more books you read, the better you'll understand Joyce. He was extremely well-versed and had read nearly all the classics by the time he wrote Ulysses, meaning he had a lot of material to reference from. Besides, one of the reasons he's praised is because he deconstructed a lot of literary tropes and conventions, and you'll only be able to appreciate that if you've read enough to start to recognize the recurring formalities and habits.

But don't worry about that for now, you'll have plenty of time to re-read Ulysses later; I'm assuming you're going to do that, if you are as fascinated by good literature as you claim. Just pick it up when you feel like reading it and have fun.
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>>7685101

Disagree completely.

What is it with lazy readers and shortcuts on /lit/? You're seriously advising against reading Homer's Odyssey first?
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>>7685122
The book is so full of references that no one will ever understand all of it in one reading. If you are going to read The Odyssey then why not Hamlet, why not a million other things that help make up the book up? You have to read the book at some point, it's impossible to be completely prepared for it.
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>>7684889
Join the ride at >>7683940
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>>7684889
Simple: you don't.
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>>7686554
This. OP will have a much better time if he accepts that while some background readibgs will help, he will never get every single allusion, reference, or metaphor, and that he can just read the book for his own enjoyment and take in the beauty of joyce's prose without putting so much pressure on himself to "get it"
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>>7686554
>>7688113

Yes, you will never be completely prepared for it. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't go into *some* preparation for it.

This board, man. Wow.
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>>7684889
You should know there-Socratics, Ulysses, and Shakespeare's Troilus & Cressida....

I'm not very knowledgeable about Joyce. I could speculate, but I wouldn't be walking on solid ground there.
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I'm a little ignorant in this regard; what do Bloom and Stephen talk about before the catechism chapter?
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