Jump to content

Polly Parrot

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Polly Parrot

  1. On 3/2/2019 at 7:11 AM, Athena said:


    I can't say I know much about this author, and I'm Dutch and live in the Netherlands. Shows what I've missed! I have a book on writing, by Ilja Pfeijffer, I tried reading it a few years ago but found it a bit narcissistic too so I put it down again. Maybe I'll get back to it some day. I don't think I'd much like Grand Hotel Europa based on your thoughts on it so far. I hope it gets better for you and that you enjoy your other reads :). That's a lot of books to read at the same time! It would confuse me, but I am always in awe of people who can easily read a few books at a time.


    I'm struggling with it, reading little bits of it every so often but it's not exactly gripping me. So far, the narcissism doesn't get any better.


    I've now finished the McCall Smith book and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man


    Started a new book as well: The Bothy by Trevor Mark Thomas, it's very dark but I'm liking it a lot.

    My new audiobook is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, it'll be short and trippy. I also have The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy lined up on audio but not quite ready for that yet, maybe next week.


    I haven't finished Lucia yet, not because I don't like it, it's just not the easiest book to read and can get a little uncomfortable at times.

  2. Not entirely sure what to go for if you haven't got a go-to genre. Are you looking for short stories specifically or also novellas? Either can be quick to read and easy to fit into a long day of work. 


    Try the short stories by Saki if you're looking for something easy to read and (mostly) light-hearted.


    I've recently read Cassandra Parkins' New World Fairy Tales which is a collection of re-imagined fairy tales though not quite as rosy as the originals, I had fun trying to figure out which fairy tale was the basis of each story.


    Simon Kinch's Two Sketches of Disjointed Happiness not a short story, more of a novella, it's a quick read and easy to fit in between work.

    Guy Ware's The Fat of Fed Beasts is, well, very different. Avoid if not a fan of cursing. I loved its weirdness. 


    O and because I think everyone should read James Joyce, read Dubliners. 

  3. I had to read A Passage to India at some point for uni, thoroughly disliked it. 


    I'm now reading several books as I've never have been one for sticking with just one book at a time, I prefer to have several which are suitable depending on my mood or where I am.


    I've got Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man on audiobook for my bus trips have read it before but now have Colin Farrell in my ears doing the reaing for me which is pleasant.


    I've also read a good bit into Ilja Pfeijffer's Grand Hotel Europa which is a Dutch book written from a first person perspective, the person haing the same name as the author but I really hope for the author's sake he isn't quite as narcissisticly inclined. It's gotten rave reviews in a lot of Dutch papers which I can only partly understand as it's about half very lofty and exuberant prose and a lot of very crude sex scenes which are quite off-putting to be frank. It reminds me a little of the film "The Grand Budapest Hotel."


    At some point I also started reading the however-manieth instalment of the Number 1 Ladies' Detective by Alexander McCall Smith which is very light-hearted and more of a bed-time sort of book.


    Lastly, I'm reading Alex Pheby's Lucia which is (very) loosely based on the life of James Joyce's daughter, Lucia. It's not an easy read and has a few rather disturbing aspects to it I think.

  4. 9 hours ago, Hayley said:

    Hi Polly, welcome to the forum! 


    Do you have any particular favourite authors (other than Joyce :) )?


    Not in particular to be honest. I enjoyed reading Virginia Woolf's works, Mrs Dalloway in particular. I've recently read two novels by Guy Ware which were both excellent (Reconciliation and The Fat of Fed Beasts).

    I like to think I read a little bit of everything.


    6 hours ago, Angury said:

    A PhD on Finnegan's Wake! That sounds like a great conversation starter. :P 


    Do you find you're still able to enjoy reading works which you are also studying? (Just curious as I did very badly in English Literature!)


    Anyway, welcome to the forum - I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


    Conversation starter and ender depending on the audience, I get a lot of blank stares. I suppose that comes with this level of nerdiness. 


    I still enjoy reading, yes, though sometimes I can get a little carried away when a passage in a book which I'm not reading for my research reminds me of it. With the Joyce books themselves: at the moment I read them for research more than anything, so when reading them I tend to go into the allusions a little too much I think. Maybe some time will help remedy that.

    I've just got A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man on audiiobook though and have managed to just listen to it without overthinking things.

  5. Hi! I've been looking for a new book forum to join and this seems like a nice and active place. That and I saw a thread on Ulysses when first browsing the forum.

    About me: I'm currently researching James Joyce's Finnegans Wake as part of a Ph.D. Aside from my Joyce-related reading I don't really have one specific genre I stick to and tend to read a little bit of everything. I enjoy the odd crime novel but when I have the time for it I also like reading the classics and am currently debating whether or not to give Proust another go.

  6. Quote
    9 hours ago, Angury said:

    I was hoping to bring this fascinating discussion back to life.


    I have had my eye on Ulysses for a while now but I am in two minds; should I try and read Ulysses 'on my own' or with a companion guide?


    I've heard that Ulysses is best enjoyed reading aloud and taking in the prose. But I'm also aware it's a book I will stumble over and having a companion guide as back up might be helpful.


    Any thoughts?


    Aloud and in an Irish accent seems to be the way if going down that route.


    Personally, the first time I read Ulysses I didn't use a guide as I wanted to form my own opinion first of all without being guided by someone else's interpretation. I did use guide books on subsequent readings.


    As to which guide you'd be looking to use wholly depends on how much time you want to spend analysing allusions made throughout.Stuart Gilbert's James Joyce's Ulysses is useful and as an added bonus is written by a personal friend of Joyce, under his guidance. A more general guide is Harry Blamire's The New Bloomsday Book which gives neat summaries of each chapter. If you're looking to go on a Joycean treasure hunt, try Ulysses Annotated by Don Gifford & Robert J Seidman or Weldon Thornton's Allusions in Ulysses: An Annoted List: An Annotated List.