My written exams (part I of my college’s unnecessarily strenuous honors program) are finally over. I have oral exams left, which entail one-on-one sessions with experts brought in from other colleges and universities; but those don’t start until next Thursday, and for now I’m going to celebrate with some light-hearted tributes to my finally-over classes.
First up is Modern Comparative Literature. A good chunk of the class centered around James Joyce’s Ulysses, the mother of all modern epics. Robert Berry has made a pretty brilliant comic strip version of Ulysses, called Ulysses “Seen”. It’s not spectacular in any way that can compare to the original, but just in the sense that converting such a text to the visual in any comprehendible way is pretty incredible. Berry is posting the comic serially online, as an homage to the novel’s original publication serially in The Little Review. So far, only “Telemachus” is up online. Here are some selections:
I love Buck Mulligan’s pot belly. I think Berry really got Mulligan’s appearance right; Stephen, I’m not so sure about. The interpretation of the plot is a little simplistic, and the narration of Stephen’s consciousness with images of his mom is a little cheesy. But I love the little touches and nods to the text, like the publishing name “Throwaway Horse, LLC.”
I’ll close with another comic reference to Joyce; if you’ve ever read any of his love letters to his wife Nora you’ll get it:
Personally, I find the letters more hilarious than traumatizing, but that’s just me. Let’s just say that Joyce didn’t keep his “cloacal obsession” out of the bedroom.