Parable of the Plums

This semester I'm taking a class on James Joyce's Ulysses. It has been an amazing course so far - certainly the hardest one yet! I learn so many new and interesting things each class.

Our class is structured in a way that groups of three students are responsible for creating an in-depth guide on an individual chapter. The guide breaks the chapter down into three sections: Style (the style of the chapter - Homeric parallels, literary devices, narration, tone), Production (the history surrounding the chapter), and Reception (analysis of the chapter after its publication). Each class, with the aid of the guide, the book itself, and copies of Gilbert's and Gifford's companions, the class is able to fully understand the chapter through discussion. At the end of the discussion, the group responsible for the chapter also must create a game for the class to play.

Today we discussed the "Aeolus" chapter of the book. For those of you who are familiar with Ulysses, this photo is a representation of Nelson's pillar (the pillar in Stephen's "A Pisgah Sight of Palestine, or The Parable of the Plums"). The class had to answer questions on the chapter to advance up the steps of the pillar - the winners were rewarded with plums :)

I'm so amazed at how jampacked this book is, and I'm so glad I get to devote a semester to reading it! I still can't get over the fact that in the "Aeolus" chapter alone Joyce employs around 95 different uses of rhetoric. Wow.

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