Ulysses Reading Group Meeting – Sunday 20 January 2019

We start the New Year with a meeting of the Reading Group on Sunday 20th of January at 7pm in the New Headingley Club.

We take up the story of HCE in Finnegans Wake, Book I, chapter 2, page 33 line 14:
A baser meaning has been read into these characters…, in which we meet a cad with a pipe and maybe learn of goings on in the park.

The definitive account of the source for the Glues, the Gravys, the Northeasts, the Ankers and the Earwickers of Sidlesham in the Hundred of Manhood can be found here.


Ulysses Reading Group Meeting – Sunday 16 December 2018

The next meeting of the Ulysses Reading Group is on Sunday 16th of December, 2018. We meet in the New Headingley Club at 7pm.

We are starting a new chapter in Finnegans Wake, from page 30. It begins – Now (to forebare for ever solittle of Iris Trees and Lili O’Ranigans).

The reference is to Iris Tree who was a poet and actress as well as a favourite model of many famous artists at the beginning of the 20th century. You can download a collection of her poetry here.

Ulysses Reading Group Meeting – Sunday 4th November 2018

We set the date for the next meeting as the 4th of November, at the New Headingley Club, for 7pm.

We are continuing our reading (to the end?) of Anna Livia Plurabelle, starting at page 214, line 7. Ussa, Ulla, we’re umbas all.

James Joyce – Songs and Readings

Here is “James Joyce’s Playlist” on iPlayer. https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/play/b01jpptd

Joyce reading the end of Anna Livia Plurabelle recorded in 1929 (FW pages 213-216).

Or, if you prefer, this version.

He also recorded an excerpt from the Aeolus episode of Ulysses. https://youtu.be/ZhW0TrzWGmI

Joyce also composed. Here is the “Ballad of Persse O’Relly” from Finnegans Wake (FW pages 44-47).

Ulysses Reading Group Meeting – Sunday 16 September 2018

Having skipped August, the next meeting of the Ulysses Reading Group is on Sunday 16th of September, 2018.  We meet in the New Headingley Club at 7pm.

Last time we read a list of presents for various personages and take up the story of Finnegans Wake from page 212, line 20. My colonial, wardha bagful!

Rollright Stones

Early in Finnegans Wake we have references to megaliths and stone circles. Page 5, line 30 has “rolls-rights, carhacks, stonengens, kisstvanes”. These are glossed as the Rollright Stones; Carnac – the site of more than 10,000 Neolithic standing stones or menhirs; Stonehenge; and kistvaen – a box-shaped stone tomb or burial chamber.

Joyce visited Stonehenge in 1931, the year of his marriage to Nora Barnacle. There is no evidence of a visit to the Rollright Stones.

The location of the Rollright Stones is often stated as Chipping Norton on the Oxfordshire/Warwickshire border. More precisely they sit between Great Rollright to the east and Little Rollright to the west on the road joining the A3400 and the A44. They consist of a standing stone or King Stone, the King’s Men stone circle, and a group of stones, the remains of a dolmen, called The Whispering Knights.

The ages of the structures range from 3,800BC to 1,500BC. The stones are of limestone collected from the local area, shaped and pitted by the weather. The King Stone has also suffered from visitors hacking off pieces as souvenirs.

Of interest to readers of Finnegans Wake are the stories and legends attached to the site and which have given the names to the stones.

It is said that a King and his army were marching across the Cotswolds when they were accosted by a witch.

Seven long strides thou shalt take, says she
And if Long Compton thou canst see,
King of England thou shalt be!

The king took seven steps forward but rising ground blocked his view of Long Compton in the valley and the witch cackled:

As Long Compton thou canst not see,
King of England thou shalt not be!
Rise up stick and stand still stone,
For King of England thou shalt be none;
Thou and thy men hoar stones shall be,
And I myself an elder tree!

Persons becoming stones and trees is a recurrent motif in the Wake, the best known example being the washerwomen in Anna Livia Plurabelle.


King Stone


Whispering Knights


Stone Circle

Ulysses Reading Group Meeting – Sunday 8 July 2018

We decided on Sunday the 8th of July for the next meeting at the New Headingley Club, 7pm.

We start again with Finnegans Wake from page 209 line 18:
Well, arundgirond in a waveney lyne aringarouma she pattered and swung and sidled, dribbling her boulder through narrowa mosses.