So Basically, James Joyce Was a Whore.

Recently had what felt like the 564th lecture on James Joyce. What else can I say except screaming internally. Entire generations of scholar’s have grown up to kiss that guy’s spectral ass, singing hymns of praise over Ulysses and Dubliners, mostly because no one ever actually finished Finnigan’s Wake.

And even in the new century, the rightfully deceased Joyce still holds sway over the not-so-peaceable land of literature. He and Yeats are the mighty two towers of Irish literature by which any other author will and shall be measured!

I have problems with this. Number one, his writing is… not that good. It’s mostly rambling about… actually, it’s not about anything, stuff just seems to happen to the protagonist, peppered with Bible quotes and Classical mythology to keep a semblance of interest, and no amount of scholarly research will tell me otherwise, nothing will make this nonsense suddenly worthy of my precious, precious time. Number two, Joyce was the mighty slut before the lord. Don’t you know I am a lady of quality! I shall not indulge in this debased filth! No wonder the future generations consist of degenerates delighting in depraved debauchery if the impeccable institutes of learning make them read masturbatory memoirs of sluts and whores!

Seriously though, he was slutting it up.

Like most Men Who Do Great Things, Joyce’s success depended on someone else doing his laundry, cooking his meals and, dunno, paying all his bills. So in Things Wikipedia Never Told You News: Joyce took the classical route and got hold of numerous patrons, or sponsors. Who were all wealthy. And… female. Basically, he kept finding new sugar mommas.

I guess this also kinda explains why it took him thirty years and two or three children to finally marry his wife. I mean, she wasn’t rich. Far from it, actually. So, you know. He just kept shakin’ what his mama gave him. In the general direction of heaving bosoms with well-filled wallets.

I know, you are saying, “But, but, but! Should we not judge an author by his literary merits? Did not most creative heads in history live a life against all social acceptability? Is it not the rejection of morals-of-the-time put in place by the-powers-that-be that fill the mind with prose? Is it not a truth universally acknowledged that a great mind must needs be unmolested by the day-to-day drudgery as well as pesky norms? Can and should you really judge this literary giant by his social life?”

Yes. Yes, we should.

Now, there’s technically nothing wrong with being a whore for the sake of literature, and no one will disagree with me on that (and if you do, the door of this private prose bordello is over there, get out). Technically, there’s nothing wrong with being a whore, period. But I mean, come on. Can you imagine if James Joyce had been Jane Joyce? Would we still be reading Penelope today or would scholars be more interested in examining Jane’s relationships with her ‘sponsors’? Chances are, we wouldn’t be reading any of her work. Jane would also have never been able to write a masturbation scene in Penelope (which, admittedly, was censored for long years, but wouldn’t you know it, came back) or a visit to a brothel with her as the customer and still have her book published. Never in a million years, or at the very least not in 1922. James Joyce, however? 800 pages of Notes From A Boner, also known as Ulysses in case the joke wasn’t clear. Oh, so you masturbate to a woman on the beach? Okay. Why? Oh, so you don’t like the fact that your wife is having an affair, or you assume she has an affair, but you’ve no problem going to a brothel on what seems to be the regular? Okay. Why? So you and your friend/son substitute/potential gay mate are pissing in the backyard even though it’s been established in the early chapters that you own a perfectly good outhouse? Okay. Why? Did the outhouse fall over somewhere off screen, or…?

Also, what the hell kinda drugs are you on with your frequent hallucinations?

I just wonder how this book became such a classic. No, actually I don’t wonder. It was obviously risqué and daring for the time because it was a complete attention grab, and the fact that it was so difficult to get it published, and that it was censored so heavily and indeed put on the index for years in some countries made for great publicity. Then some of the chronic onanists who got a hold of it, actually made it through the 800 pages, and liked it somehow became scholars of literature and the rest, much like the life of James Joyce, is history.

And now there are people meandering through Dublin, wide-eyed and delirious as if someone had dropped a copy of Finnegan’s Wake on their heads, every June 16. Wonder if they also visit the brothel, though.

There are two kinds of people. Those that have read Ulysses and those that haven’t and those who gave up halfway through, and those who have problems with numbers. And then there’s those weirdos who have to bite their fist so as not to yell “‘TIS PITY HE’S A WHORE!” through a lecture hall.

Not that I ever did that or anything.

Bah, sick of Joyce. Let’s talk about Yeats. Wanna hear a Yeats joke? Why was Yeats sad? Because his Maud was Gonne! Ba-dum-TSS!

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Rant Day! Things That Had Me Going Round the Bend, Sep 5-12

Item 1: I don’t understand construction workers, like they just randomly fuck off for a week, then come back to start hammering at 50 minute intervals between 7 and 11 a.m. What. Are. You Doing?!

Item 2: So a potential supervisor for my thesis blew me off and now I have to find another candidate, but because uni doesn’t start until October no one can be fucking reached. This dealt a critical blow to my motivation, so I think I’ll just abandon all research for the moment and binge watch Elementary.

Item 3: I watched so much Doctor Who over the last few months I’m starting to feel surfeited by it, so now I have to go on a Doctor Who break and binge watch Elementary.

Item 4: I just found out Sleeping Beauty is Boyfriend’s favourite Disney princess and I find his lack of taste disturbing. Like why, that bitch was just lying around for an hour while four fairies were fucking around with her fate and three of them dealt the useless prince some epics! Cheaters!

Item 5: Boyfriend still hasn’t discovered the cats.

Item 6: I got another compliment… I think. Is it a compliment when the parcel delivery guy tells you you are becoming ever more slimmer? I mean, I guess it’s a compliment, so I waved it off with an “Nah, I’m just wearing ever larger sweaters” and proceeded to overthink, so I had to binge watch Elementary to calm myself.

Item 7: Because I’m still waiting for a call back for that job interview I had my life is at a standstill. I can’t sign up for courses or anything until I hear from them because if they do hire me I’ll be busy every afternoon and I have to plan around that and arrrgh! Just tell me already!

Item 8: So after spending half the week in a virtual coma, somehow on Friday night 1:30 a.m. I was suddenly feeling awake, alert, and ready to be productive. Trouble is, what kind of productive activity can you do at 1:30 a.m. that won’t wake the entire house? I settled on cleaning the bathroom. Yep. What the hell, brain? Couldn’t we just binge watch Elementary?

Item 9: I feel like I’m getting a cold. Yep, it’s officially autumn. We’re also expecting 28°C on Monday.

Item 10: Tampons cost too damn much. Why can’t I get them for free? I didn’t choose the uterus life, the uterus life chose me!

Item 10.1.: Yes, middle-aged woman, I am in the drug store buying tampons. Just tampons. I’m not hiding them in between other items because I literally only need tampons. Stop giving me the judgy stare or I’ll judge you on your choice of hair dye and body lotion. Also, old man, stop looking embarrassed. You’re buying ten bottles of the same shampoo. Yes, I counted. I can think of a very good reason to buy tampons. I can’t think of a very good reason to buy ten bottles of the same shampoo that’s not even on sale. Do you have a horse tucked away somewhere that needs a wash?

Item 11: Am I on my period? Are you really asking me that? I started my day by waking up in a pool of blood, is that how you want me to end yours?

In not-so-complainy news: I’m celebrating my period anniversary this week… by having my period. Do you know how rarely this happens and how beautiful it is when it finally syncs up with the date? I also realised I could hypothetically also be the mother of a teenager had I gotten pregnant at eleven. This thought is scary.

…what do you mean, that’s weird? Who doesn’t celebrate their period anniversary?

P.s.: Did you know that in order to get rid of the uterine lining during your period your body produces more testosterone and progesterone? That means during those days your hormonal make-up is as close to that of a man as it’s ever going to get naturally. By implication, this means of course a man’s hormonal make-up is like he’s on a super hulk period 24/7. Stuff to think about next time you catch a man crying over a sports game! (Give him a snickers and tell him he’s pretty.)