Thursday, May 1, 2014

Reading Period 33: April 30 - May 6: James Joyce and Virginia Woolf


1. Textbook: 837-850. (Virginia Woolf bio, Excerpt from "A Room of One's Own," James Joyce bio, "Araby," Excerpt from "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.")
2. Take a look at this annotated e-version of Finnegan's Wake, and read as much as you can bear to read. At least two pages.
3. Read Virginia Woolf's suicide note on Wikisource.
4. Take a look at Ulysses online. Using your browser's "Find" function, find the phrase "He went out through the backdoor into the garden." Read from this point to where the bells toll. Then read the last huge paragraph.


Art Connection:

Create a floor plan for a house to suit a family of artists, writers, musicians and poets. Give each fictional member of your family their own creative space, and access to common areas. Would the ideal house for artists have separate buildings for everyone? Or is a separate room enough? Name each family member and depict them using the space you define for them in your sketch.

History Connection:

Using this article from the American Library Association as a jumping off place, learn more about banned books. James Joyce's Ulysses has been widely banned in America and the UK. Given what you know about banned books, and relating your points to the sections of the novel that you read for this week, create a balanced short essay giving the pros and cons of banning this particular novel.

Writing Connection:

Write your own nonsense stream-of-consciousness in the style of Joyce's Finnegan's Wake. Have fun with it, and see if you can turn out 250 words that makes sense to you, read as a whole, even if certain words sound completely bonkers.


1. What advantages enjoyed by Shakespeare would have been denied to his sister, if he had had one?
2. Why does Woolf agree with the bishop that no woman in Shakespeare's day could have had his genius?
3. According to Woolf, how did the repressed genius of women show itself?
4. What does Woolf believe would have happened to a highly gifted girl in Shakespeare's time?
5. Why is Mangan's sister unable to go to the bazaar?
6. Why is it important for the narrator to go to the bazaar?
7. Why is he delayed?
8. What does he find when he arrives at the bazaar?
9. What happens in the section of Ulysses that begins with "He went out through the back door into the garden"?
10. What happens in the last paragraph of Ulysses?
BONUS: Give 10 examples of made-up words from Finnegan's Wake and guess what meaning Joyce might have intended.
BONUS +1: Using your Google Fu, figure out what person Virginia Woolf was addressing in her suicide note, and the circumstances of her death.

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