A woman named Harah comments on one of my James Joyce videos:
“twit,” she eloquently begins, “absolutely no analysis in here. do not bother.” (Capitals, or lack of them, are all her’s.)
What can I respond to that, I wonder? She’s spot on: there IS no analysis in my videos, or blogs for that matter. Where, I repeatedly ask, has all the analysis got us anyways?
On the subject of Joyce and his works there’s been upwards of a hundred years of analysis by now. But ask an academic what the book is about and good luck making head or tail of the reply. Which is actually the beauty of their analytical process: there is no end to it! No real goal either, since everything is up for debate. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
Permit me to shoehorn in a quote from just my last post which I feel is particularly apt to Harah’s beloved analysis:
“No abstract dialectics here, but a fact of living experience full of flesh and blood.”—D.T. Suzuki, Living By Zen
‘A fact of living experience full of flesh and blood.” That line perfectly describes a genuine work of art, any genuine work, such as Joyce’s Ulysses for instance, and as such defies anyone’s so called ‘analysis.’ It is to be celebrated, wondered at, even meditated upon, but never analyzed.
And for those of you who haven’t read the book, and even those who have but laboured under presuppositions or prejudices planted by academics, which incidentally includes pretty much everyone who have read it, the funny thing for me is that Joyce says precisely that IN THE BOOK! In Ulysses Joyce gives us two academics, Professor McHugh and the literary student Haines, and both in spite of being decent sorts are literal-minded analytical blockheads.
Some things just never change, I suppose.
So again, how should I respond to a comment such as Harah’s?