Ulysses, Wilde, and a Theory of Literary Compression

“He looked at the cattle, blurred in silver heat. Silvered powdered olive trees. Quiet long days: pruning ripening. Olives are packed in jars, eh? I have a few left from Andrews… A cloud began to cover the sun wholly slowly wholly. Grey. Far. No, not like that. A barren land, bare waste. Vulcanic lake, the dead… Continue reading Ulysses, Wilde, and a Theory of Literary Compression

Intro to Cargocult

In the Second World War, Allied troops airdropped massive amounts of food, weaponry, and supplies onto the Melanesian islands as part of their island-hopping campaign in the Pacific. To the islanders, isolated from industrialization, the wealth and abundance of these drops were interpreted within a mystical, quasi-religious framework. When the war ended, and the airlifts dwindled… Continue reading Intro to Cargocult

Predicting Joyce’s “Calypso”

Mr. Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. So begins the fourth chapter of Ulysses. “Calypso” is one of the more straightforward episodes of the novel, but here we'll look at the way the opening line maintains its own ambiguity throughout the chapter's opening pages. The suspended ambiguity is initiated in the… Continue reading Predicting Joyce’s “Calypso”