XX. on coffee & James Joyce

Warm sunshine merrying over the sea. the nickel shavingbowl shone, forgotten, on the parapet. Why should I bring it down? Or leave it there all day, forgotten friendship?

Started reading Ulysses by James Joyce. Had to start at some point, regardless. It’s a long slog and joy ahead, but it’s been a while since I’ve struggled through any literature; I’ve been going rather easy on my brain. / Through this, even the literary complexity of my own writing has been dropping. Reading Joyce now, & skimming through writing of mine from not even eight months ago I am noticing techniques and turns of phrase that I used to use but had forgotten. / I usually avoid reading too much while I’m writing because there’s always the tendency to drift away from your own voice and lean into someone else’s, but perhaps that was a thing that I had also learnt through my formative years; maybe my voice is strong enough now to more easily resist someone else’s slipping into my work; can it stand on it’s own two feet? / I don’t know the truth in that, but I’d like to believe it. This should be easier, after all, the first time I read Joyce, — an old copy of his poetry and then Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man — I found our styles comparable, this happened also with Mervyn Peake and his Titus Groan books.

Does anyone else try to limit the amount they read when they write? / Or conversely, does anyone feel that reading another person’s writing enlightens their own, & affects it as inspiration?

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4 thoughts on “XX. on coffee & James Joyce

      1. Stressful! . . . But it’s v. impressive, & must take a lot of selfcontrol. Thank you for following my blog, & for commenting!

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