books, Wandering Rocks

Wandering Rocks


Bloomsday is coming.


Devoted readers of this blog’s comment threads will have already heard of an upcoming project known as Wandering Rocks. It is also now featured in our Blogroll.

The brainchild of a man known alternately as Eric Bescak and Jerry Grit, Wandering Rocks (why the name, you ask? Read the first post here) “could be an online reading collective that will take on James Joyce’s Ulysses on June 16th, to commemorate the single day Ulysses depicts, June 16, 1904.” This is from the About page. It continues,

Participation is open to all. Participation may involve posting an entry based on a week’s reading or it just may involve making snarky comments from the sidelines. Hasn’t been determined yet. And I’m not sure how much we’ll read per week. Ulysses’ density varies throughout. We’ll probably fly through “Nausicaa” and “Circe”, but then get slammed by “Oxen in the Sun.” We’ll take it as it goes and make the decisions in the field. 

However, the goal is clear. We will read Ulysses. And we will do it awesomely, by sharing our own insights and befuddlements on the text. We will help each other understand or we will share in confusion. Either way, it will be a blast. As high-minded and esoteric as Ulysses is, it’s all the more profane and hilarious fun.

I strongly suggest familiarizing yourself with Homer’s Odyssey before the 16th, but that’s not necessary.

This is your chance to read, enjoy, and marginally understand what is often considered THE GREATEST BOOK OF ALL TIME. This will be quite a feather in your cap, in a time when cap feathers are so very hard to come by.

Join the team by leaving a comment or something.


The prospect of reading Ulysses has long haunted us. Ben, who attended college with the esteemed Mr. Bescak, watched his friend and fellow English major (who devoted his senior thesis to Ulysses) disappear into a Joycean black hole from which he emerged only when garbed in tighty-whities at 11:05 p.m. to make cryptic gestures with his right hand indicating that he perhaps thought the TV volume in the common room a bit too loud. Then he would disappear into his room again and not be heard or seen for weeks at a time, until the next Afghan Whigs concert in Columbus and/or a James Traficant lecture.

Who knows what effect Ulysses may have on us? Aren’t we better off not knowing what we’d find in this confounding masterpiece, to say nothing of what it will find in us?

We have already spent two sleepless nights tossing and turning since hearing of this project. Here were are inflicting it on you, in the off-chance you too have always wondered what it would be like to a) feel like a self-important, critically astute English major, b) simultaneously wonder if you are not the dumbest person in the room, then c) go clinically insane parsing what everyone else says are great works of literature hoping to discover both a Great Truth and anything to justify your moldering self-regard.





10 thoughts on “Wandering Rocks

  1. Perhaps we struck the wrong tone.

    Uh, hey! You there! Yes, you! Have you thought about reading the … um … the heartwarming, inspirational tale of a talking dog who can broker Mideast peace accords and heal broken hearts? What’s that? Not possible, you say? Well then, you, dear friend, have not yet read the life-changing story of, er, Ulysses the Miracle Dog! His owner, James, wrote a wonderful tribute to him and he named it Ulysses! And we think you should read it! Doing so would be both comforting and encouraging! Go for it!

  2. hmm…..intrigued….self-proclaimed English major who has never read Ulysses.

    might try this. key word being try.

  3. I’m about half finished with “It’s Hard Out Here For A Shrimp”. I doubt that I’ll finish in time to join this. Good luck though.

  4. Whoa, Scootie T! I appreciate the snobbery, but “Ulysses” is still highly regarded by even real Joyceans. It is also a big step for anyone. Tad, Mike, and Mark should be encouraged and are welcomed into the fold. Don’t pooh-pooh, Scoot!

  5. Dear Voreblog,

    Is there a way you can allow commenters to change the size and color of text in their comment? I feel that making my comments larger and in a pretty color will really add something to the pretentious douchebaggery that goes along with reading and discussing the classics.

    Andrew Cashmere

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