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Manny Rayner's book reviews

I love reviewing books - have been doing it at Goodreads, but considering moving here.

Currently reading

The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution
Richard Dawkins
R in Action
Robert Kabacoff
Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies
Douglas R. Hofstadter
McGee on Food and Cooking: An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture
Harold McGee
Epistemic Dimensions of Personhood
Simon Evnine
Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Information Science and Statistics)
Christopher M. Bishop
Relativity, Thermodynamics and Cosmology
Richard C. Tolman
The Cambridge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition
Julia Herschensohn, Martha Young-Scholten

The Bloomsday Book : A Guide through Joyce's Ulysses

The Bloomsday Book : A Guide through Joyce's Ulysses - Harry Blamires You may also want to read my review of Ulysses


The Prophets is a short chapter that appeared in the first draft of Ulysses, but was removed at an early stage. Evidently, Joyce was dissatisfied with it. The somewhat tenuous Homeric basis derives from a conversation between Odysseus and the Pantheon; Odysseus asks what posterity will think of him, and is sharply rebuked.

The structure is recognisable as a precursor to the one later used, substantially modified, in the Circe episode. Joyce abandons Dublin and moves the action to a futuristic Geneva, where the unnamed Reviewer walks through the city with his Girlfriend (tentatively identified by various critics with Athena, Oriane de Guermantes and Dante's Beatrice), arguing about different views of Ulysses.

The rest of this review is in my book If Research Were Romance and Other Implausible Conjectures