The Sea

All my life I've liked the sea.

Here's the sea now, from the boat from Provincetown coming into Boston harbor:

This line from The Tempest (1.2.149-151), when Prospero describes how they were cast adrift, captures the sea's vast, unceasing rhythm, doesn't it?

So its proximity to the sea (and guys who read) seemed to me a reason as good as any to move to Boston as I did in 1987, when I was, somewhat pretentiously, wrapped up in James Joyce's Ulysses, reading passages like this one, on page 5—well before the interminable chapters like "Nausicaa" where people understandably quit. How conveniently the sea, with its ready metaphors of navigation, sailing, and ships, can become a repository for any young guy's fuzzy aspirations—and mine, I admit, were fuzzier than most.

Chapter 3.
Stephen mopes on the strand.

For those exhausted by the real Ulysses, "Ulysses For Dummies" reduces Joyce's masterpiece to 18 captioned cartoons.

And I've reproduced here, for no apparent reason, this text from Don Gifford's heavy Ulysses Annotated distills out of the above Joycean mist numerous facts:

My house in Boston is close enough to the sea that great rifts of sea fog periodically blow through the street. So the sea visits me, and I regularly visit it. My summer jogging route, which follows an "intended" Dorchester part of Boston's Harbor Walk, winds along the shoreline for a few miles.

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