19 February 2007

While we’re on the subject…

Last week I talked about Beethoven and his persistence, a man who wrote undeniably one of the greatest symphonies ever (his Ninth) when deaf. This past weekend, I watched (again) Funny Girl, the musical based on the Broadway star, Fanny Brice. In a time when producers chose girls based on long legs and mirror, mirror on the wall faces, Fanny Brice had a definite disadvantage. But she had talent. When they needed a chorus girl, she tried out to be a chorus girl, though she clutzed around stage tripping the other girls. She worked hard, pursued her craft, and eventually proved her talent (with which she more than made up for her, um, looks). She won over the crowd that thought they preferred just another pretty face, and instead of bowing down to the great Mr. Ziegfeld, Mr. Ziegfeld waited on her.

I'm the greatest star
I am by far but no one knows it!
That's why I was born
I blow my horn
Till someone blows it
I'll light up like a light
Right up like a light
I'll flicker, then flare up, ah, ah!
All the world's gonna stare up
Looking down you'll never see me
Try the sky 'cause that'll be me!
I can make them cry
I can make them sigh
Some day they'll clamor for my drama
Have you guessed yet, who's the best yet?
If you ain't I'll tell you one more time
You bet yer last dime
In all of the world so far
I am the greatest, greatest star!

Side thought that has nothing to do with Fanny: I began Ulysses last night. Got through the first two chapters. Really, this was written in 1922? Because I’ve read books from that time before and even preceding times, and I’m completely lost. I might have caught about 15% of what is going on. Anyone know any good helps?


amyanne said...

I know the book is about a 24 hour period of time in Dublin--June 16, 1904. Everything in it actually took place, the people/places are actual. So I suppose if you do some research on Dublin, June 16th 1904, the book will make more sense. Maybe. I also, know that he uses something like over 20 styles of writing: stream-of-consciousness, parody, letters, interviews. There are also several similarities/parallels to Homer's Odyssey. I tried to read it once and decided I just couldn't be bothered. :) So good luck and let me know how you like it.

Heather said...

update: i'm feeling much better about the ulysses thing. looked up some things online (and thanks, amyanne for the helps). apparently, what i had gotten out of it thus far is in line.
maybe it won't be so hard after all.

Christianne said...

The only things I know about Ulysses are what I learned from reading Chaim Potok's The Chosen. That book made it clear that Ulysses is one hard read -- and perhaps a little, um, odd -- which made me take the same line as Amyann: I can't be bothered. I prefer to ENJOY, SINK IN, and actually GET the books I'm reading, not work hard to be snubbed by a writer who doesn't want me to get him in the first place. At least, that's the impression I got from Potok about Joyce. For whatever that's worth, which may not be much since it's third or fourth or fifth-hand information. :)

Willowtree said...

Just another bloated Irish literary offering. I'll confess I haven't read it, but I've read enough Irish crap to steer clear of it.

Pamela said...

I was talking about Beethoven just today.
How I saw a made for TV Movie when I was young. In the movie he was already deaf... and was out walking with a blind boy.
He saw a bird - and asked the blind boy if he could hear it sing. The blind boy answered that he could. And they were both happy.

And I still remember thinking... Wha??? The guy is deaf, how did he know what the kids said.

And the other thing I know about Beethoven is that he came home and found his wife packing.'
"What are you doing?" he asks.
"I'm leaving you," she replied.
"You CAN'T leave me! he exclaimed.
You are my insiration.''

She looked at him put her hands on her hips and said,
"Inspiration? HA.. HA...HA...HA."

(OKAY, it's not the same if I can't tell it in person. You have to do first four notes of his 5th to get the gist.)

Pamela said...

obviously I don't know anything about Ulysses. I think I picked it up in high school and sat it on my library chair because I was too short to be comfy at the table.

L.L. Barkat said...


find a different book.

Heather said...

I put down books all the time when I don't like them, but I'm being stubborn with this one. Here's what I decided: what I get, I get. What I don't, oh, well. Some of the sentences are nonsensical (I'll chalk it up to "stream of consciousness"). But I'm following enough. Although I doubt this will become one of those life changing reads.
Pam, your B. antecdote made me laugh! How did he hear the boy, indeed!

Jennifer said...

Oh--you could do what I did with Ulysess. . . I didn't read it. I don't think I could.

I've never seen Funny Girl. Might be about time, eh?