I must admit that I have not made it all the way through the book myself. And I find myself at odds with Joyce when I consider what it takes to create a great and lasting work. He says about this particular literary work, "I've put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that's the only way of insuring one's immortality." The very existence of this blog illustrates the degree to which I disagree with this notion that the only way to keep a viewer or reader interacting with a work of art or literature is to make it difficult to understand. I am not opposed to some mystery, but the idea of intentionally turning a situation into a problem does not appeal to me.
I recently did a search for artists who create images using text, and I came across an artist named Jamie Poole in the UK who primarily paints landscapes but who has also created a few portraits using bits of text. As the viewer will see, Poole's technique is both similar and different from mine. (The following explication is from Poole's website: http://jamie-poole.com/)
"The things that make people who they are come from their experiences of the world around them and the people they meet. For Sophie, the sitter in this portrait, English literature has been a great passion. The verses of a specially selected collection of poems have been carefully dissected and layered on the support of this painting to create her portrait. The text meanders and flows around the curves of her features and is embedded deep in her eyes creating an intricate mosaic surface. The tales in the typography have become entwined within her image and are part of Sophie’s identity.The creation of this work has been an intimate meditation and contemplation of the sitter. Jamie Poole has created a portrait that brings him closer to his subject. The narratives that are collaged create bonds between his practice through the process and the relationship of the artist to his sitter. As text is layered the words, lines and phrases are repeated and embedded into the work creating a unifying physicality."
I will close today with some words of wisdom from Marilyn Monroe, who says, "Fear is stupid. So are regrets."