Moshe Gold

Dec 2004

Prof. Gold has taught the summer version of James Joyce twice. I am not sure if he will teach it again, but I would hesitate to take this course. Prof. Gold's lectures were passable but not great until Ulysses, where he fell ridiculously behind schedule and often seemed unable to present coherent ideas, identifying small themes here and there. He barely covered chapter 6 in the second last class, but assigned our last paper on chapter 11 and our final on 12 in order to force us to get to the ending. How he could do that in good conscience continues to puzzle me to this day. Joyce is difficult to read, even more so to teach, and syllabus was basically impossibly ambitious given the compressed summer schedule. But Prof. Gold made things worse by requiring a presentation from each student. While some of the presentations were good, none (mine included) were worth the precious class time. The research assignment--summary of an academic paper on Ulysses and two evaluations of it--was supposed to help our papers but was completely useless. Prof. Gold appears somewhat abrasive, but is at base a nice guy who is always ready to help. He clearly loves Joyce and knows a lot about him, although his presentation was not always lucid. I do think his course could have been a good experience--and it was not terrible--if he did away with the frivolities and focused on delivering good lectures.