June 15, 2004

Tomorrow is Bloomsday 100. Bloomsday. Bloomsday. Bloomsday. Bloomsday. Bloomsday. Bloomsday. Bloomsday. Bloomsday. Not that Bloomsday. ... but nothing in the UK, apparently?
  • It turns out nobody in the UK ever actually finished reading the damn thing. We're all stuck on page 46.
  • Sad sad piff has no no buddy to celeroberate wif. Sniff.
  • there's a bookstore in kansas city, missouri, where i used to live, called bloomsday books. they have a 24-hour reading of "ulysses" every june 16. me, i've never gotten past the first few pages. fie!
  • I can't decide whether to go to Bloomsday on Broadway (featuring Stephen Colbert, of all people. Doesn't that kick an unfathomable amount of ass?) or just call up a few people and drink all day long. Joyce gets me hot.
  • I mean 'this is the bookstore, I presume, SideDish', not 'this is the Joyce that gets you hot, I presume, babywannasofa'. Obviously.
  • Ulysses: not really as complex as you'd think.
  • pleg, cool! Events will include a parade of antique messenger bikes, live entertainment featuring traditional Irish singer Eddie Delahunt, the O
  • and quid, thanks for that link. Bloom spies on a pair of girls who are relaxing on the strand. He masturbates. well.
  • Bloom spies on a pair of girls who are relaxing on the strand. He masturbates. God, I feel so "Daisy Mae" for posting that.
  • Copyright issues raised by Stephen Joyce have stopped some public readings and a play performance in Dublin, and required emergency legislation to enable an exhibition to continue.
  • Ah excellent explanatory link Quid. I have read approximately one third of Ulysses. Thanks to Quid's link, I can now see that I read at least chapters 7-12. I don't remember any masturbating, but bear in mind, this was around 2 or 3 in the morning. Why did I read a middle chunk of this leviathan? Well, in college, one of my brothers went to Carleton College where, possibly to combat the boredom of the snow-covered months, had a 'marathon novel reading' every winter. A sturdy copy of some Great Novel (preferably a long one) would be procured and set up in the campus center. Generally, they tried to get those 'classics' that I believe Mark Twain described as being referenced by everyone, but read by no one. Students, teachers, and other members of the community would sign up for 20-minute slots to read as much of the book aloud in that time to an appreciative, and possibly sleep-deprived, audience. When my brother told me about this tradition, and his own experience of getting up in the middle of the night to go read "Tom Jones" for 20-minutes to some dedicated lit fans, I thought it was quite groovy--an intrinsically collegiate activity if you will. And so, when I found myself amongst a bunch of fellow freshlings at plotting English Club activities (including how to come up with a name less dorky than "English Club"), I mentioned the marathon novel reading idea. Well, the Clubbers ran with it, but being obsessed with being too-clever-by-half, they choice Ulysses. Certainly an excellent choice in the "read by few if any" category, its intractable text and dizzying dialogue were off-putting to say the least. The audience quickly waned after the first few hours. Foolishly feeling responsible for setting this Sisyphean boulder in motion (foolish 'cause _I_ didn't have any input on the choice of tome), I stepped up the plate around 1:30am and continued reading for what seemed like several hundred pages. Frighteningly, the book seemed to make sense after the first 100 pages I read or so, but I couldn't for the life of me explain it to you now. Finally, some hours later, as my voice got hoarse and my brain was suitably fried, I stumbled back to my room, handing the book to the next ad-hoc volunteer. In an interesting end to the story, I returned the following morning to see the progress. Almost all of the "We are too cool for a name like English Club" members were collapsed around the podium as if they had succumbed to a gas attack. At the center of the pile was Professor Roxy Alexander, reading the remaining chapters of the deadly book to a fresh audience. I should explain that Roxy Alexander was one of those professorial fixtures that thankfully still inhabit colleges here and there. An amazing scholar who could read and speak old and middle English, she was also a diminuative archetype of a grandmother: she was 80-something, but looked beyond time, with wizened features, a bevy of white hair tied haphazardly up in a bun, and quintessential reading glasses on a lanyard. However, when she opened her mouth, this petite, librarian form sounded like a gruff truck driver of 40, albeit an erudite one. Her voice carried every one of Joyce's words with force and nuance--and if there was sexual innuendo to be squeezed out of a sentence, she would pass on every drop to the appreciative audience, who hung on the words with rapt attention. I don't think I've ever heard Joyce sound so good. That's for triggering the memory, Plegmund. I'll definitely raise a pint for the late prof. for Bloomsday. I'm sure she's drinking and chain-smoking wherever she is in celebration. (-:
  • I don't remember any masturbating, but bear in mind, this was around 2 or 3 in the morning. Funny you should say this BG, heh heh, 'cause at 2 or 3 in the morning I'm usually Uuuhhh - nevermind :(
  • Hmm. Just yesterday I gave a two-hour lecture on Ulysses to an unfortunate group of MA students at my university (it features on their exam in early August, and they wanted some critical direction). I'm in the midst of my third official reading of Ulysses, in preparation for my prelims in a year and probably for a dissertation chapter or two in the dim years to come. Every time I read it I am struck not so much by its beauty as by its magnificence. Joyce understands and manifests the grandiose in ways we can scarcely conceptualize; there is something legitimately universal about his prose, and I hope more than one of you will pick up Ulysses on Wednesday, just to see what it sounds like. And if you want to avoid all the nasty hateful stuff that tends to turn readers off, start with the fourth chapter, Calypso. Here, I'll start it for you:
    Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the innor organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liver slices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencod's roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.
  • Another quick version from the BBC. Chapter 18: yes Molly Bloom sits awake in bed yes and remembers her youth in Gibraltar yes and her many sexual partners yes in one unbroken stream of consciousness yes and recalls the day she yes gave herself to Bloom while munching some heavily symbolic seed cake yes
  • Mm, how many unofficial readings of Ulysses have you had?
  • Bloomsday Alright, a little late...