Bloomsday 2013

It’s that time of year again. Ulysses awakens from its slumber to be read out loud by millions of people around the world. Sometimes, they even get through the entire novel.

Something by Joyce apropos of something:

James Joyce, by Jacques-Emile Blanche. 1935

Beauty, the splendour of truth, is a gracious presence when the imagination contemplates intensely the truth of its own being or the visible world, and the spirit which proceeds out of truth and beauty is the holy spirit of joy. These are realities and these alone give and sustain life.

— James Joyce

I think of Molly saying Yes, and Nietzsche saying Yes, and know they aren’t exactly talking about the same things.…

Happy Bloomsday 2011!!

 It’s that time of the year again. Toast one or two or three for old Jimmy and Nora. Toast one or two or three for the streets of Dublin he saw with uncanny focus from Trieste. And toast one or two or three for Blind Homer, who inspired him and gave the world of fiction its great and everlasting journey.

“As we, or mother Dana, weave and unweave our bodies, Stephen said, from day to day, their molecules shuttled to and fro, so does the artist weave and unweave his image.”

— Ch. 9: Scylla and Charybdis

“I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.”

Tabhair póg dom, is Éireannach mé

The Cliffs of Moher, in County Clare, Ireland.

It’s that day again. Another year, another Guinness or two or three. I wonder sometimes what old Saint Patty would make of his holiday being used for fun and frivolity, and more than a little bit of liquid spirits. Did he drink in his monastery, or out and about in his walks across Ireland? Possibly so. He may have needed more than a little help, chasing away all of those snakes and demons. And it may have helped him explain to the Irish how the concept of the Trinity was like the Irish Shamrock, as he did on occasion.…

Bloomsday 2009

Another year past, and we’re here again. June 16th. Bloomsday. The day to celebrate James Joyce’s book about a day in the life in 1904 that was kinda important to him.

It points back in time to Homer, back in time to various modes of English, back in time to that day in 1904, and ahead in time for thousands of scholars who have labored to understand it and its myriad sources.

Ulysses was meant to be read aloud, so we can chew on each word. It was meant to be heard, so we can sing with each paragraph. Listen to each sentence, carefully, so we can dance inside our ears.…

The Ginger Man

Trinity College, Dublin


One of my favorite novels of all time or any time is The Ginger Man, by J. P. Donleavy. It’s the story of Sebastian Dangerfield and his wild days and ways in Dublin, taking classes at Trinity, whoring and drinking and pawning everything in sight to afford the drink and the whoring, avoiding his tenacious landlord and the authorities in general, in general putting the g in rogue and fighting all that is holy and stiflingly good. It’s easily one of the most unforgettable novels in the English language, with Dangerfield being one of its most memorable characters.…

Happy Bloomsday!!

The Poolbeg Lighthouse, Ringsend, Dublin.

 It’s June 16th, 1904. James Joyce walks with Nora Barnacle, his future wife, out on their first date. They walk together in Dublin, Ireland. More specifically, to Ringsend. He would later immortalize this day in the book, Ulysses, perhaps the greatest novel in the English language. As he celebrated his first date by writing that book, we celebrate him every year on June 16th.

In the novel, Molly Bloom is married to Leopold Bloom, the everyman of Ulysses. The Odysseus of the book. Molly was based on Nora. And Penelope. Leopold was also based on Italo Svevo, the author of The Confessions of Zeno.…

Quick Update . . .


Some new works to peruse: Rick Diguette’s amusing display of evolutionary erudition, plus new Poetry from Tony Jones and Alessio Zanelli.

Will be gearing up shortly for Bloom’s Day on the 16th, taking our readers as close as we can to Dublin, Ireland, without actually blogging from Dublin. James Joyce being one of the patron saints of this journal, whether he knows that or not . . . .

As always, please feel free to comment on any or all of the postings on tap.



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