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:
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.
It’s that day again. And there have been so many since 1904. Well, that makes it, what? One hundred and eight years now? Molly and Leopold Bloom. Molly, Bloom and Stephen. Molly and Blazes Boylan. James and Nora. Sam and Diane.
Ulysses, the greatest novel in the English language, and perhaps the greatest novel of obsession ever written. The obsession was with the novel itself, with its possibilities, with the haunting, nagging, agonizing sense that Joyce could be at all places at one time, cubist, in his head and on the page.… |To be Continued “Happy Bloomsday 2012”
Great website for festivities this week. From the James Joyce Centre in Dublin.
Shows a listing for events all over the world. If you’re lucky enough to be in Ireland this week for the celebration, and would like your photography displayed on the web, please drop us a line, or two, or three.
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On a somewhat related note . . .
The Celtic Twilight
Was more than a dark ruse
More than a way
To craft an independence of mind
Free from English dominance
And Big Houses
And colonial rule
It was a way to remind the British
That their land had once been
A Celtic Twilight too
And that another imperial power
Had once done what it could to crush
The life out of druid and muse
In the land of Stonehenge
Eternal Rome!… |To be Continued “Pre-Bloomsday News and Notes”
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.”
Nothing was as it seemed, when Van Gogh painted it. Roiling underneath the subject, flying above it, surrounding it, were his passions, his intensity, his flights into realms most of us could only guess at, if we can match him for moral imagination, or imagination period. With Van Gogh, a rose was not a rose was not a rose.
Ray Succre writes poetry along these same lines, or conjunctions, or coincidences, with a mask or two thrown in for good measure. Surreal, meant to be heard, meant to be spoken, they sing the uncanny.
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.
The Third Policeman finds his way to At Swim-Two-Birds and lives to write about it, writes to live within it. Riding his bloody bike, he feels his molecules changing, becoming something other, something cyclical. Along the way, he meets Saint Augustine and James Joyce, both of whom are really dead, but only one of whom is an apparition.
The other is a bartender who doesn’t know about Finnegans Wake.
Well, actually, that’s only part of the story and the wrong part. The real Dalkey Archiveis nothing like the above. I like the novel, but it’s just not up to the same standard as O’Brien’s (or O’Nolan’s) best two works, The Third Policeman and At Swim-Two-Birds, which just happen to be among the very best novels of the 20th century in English.… |To be Continued “The Dalkey Archive”