I’ve Been Remiss: 100 Years Later

While 2022 has not ended yet, I probably should have addressed this sooner: a century has past since the publication of Ulysses, by James Joyce, and The Waste Land, by T.S. Eliot. Celebrations and retrospectives of both, along with a wide range of other masterpieces from 1922, have proliferated this year, especially in the West. But I’d feel, well, at least a tinge of regret if I didn’t toss in my own two cents, and a link or two on the subject.

James Joyce in Paris, with friend and patron Sylvia Beach. Bettmann/Getty Images

Critical assessments, of course, evolve, and cultural eras seem to lose their appearance of unity as time goes on.…

Happy Bloomsday 2021!

It’s that wonderful time of year again, when we celebrate James Joyce’s masterpiece, Ulysses, and Leopold Bloom’s long day’s journey home to Molly Bloom.

An excellent source for the above, from the James Joyce Center:

here

Kate Bush based the title tract of The Sensual World (1989) on Molly Bloom’s “Yes” soliloquy. The video adds dance to this. Kate as Molly, as herself, as every woman, as every human “touched” by the luminous, the unrepressed, the truly free.

“The Sensual World”

 At its best, Art focuses, expands, energizes the mind, as it highlights the complexities driving us to explore the inside-out.…

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 2012

County Clare, Ireland, 2003. Photo by Douglas Pinson

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.…

Pre-Bloomsday News and Notes

 
Great website for festivities this week. From the James Joyce Center (here) 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
And spirit

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!…

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.”

Happy Bloomsday! Plus New Poetry

Sunflowers. By Vincent Van Gogh. 1888

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.

Spinozablue presents two of his poems below.…

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.…

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