Dublin today on 16th June celebrates one of its finest products, James Joyce, the author of Ulysses (first published in Paris in 1922) and for those of you who have read this great tome, you may recall that’s the day on which the story is set. Leopold Bloom is the protagonist hence the title “Bloomsday”. Anyone in Dublin today will be able to enjoy the festive atmosphere with locals donning the clothing of the time and no doubt, Guinness is being consumed in vast quantities.
I am happy to say that I have read it but only once. Joyce’s greatest fans say that it gets better with each reading. Hmmm. It kept me content on a long transatlantic flight a few years ago and some of it is a joy but other parts are harder to digest especially if you have little experience of Ireland, nevertheless well worth it and a satisfying read.
These are some of my favourite lines from Ulysses which I want to share with you:
“History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake”.
“It is a symbol of Irish art. The cracked looking glass of a servant”.
“Where are our missing twenty million of Irish should be here today instead of four, our lost tribes? And our potteries and textiles, the finest in the whole world! And our wool that was sold in Rome in the time of Juvenal and our flax and our damask from the looms of Antrim and our Limerick lace, our tanneries and our white flint glass down there by Ballybough and our Huguenot poplin that we have since Jacquard de Lyon and our woven silk and our Oxford tweeds and ivory raised point from the Carmelite convent in New Ross, nothing like it in the whole wide world.”
“Bad cess to her big face! she cried. Katey went to the range and peered with squinting eyes. – What’s in the pot? she asked. – Shirts, Maggs said. Boody cried angrily: -Crikey is there nothing or us..”
Enjoy, if it makes any sense!