Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Happy Bloomsday


Today is Bloomsday. It's no secret if I was stranded on a desert island and could only have 5 books with me , two of them would be by James Joyce.

Bloomsday is a commemoration observed annually on 16 June in Dublin and elsewhere to celebrate the life of Irish writer James Joyce and relive the events in his novel Ulysses, all of which took place on the same day in Dublin in 1904. The name derives from Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Ulysses. 16 June was the date of Joyce's first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle, when they walked to the Dublin urban village of Ringsend.


Here is a little bit of Joyce to get you in the mood- for the day. Enjoy.


know them well who was the first person in the universe before there was anybody that made it all who ah that they dont know neither do I so there you are they might as well try to stop the sun from rising tomorrow the sun shines for you he said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head in the grey tweed suit and his straw hat the day I got him to propose to me yes first I gave him the bit of seedcake out of my mouth and it was leapyear like now yes 16 years ago my God after that long kiss I near lost my breath yes he said I was a flower of the mountain yes so we are flowers all a womans body yes that was one true thing he said in his life and the sun shines for you today yes that was why I liked him because I saw he understood or felt what a woman is and I knew I could always get round him and I gave him all the pleasure I could leading him on till he asked me to say yes and I wouldnt answer first only looked out over the sea and the sky I was thinking of so many things he didnt know of Mulvey and Mr Stanhope and Hester and father and old captain Groves and the sailors playing all birds fly and I say stoop and washing up dishes they called it on the pier and the sentry in front of the governors house with the thing round his white helmet poor devil half roasted and the Spanish girls laughing in their shawls and their tall combs and the auctions in the morning the Greeks and the jews and the Arabs and the devil knows who else from all the ends of Europe and Duke street and the fowl market all clucking outside Larby Sharons and the poor donkeys slipping half asleep and the vague fellows in the cloaks asleep in the shade on the steps and the big wheels of the carts of the bulls and the old castle thousands of years old yes and those handsome Moors all in white and turbans like kings asking you to sit down in their little bit of a shop and Ronda with the old windows of the posadas 2 glancing eyes a lattice hid for her lover to kiss the iron and the wineshops half open at night and the castanets and the night we missed the boat at Algeciras the watchman going about serene with his lamp and O that awful deepdown torrent O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and the pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where 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.


Maybe next year I can celebate it proper in Dublin

8 comments:

Ana said...

Thank you for remembering me Susan!!!!!!!!!!!
Great!!

Gianna said...

so are you saying you've actually read Ulysses?

I would say I'm impressed, but the truth is I couldn't figure out if there was really something to be impressed about or not!!

ha!

At university I was seduced by the hype and thought I should take the semester long course that concentrated on Ulysses alone...I lasted a few days...

I certainly won't deny that it may have simply all gone over my head!!

and if that is the case congrats to being WELL OVER MY HEAD...

oh, I did enjoy the Portrait of a Young Artist, though I can't say I remember any of it...but that is not unusual...I forget everything I read unless I read it repeatedly.

oh, and right now I'm so grossly cognitively impaired I simply could not read the stream of consciousness you printed here...but again...I'm not reading a lot of all sorts of things these days, stream of consciousness or no.

susan said...

@Ana, you are most welcome.

@Gianna, yep. Had I not burned out and declared bipolar during my PhD, I would have done my thesis on Ulysses. It can be a hard book to get through, every chapter but one relates to an organ in the body, every chapter relates to Homer, he fools around with the language, etc etc.

I was never a fan of Portrait. Maybe the graphic description of Stephen picking his nose did it for me.

I also loved Finnegan's Wake,but that is a hard book to describe, but if you are into Joseph Campbell, worth the time to read.

Gianna said...

I imagine you know I love Joseph Campbell?? So when I can read again...well...I've got dozens of book on the list for when I can read again...

Anonymous said...

I took a Joyce class a few years ago. I didn't care for Ulysses, but my favourite prof was teaching the course, so I had fun learning anyway.

Tailwags,
Littlewolf

susan said...

@Gianna, you like Joseph Campbell? I thought no one reads him anymore....

@Littlewolf, I am impressed you had a course in Joyce. Were you an English major too?

Gianna said...

susan have you forgotten I majored in religious studies??

no good religious studies student can go without reading The Hero with a Thousand Faces...and no one who has ever experienced psychosis should go without reading it either!!

I read him 20 years ago...in school and out...

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,

Yup! Another English major here!

Littlewolf

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