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June 16, 2004

Posted by Teresa at 01:58 PM *

Today is Bloomsday 100. But you already knew that, right?

Comments on Bloomsday:
#1 ::: Anne ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 02:09 PM:

Even Google is celebrating!

#2 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 02:13 PM:

Yeah, I've been wishing people a happy Bloomsday all day. But I mostly get "what?" as a response.


#3 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 02:17 PM:

Historical re-enactments at the Guiness storehouse, with libations available. Definitely the way to celebrate Bloomsday.

#4 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 02:29 PM:

Wow. I've been scooped. I jumped here to post this in this open thread:

Think of it as a coolness test, Xopher.

#5 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 02:34 PM:

Good idea, Stefan. Everyone at work flunks.

#6 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 02:50 PM:

Great idea, if the idea is furthering my own perception of myself as Ye Lorde o' Uncool...

#7 ::: the Other michael ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 02:59 PM:

The last three Bloomsdays I organized a loosely organized 24-hour reading of Ulysses; I'm taking a break this year. It's marvellously relaxing, but interspersed with twinges of guilt and loss.

#8 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 03:05 PM:

I got so overexcited about Bloomsday 100 that I called my Joyce-hating mother at work to make her go look at the little James Joyce on the Google main page.

-sigh- I wish to hell I could do something with other obsessed people today.

#9 ::: Lynn ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 03:13 PM:

There are plenty of authentically Joycean ways to celebrate Bloomsday, most requiring a partner and/or beer. I plan to celebrate by performing the dangerous act for which James Joyce is most notorious. Yes, I know it has landed plenty of people in jail, although some people only start doing it when they're imprisoned. Not a few people have been killed for doing it.

I'm going to write.

#10 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 03:33 PM:

riverrunning past allpresent to a joious commodious circuit making the joyceobrianwillisian thunderclap most expressive with exhos of Swanns in Flanders field talking of hundreds as the women come and go

#12 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 03:46 PM:


Yes I say yes I know yes.

#13 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 04:05 PM:



#14 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 04:26 PM:

Ahh, Ulysses. One of the great works that I know enough about to pretend that I've actually read. Must admit that I've been sufficiently intimidated by its reputation that I've never even held a copy. Surely I can't be the only one in this boat.

Nonetheless, happy Bloomsday all.

#15 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 04:28 PM:

I'm in Larry's boat.

#16 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 04:39 PM:

Andy, me too. I'm bailing.

#17 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 04:40 PM:

Me too.

#18 ::: Nancy C. Hanger ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 04:54 PM:

Elric woke me by saying, "Do you know what day it is?"

"What's the date?" (Because I'm in production, I live in the future and never know the date.)

"June 16th. Do you know what day it is?"

"Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes."

We laughed together. I'm glad I'm married to someone who laughed in response, knowing why I said it and where the reference comes from.

#19 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 04:56 PM:

Ulysseus for Dummies:

#20 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 04:59 PM:

(What makes you think I've actually read it? We could have Bruce Pelz call for the reference director....)

#21 ::: Peg Duthie ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 05:19 PM:

My local public library lured visitors up to the Rare Book Room, where they had a supply of cotton gloves on hand for anyone who wanted to browse through their copies of the Limited Editions Club (illustrations by Matisse) and Arion Press (illustrations by Robert Motherwell) editions of Ulysses, as well as Liz Cole's project-in-progress - a pop-up version of Finnegan's Wake.

And lunch was on the house: gorgonzola-apple sandwiches, olives, salad and Banbury cakes (based on chapter 8, IIRC).

*happy Peg*

#22 ::: Toni ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 05:28 PM:

"And the all gianed in with the shoutmost shoviality. Agog and magog and the round of them agrog."
Finnegans Wake

#23 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 05:37 PM:

What's really regrettable about my not reading it is that my mother wrote her senior thesis (or something) about Joyce; she's been wallowing in all the news articles since yesterday, and I have to nod appreciatively, all the while knowing I'm a fraud.

#24 ::: Michelle Sagara ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 05:38 PM:

Maybe it was because I was a teenage girl, but when I hit the famous monologue, I pitched the book across the room in a snarly fury and never picked it up again. Many people have said I should have overlooked this obviously male portrayal of a woman, but I said "look all these -male- critics are all leaping sideways in their delight at how -realistic- this portrayal is, so I -can't-". If it helps, I liked his short stuff.

But then again, Uncool R Us (does anyone know how to get a backwards R here?)

#25 ::: jam ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 06:13 PM:

"Historical re-enactments at the Guiness storehouse"

Umm. Historically, the only thing that happened 100 years ago today was Joyce walked out with Nora Barnacle and, as far as I can tell through the euphemisms, she jerked him off. I doubt if this was re-enacted at the Guiness storehouse.

This is an odd sort of fannishness, to pretend that the events in the books (or other media) are real. Trekkies, notoriously, do so. Janeites, occasionally (I just got the JASNA AGM brochure). Joyceans, but just for Ulysses.

It's hard to see what the common factor is.

#26 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 06:47 PM:

It's been impossible to escape. It seems like I've been aware of the approach for at least a week now. I've never read Ulysses, or any other Joyce, but I like to think that someday I might.


#27 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 08:26 PM:

I've never read it, don't plan to, but I know it's Bloomsday. Hard to miss if you read periodicals at all.

Peg, I was at one of the libraries today to get Tunnel in the Sky (we've been discussing it on rasfc in opposition to Lord of the Flies), having checked the online catalog this morning to make sure it was still there. When I stopped at the desk to ask where they keep juvenile SF, she insisted on looking it up to find out. Turns out all the juvenile fiction is alpha-by-author.

#28 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2004, 08:57 AM:

Mary Kay,
It's been impossible to escape. It seems like I've been aware of the approach for at least a week now. I've never read Ulysses, or any other Joyce, but I like to think that someday I might.

Start with his short stories (Dubliners). I believe had Joyce never written anything after The Dead, he would still be as celebrated as he is for Ulysses (much as I liked it). One of the best short stories ever, IMHO.

I read also, somewhere--perhaps in one of the late John Gardner's books, that in his later years Joyce had regrets that he'd stopped writing straight fiction like his earlier stories to spend so much time on Ulysses (large swaths of which I think are clever but also empty).

For what it's worth.

#29 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2004, 11:11 AM:

I've only managed to get about three chapters in to Ulysses. One day though, I shall finish it.

#30 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2004, 11:16 AM:

My ambition is to read Finnegan's Wake someday. I'm warming up to that task by learning to read Middle Egyptian Hieroglyphics.

#31 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2004, 12:10 PM:

Missed the day. Rats. But here's another cool Bloomsday reference:

(FWIW I've taken four honest runs at Ulysses and never gotten more than halfway through. Someday I shall try again, when I don't have to deal with kids and work and hobbies and ... :-D

#32 ::: Seth Ellis ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2004, 01:57 PM:

I was made able to read Ulysses by reading the Borges essay in which he admits that not only has he never read Ulysses all the way through, he doesn't think it's possible, or at least desirable. It's one of the things he admired about the book. Being Borges, he got a lot of good stuff out of it about reading the book as wandering in a city, the nature of narrative and the character of the reader, and so forth. If it's okay by Borges, it's okay by me; so I read part of it.

Elsewhere, Borges said he couldn't imagine a reader of Finnegan's Wake in the same way that he couldn't imagine the fourth dimension; he understood it was theoretically possible, but he couldn't conceive of what such a thing might be like.

#33 ::: Henry Wessells ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2004, 02:51 PM:

I was reading at KGB yesterday evening and thought to make a science-fiction nod to JJ, and so recited James Blish's "A Prayer for James Joyce" (1970):

Poolybacky, soofleshing dimily o'er whalepath, kenning our nighsride to ashehrnities, grant him his day our mournfille newmare; typette us not in darkling kittifishies; and lave us lightly ni ogs annirate; not lent ere curite this airiwohning crepusquus.  Gull his travails swiftly to wrist; he connicht alpemore.  Wiss brunt offliction.  Yrs navely, Apselorse (his chronic exegete).  Uhmn.

It helps to pronounce the W as V in a couple of spots.

#34 ::: Smoot ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2004, 01:09 AM:

Remembering a New Yorker Cartoon...
Child being read a bedtime story:
"Daddy? Could you please read the part where he dreams of life outside of Dublin, again?"

#35 ::: plover ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2004, 01:17 AM:

Recircleround withall and to alewheelcoomb.
Hopinhand carrolling exstaltation - affictions liveloren pricklitness. All down!
Wakering blowsy scentyear ion. Hale Viconteur!

#36 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2004, 09:32 AM:

Didn't Blish use Joyce's invented language from Finnegan's Wake in "Spock Must Die!" when Uhura needed an unbreakable code? I seem to remember a discussion of the origin of the word "quark".

#37 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2004, 11:29 AM:
Didn't Blish use Joyce's invented language from Finnegan's Wake in "Spock Must Die!" when Uhura needed an unbreakable code? I seem to remember a discussion of the origin of the word "quark".
Yes, he did. Apparently Uhura was an expert in it, and there were other experts floating around Starfleet, as they got a response in the same language (of course Starfleet Academy's strength in the liberal arts is well-known).
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