Happy Bloomsday! Turn off your wifi and read some Joyce. ‹ Literary Hub

Jonny Diamond

June 16, 2023, 10:00am

Welcome to a new century of Bloomsdays (long may they run). As James Joyces masterpiece, Ulysses, turns 101, let us take a moment to honor one of the great works of literature ever produced, set on this day in Dublin, 1904. If youre reading this, you probably dont need my particular exegesis on the sublime vulgarity of Joyces impossibly wonderful account of a day in the life of Leopold Bloom but you might be interested in some of the following:



Ulysses: Good or Bad?
21 Famous Writers and One Famous Psychoanalyst Weigh In

FOR:Ulysses, of course, is a divine work of art and will live on despite the academic nonentities who turn it into a collection of symbols or Greek myths. Vladimir Nabokov

AGAINST:In spite of its very numerous qualities . . . Ulysses is one of the dullest books ever written, and one of the least significant. Aldous Huxley

How to ReadUlysses by the Numbers
Breaking Down a Surprisingly Revealing Technique

The numbers, both alone and together, can speak. The possibility of a message hidden within them requires that someone is there who can identify, decode, and interpret.

Ulysses Illustration by Eduardo Arroyo

Eduardo Arroyos Dreamy, Abstract Illustrations ofUlysses
A Sneak Peek at a New Edition of James Joyces Classic

In the late 1980s, Eduardo Arroyo suffered a serious illness that made him fear for his life. His recovery took a long time. More than once, he declared that what helped him overcome this ordeal was to work on the illustrations for JoycesUlysses.

The Man in the Macintosh: One of Literatures Great Mysteries
Investigating One ofUlysses’ Shady Characters

Now who is that lankylooking galoot over there in the macintosh? Now who is he Id like to know? Now, Id give a trifle to know who he is. Always someone turns up you never dreamt of.

sylvia beach and joyce

Listen to the first ever recording of James Joyce reading fromUlysses.

The recording was an ordeal for Joyce, and the first attempt was a failure. We went back and began again, and I think the Ulyssesrecord is a wonderful performance. I never hear it without being deeply moved.

James Joyces Dublin, a Microcosm of the World
The Streets inUlyssesAre the Streets of the Everyman

The pub is warm and beery. Grog glassesdrained, foam stainedscatter sticky veneer. Red-wine lips, hoppy breath, a slurry of slurring; laughter like gunfire, craic-ing off the wood panels, mirror walls and ranks of whiskey bottles. Bar talk is of theology and adultery, literature and death, soap and sausages. Everything and nothing, discussed or daydreamed over a quick cheese sandwich. A nothing old day. But the stuff of lifeinfinitesimal yet essentialall the same . . .

burn ulysses

The 50 Best One-Star Amazon Reviews of James JoycesUlysses
Or: the Ballad of Leatherbags Reynolds

Leatherbags loves Joyce. AndGoethe! On the other hand, Leatherbagshates Pynchon. Leatherbags is an enigma. Leatherbags is a hero.

James Joyce with Nora Barnacle

James Joyce: Genius, Jerk
Tim Parks on the Man Behind the Books

It was always Joyces way to have others understand that he was the more important.

Ulysses: A History in Covers
The Many Lives of a High-Modern Classic

What Virginia Woolf once decried as the illiterate, underbred bookof a self-taught working man is now regarded as the exemplar of high modernism. In the process of arriving at this lofty cultural position,Ulysseshas endured many slights, inhabited many forms, and worn many, many covers.

dublin bloomsday

Its Bloomsday All Over the World!
On June 16th, Everywhere You Go is a Small Corner of Joyce’s Dublin

Did James JoycesUlyssestake place merely in Joyces imagination, or did any of it actually happen at all? Perhaps that sounds like a silly question, but its one that you can disappear down the rabbit hole trying to answer. Did the people who appear in the authors landmark modernist novel actually exist? The answer: perhaps. Or, to put it another way: yes. Or another: no.

James Joyce, Sylvia Beach

When James Joyce Met Sylvia Beach
On the Chance Encounter That Changed Literature Forever

Hed stroll out of the house just as Nora was about to serve lunch because he was oblivious to the time. Look at him now! she complained to Beach. Leeching on the bed and scribbling away! She wished he could have been something other than a writer. Sylvia Beach could not agree.

Fighting to Save the Real-Life Pharmacy from James JoycesUlysses
Ally Findley on the Historical Importance of Sweny’s Pharmacy, Which May Soon Vanish

In the fifth episode ofUlysses, The Lotus Eaters, Leopold Bloom stops in to Swenys Pharmacy for some face cream for his wife Molly, and, after a sniff, adds a bar of lemon soap to his purchase. In Blooms observation, chemists rarely moveand Swenys, opposite the Lincoln Place end of Trinity College Dublin and around the corner from the birthplace of Oscar Wilde, proves this.

Who will buy the 80,000 watch from James JoycesUlysses?

Big news for fans of James Joyce, or of time: the pocket watch worn by John OConnell in James JoycesUlyssesis going up for auction at Bonhams on November 4th. The 18-carat gold watch and chain could fetch 80,000. Bonhamsdescribed the watchas a tangible item from the pages of one of the most famous books of modern times.

If Consciousness Isnt a Stream, How Do We Represent It?
How Literature Reflects our Changing Understanding of Consciousness

What is consciousness? For literary studies the most influential framework has been William Jamess stream of consciousness. Consciousness, he wrote, from our natal day, is of a teeming multiplicity of objects and relations [ . . . ]. Such words as chain or train do not describe it fitly as it presents itself in the first instance. It is nothing jointed; it flows.

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