Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Happy Bloom's Day!

James Joyce in the summer of 1904

It's June 16th and time for Leopold Bloom to take his annual walk through Dublin. Like most people who've tried to read Ulysees, I couldn't finish it. It was too dense. But, I do enjoy it. I especially liked the ladies lining up to climb to the top of Nelson's Pillar, where all that repressed Victorian sexuality is finally allowed free reign, if only in the imagination. I really liked a routine conversation between Stephen Daedalus and the Headmaster of the school where he teaches turned into a reflection on the whole long history of Anglo-Irish conflict.
Joyce is commemorated in plaques and statues all over Dublin now. For decades, he was the city's Invisible and Unmentionable Son. Now, you can take Ulysees tours around the city the same way you can take Dante tours around Florence.

Here are the Pogues in 1984 singing a punk version of an old pub song that Joyce cerainly knew (and we could imagine Leopold Bloom singing, though not quite like this).

For those of you who can't understand brogue shouted at you by young men banging tambourines on their heads, here are the words.

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