Wednesday, June 16, 2004


Okay. I've managed fairly well to not be stirred by the whole 100 anniversary of Bloomsday thing, until now. The Village Voice has an inspiring article that makes me want to run out and get a copy of Ulysses and stay up all night reading it. One of the more charming paragraphs in the article is this one:

It is worth noting here that Joyce selected Bloomsday's date to commemorate the day that he and his life companion, the fantastically named Nora Barnacle ("She'll stick to him!" Joyce's father said), began their courtship. If Bloom is his author's richest creation—as well as the greatest Jewish character in world literature: more forgiving than Moses, funnier than Jesus, filthier than Portnoy--he is indicative of the Joyce who said of Nora, the wife who'd read exactly 27 pages of his book including the cover, "She saved my life."
How romantic. And Joyce's pop had a good sense of humor. I had to read Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in high school and I can't say that I got it. I didn't much like Stephen Dedalus and the book was so hard. I don't think high school students should be made to read Joyce. And so I've been scared off ever since. But now, with all the excitement, maybe, just maybe, I will give Joyce a second chance.