Sixteenth today it is, thinks Leopold Bloom, and the 16th it was, in June 1904
So tomorrow is Bloomsday. Not that I’ve read the great book –Ulysses incase you didn’t know – but mutantspace skills exchange has been involved in running a Bloomsday event in Cork for the past 3 years for those aficionados that can’t get enough of Leopold Bloom and his meanderings through Dublin on June 16th, 1904.
I must admit that I did start reading it at one stage – my one year old daughter gave it to me as a Fathers Day present (she’s very clever for her age) – but I never made any headway. I was too lazy. Couldn’t be bothered quite frankly. Ever since then it has leaned up dispiritedly against my more popular books on the shelf, looking all forlorn, unloved and untouched. I don’t blame it. I’d be pissed off too. I just can’t bring myself to do it, to get involved with it, seems an enormous effort, a mountain to climb. And I have no time.
Having said all that, my co-conspirator tomorrow evening is a Joycean freak. I think it’s all he reads, or just about, either way it’s weird, what would possess someone to marry such a tome of a book? At some point a few years ago I asked him how many times he had read it and he spat out a number, I can’t remember which, but it was probably something like 6 or 7. It’s probably 9 or 10 now. I must ask him, it’s surely something ridiculous. “No no, no, no” he always insists, “See everytime you read it you get something else out of it, it’s so layered, so deep…” yeah whatever.
I’m never going to read the damned book. Well, I might consider it if I was lying on a desert island with no one to talk to, nothing to listen too, couldn’t swim and had no alcohol, drugs or hope of salvation from a passing ship. Yeah, I’m definitely in the “I’ve never read it” category. However I kinda would like to be like in the “I have read it” category… sometimes. They have a strong bond, those people, those Joyceans, it’s like a Masonic lodge except they wear Edwardian clothes, drink wine and eat fried kidneys and Gorgonzola cheese. My kind of thing (the wine and cheese and dressing up – not too fond of kidneys to be honest)
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