A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 1

Lanzababy - Guide Editor

Or, have you ever taken part in this annual event?

Although I was never in Dublin on June 16th, I did spend a day following the route of the book, Ulysses.

If anyone is interested, BBC radio4 is broadcasting dramatised episodes from Joyce's book all day today. (BBC radio is available worldwide.)

This link takes you to the overall page about the event: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01jl7l9


Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 2

hygienicdispenser

No. I have, however, just started re-reading the book for the first time in nearly 30 years. His punctuation is terrible smiley - tongueincheek


Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 3

Lanzababy - Guide Editor

smiley - biggrin Indeed! smiley - laugh


Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 4

paulh. The lost isle of Arborvilla A87842460

I hadn't heard anything about Bloomsday.


Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 5

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

smiley - smiley
Did you google it yet paulh?
Quite frankly I'm surprised (not shocked merely surprised)
that a librarian in an intelligent and literate town like Boston
could get by all those years and have never heard of it.
James Joyce and all that?
smiley - bigeyes
Oh right, James Joyce...
hmm... he may have been banned in Boston.
smiley - cheers
~jwf~


Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 6

paulh. The lost isle of Arborvilla A87842460

Get off your soapbox, jwf.smiley - winkeye

I worked in the town that hosts the James Joyce Ramble. I even sang at it a few times. I simply chose not to read Joyce's "Ulysses" because I felt sorry for the man at having lost his eyesight while writing it. The larger issue was stream-of-consciousness, which Joyce shared with the likes of Virginia Woolf [whom I did enjoy reading]. It seemed to be very distracting and even tedious. Throw that together with the great length of "Ulysses," and I would project a very, very long time spent reading the book.

I thought "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" was kind of silly.

If I had a sudden urge to read classics I hadn't gotten to yet, I would head for those of my own country.

Have you ever read "The Manticore"? I think that's something of a classic in your country. smiley - winkeye


Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 7

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

smiley - ponysmiley - footprints

I said I was surprised not shocked. No one can be
expected to know everything and if you have sung the
Jamble then you're a better man than I.
smiley - oj

And I agree with you about Joyce's magnus opuses
except the Portrait which I found quite the only one I
could read and thoroughly enjoy. Yes, it is youthful and
boisterous and full of hormonal angst but that of course
is the point in painting a Young Man.

Y'see, as a filthy agnostic who could only get into a Jesuit
founded University I found inspiration in his rebellion and
rejection of all things Roman and his celebration of the
pagan virtues (like appreciating a nice bit of pale virgin
thigh) a role model for my own hitherto restrained animus.
That and folk music. (Especially electric folk music.)
smiley - cool

As for the Manticore, no, but I was in the wholesale
and retail book business for several years and learned
how to judge a book, especially a 'Canadian' book, by
its cover. Judging the cover to be grandiose and somewhat
overblown (as many good books must to attract the attention
they might deserve) I did manage to look up Manticore to see
if there might be some deep meaning that might be found
interesting. But since it means 'man-eater' I decided not
to bother with it.

As I said in the opening sentence one can't be expected
to know everything and there has to be some accounting
for taste.

smiley - cheers
~jwf~


Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 8

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

smiley - bigeyes
And another thing...
smiley - winkeye
My understanding is that most Boston Irish,
like the Kennedys, are of the Catholic faith.

That's why I thought perhaps Joyce the Great
Iconoclast of the Church might well have been
banned. Glad to see they allow a pagan wastrel
to get a bit of an old sing-song-along the way.
He deserves no less and no more I'm sure.
smiley - goodluck

smiley - cheers
~jwf~


Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 9

paulh. The lost isle of Arborvilla A87842460

I think I got overextended at times when I was in the library business. When someone I had never heard of won the Nobel Prize for Literature, I would dutiful try to read one of the author's books, and find myself in way over my head. There was a book by a Chinese author -- I think it was about the search for someplace called Heart Mountain (though not the Gretel Ehrlich one) -- that so baffled me that I had to give up a quarter of the way through it. I rested a little easier when Seamus Heaney won the Nobel. It was about that time when he came out with his translation of "Beowulf." It seemed odd to see "Beowulf" on the New York Times Bestseller List, but Heaney's translation was actually fun to read.

I ran a book discussion group for two decades, and managed to read about half the books on the "100 Greatest Books of the 20th Century" lists. That means that I didn't get to the other half. What can you do?smiley - winkeye



Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 10

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

smiley - simpost

One can but laugh.
That's all one can ever do.

smiley - laugh
~jwf~


Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 11

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

smiley - bigeyes
Say podner, there's an good idea for new ASK.

Find a good '100 Best Books of the 20th Century' list
and ask people how many they've read. I would guess
I might have read a dozen, maybe twenty, but never
half.
smiley - ok
By posting a link to such a list, preferably one
with a Mid-Atlantic balance, one can ASK people
to count how many they've read and they can post
a number from 0 to 100 without having to refer to
any specific titles (unless they wish to advocate
or object to some on the list - which could make
for some interesting Tropic Drift).
smiley - island

smiley - pggb
~jwf~


Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 12

paulh. The lost isle of Arborvilla A87842460

I've seen several different lists. On one of them I had read 60 titles. On another I had read about 45. In some cases, I had the movie versions of some of them if I hadn't read the actual books. Since the time I checked on the lists, I have read "To Kill a Mockingbird," which was on just about every list. As time goes by, I might pick up a few more.


Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 13

GregPius

Getting to read that many opus epics may be a lifetime effort. The trouble is it is a bit like painting the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The moment you finish you have to do it all over again. I reread books that blew me away when I was twenty, only to find that they bored me when I was in my fifties. Tastes change but so do readers. James Joyce wrote for his time and his city of Dublin. Having recently spent a week in Dublin, I wonder if Joyce could reach the present youth in that city. They have no future in the land of their fathers, all their years of study amount to nothing when they apply for a job and they watch as their friends descend into depression. How do you reach such a generation? Dublin may be the city of great writers but it will take the greatest writer of all time to reach the soul of modern Dublin. Celebrating anything in Dublin today will require the tights of many virgins. where are the Vikings when you need some perspective? smiley - erm


Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 14

paulh. The lost isle of Arborvilla A87842460

Has the Irish economic miracle lost its steam, then?


Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 15

GregPius

As with most things all that is left is the steam. Ireland is one depressed country. Its economy is in a depression. Just like the Great Depression, the only answer is to remove the young workers from the country. Not by a war, as in 1939, but by immigration. The luck of the Irish is all bad at the moment....just don't mention the European Football Cup.smiley - erm


Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 16

paulh. The lost isle of Arborvilla A87842460

Some years ago, I read that it was hard to get good nurses at the hospitals in Boston, Massachusetts. The one bright spot was that nurses from Ireland were willing [and apparently happy] to come over and work here.

Boston has a very large population of people whose ancestors came over from Ireland. I some who came over from Ireland themselves. I just feel bad that Ireland's economy didn't stay good.


Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 17

Lanzababy - Guide Editor

oh what a pity this thread got sidetracked. smiley - sadface

I was hoping for a few answers from people who actually did enjoy walking around Dublin in the footsteps of Bloom.

Never mind.


Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 18

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

smiley - ok

Many years ago, on one the auspicious anniversaries
like the 50th or 75th of Joyce's Birth or Death or
the publication of the book.. whatever.. the CBC
did a marathon reading of the day described. It all
played out in real time as it does in the book and
lasted for a full day of broadcasting.

I was younger then of course and keen to expand my
education and knowledge of the whirled, especially
the famed literary works, and I tried very hard to
listen. Whether it was my lack of understanding of
all the local references and dialects or just my
youthful energies demanding other outlets that day
I can't recall. But I did not listen to much of it, try though
I did several times to tune in to it with the result that I
have always considered it too parochial and dated for
my tastes. Or maybe it was the overall atmosphere of
literary pretentiousness in the production or just bad
and actors and readers...
Perhaps now I can give the book another try.

smiley - goodluck
~jwf~


Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 19

Lanzababy - Guide Editor

I must admit the book is 'weird' smiley - weird to read, without drawing breath for the real world to intrude.

You can listen again to this latest event, follow the links in the opening post to a full schedule. I think you have seven days from the day the broadcast was first made.


smiley - zensmiley - island


Do you celebrate Bloomsday?

Post 20

paulh. The lost isle of Arborvilla A87842460

I'm sorry about my part in contributing to topic drift. smiley - sadface


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