Monday, 18 June 2012


Saturday was Bloomsday, the day in 1904 on which Leopold Bloom walks around Dublin in James Joyce's novel Ulysses (the title is an allusion to the wanderings of the Greek hero Odysseus as he attempts to return to his kingdom of Ithaca after the Trojan War).

Along with War and Peace, I'd guess Ulysses is the novel that most people know about but have never read. I must admit that while I've read A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Dubliners, I've never made it past the first couple of chapters of Ulysses. I've wandered around the same streets in Dublin as Leopold Bloom and drank in some of the pubs he pops into. I've even read the opening chapter on a touch screen console in the National Library of Ireland which was a bit surreal given you couldn't read the book in Ireland for decades (an exhibit in the Dublin Writers' Museum points out that, unlike in the United States, Ulysses was never banned by the Irish government but rather the Catholic bishops advised booksellers not to stock it, which amounted to the same thing).

I really must have another go at reading it.

No comments:

Post a Comment