Bloomsday: “One modern man’s silent uncertainty”

Great piece from Colm Toibin in the Guardian…

At the root of Joyce’s artistry is a radical uncertainty which allows multiple meanings and implications to live within his final story but none to dominate except the idea of the many mysteries at the core of things and one modern man’s silent uncertainty in the face of them.


  • galloglaigh

    ‘And then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes.’

  • Banjaxed

    Calm down, Dear…..

  • Its not justwhat he said.
    Or even how he said it.
    It is more or less the fact that he said it at all.
    Joyce the patron saint of an Irish Enlightenment, secular Ireland…..”alternative Ireland”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
    Ulysses has actually more impact in the 1930 to 1960s than it has since the 1970s. It is not as symbolic and I think I made a good choice visiting Dublin yesterday rather than today.
    A pavement blocked by Joyce scholars all listening to each other reading from a dirty book is not my idea of fun.
    And interesting that RTEs documentary on Ulysses this week featured Edna O’Brien and Frank McCourt….actually I dont recall seeing David Norris on the programme (I might have missed him at some part).

    But essentially there are three types of reaction to Ulysses/Bloomsday.
    1…actually to have read it.
    2…pretend to have read it
    3…pretend NOT to have read it……….but to actually have read it (albeit in episodes rather than start to finish).

  • andnowwhat

    I recall Stephen Fry interviewing David Norris as they rode around Dublin discussing Joyce. Now, I only got a D in physics but I’m pretty sure having that amount of pomposity in such a confined space would surely have gone nuclear.

    That said, I’m enjoying the Radio 4 thing

  • Drumlins Rock

    never read it yet, but been listening to bits on Radio 4, and some of the discussion, enjoyed the former, well most of what I heard, as for the latter, such tripe.

  • I think it was Roddy Doyle who suggested in an article that Ulysses was in serious need of proper editing. imagine what he’d think needed editing in Finnegan’s Wake. Maybe Trapattoni was inspired by Joyce, as he seems to demonstrate in his press conferences. Joyce said in justifying his last great work , that he was attempting to take the English language to the extremes of communication.

  • Mick Fealty

    One day, I’ll try to put into words why Joyce (and Bloom) have accidentally become signal figures for Slugger and the times that are in it.