“the very style of Ulysses serves as a constant reminder of its author’s genius”

Happy Bloomsday! Pete will no doubt be along at some point with the traditional video entertainment, and I’ve a few other pieces put aside for the day that’s in it, but for now, if you are one of the permanently bewildered, here’s the Paris Review’s explaination

In particular, and sticking to an Irish political theme, I liked this bit:

The event can be stately and meticulous or raucous and chaotic—or, somehow, all of the above. A telling instance came a few years ago, when the Irish Arts Center arranged a Bloomsday picnic in New York’s Bryant Park, under the rueful shadow of the Gertrude Stein statue. (Stein disliked Joyce.)

Aspiring Broadway types were enlisted to circulate in period costume before bursting into popular songs from 1900-era Ireland. I spoke to one of the performers, a young Irish actor who had recently moved to New York. Had she read Ulysses? “I plan to,” she said, and in my memory, she adds, “I’m told it’s a grand book by them that knows.”

The kicker was when the Irish finance minister, in town for summit meetings, got up to say that his government would take as inspiration the balanced daily budget that appears in Ulysses. The problem? Leopold Bloom’s spreadsheet in Ulysses works out only because he omits the money he’s paid to Bella Cohen’s brothel. No one pointed out the irony.

Go read the whole thing


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