June 16, 1996 |
Today is Bloomsday, the day in 1904 James Joyce chose as the time of his great novel Ulysses. Although the book is a monumental literary achievement, its history is quite another story. Honoring Joyce's literary sainthood, celebrations today conjure Poldy Bloom, his yes-saying wife Molly and the misty mews of Dublin. In the most devout quarters such as Philadelphia's Rosenbach Museum & Library (owner of the Ulysses manuscripts), torchbearers will run relays of readings of the sacred text, their praise for Joyce gushing like Guinness from the taps of every pub in Dublin.
June 13, 2004 |
The language of Ulysses is its glory, but also its challenge. It ranges from the limpidly beautiful - "the heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit" - to the formidably opaque: "the like way is all hidden when we would backward see from what region of remoteness the whatness of our whoness hath fetched his whenceness. " David Butler, the education officer at Dublin's James Joyce Centre, says the book is "about how language surrounds us and conditions us . . . how we're within language.
June 15, 1995 |
Sixty Philadelphians have signed up to read excerpts from James Joyce's novel Ulysses tomorrow from the steps of the Rosenbach Museum and Library, and a lot of Irish names are on the list. Names such as Conner (Lester), Dempsey (Deborah), Dewane (Patrick), Doran (Mary), Durkan (Michael), Ginty (James), Mahaffey (Vicki), McGreal (Austin and Margaret), Ryan (Patrick), Slattery (Thomas) and Whelan (Patrick). But you don't have to be Irish to love James Joyce. Among other names on the list are: Abraham (Lynne)
June 8, 1994 |
On June 16, 1904, Leopold Bloom, a quintessentially ordinary man living in Dublin, spends the day doing quintessentially ordinary things, in James Joyce's extraordinary novel Ulysses. He feeds the cat. He makes breakfast for himself and his wife, Molly - tea and toast for her and pork kidneys for himself. He goes to the "jakes," as the Irish call the outhouse. He walks to his job as an ad canvasser. For lunch he has a Gorgonzola cheese sandwich and a glass of wine. He walks along the beach and gazes at the girls.
February 27, 1997 |
Great novels often reflect the society in which they are set, as well as offering some kind of universal commentary. We can read them as a complement to history textbooks, and, like the study of history, they can offer us valuable lessons about the life we are living now. Seventy-five years ago this month, James Joyce's huge, dense, irreverent epic, Ulysses, was published in Paris by Sylvia Beach's bookstore, Shakespeare and Company. The pricey limited edition, the radically experimental structure of the novel, and the obscenity and censorship questions the book raised made Joyce an international literary figure almost overnight.
June 17, 2015 |
Bloomsday, the literary celebration of James Joyce's modernist classic Ulysses , is held across the world every June 16. From Australia to Hungary, from the Czech Republic to Philadelphia, fans gather to read and discuss Joyce's allusive, poetical, musical, and often elusive work. The local Bloomsday event features a daylong reading of passages from the novel by more than 75 local men and women drawn from every walk of life at three locations - the steps of the Free Library of Philadelphia's Central Library, Rittenhouse Square, and the Rosenbach Museum & Library.
June 16, 1995 |
Consider this novel, urges Marian Eide, that touches on themes both wonderful - "love, chance encounters, drinking" - and terrible - "racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, adultery. " A novel that's "a celebration of the urban environment. " Could be a book about our own Philadelphia, A.D. 1995. But it's about Dublin - Dublin, Ireland, on June 16, 1904. That's the setting for James Joyce's infamous 1922 novel "Ulysses," which is celebrated this day each year by fans of literature, Irish culture, love, chance encounters and the rest.
April 26, 2014 |
Sharr White's Annapurna (simultaneously running off-Broadway) is named for a mountain in the Himalayas. But this two-character play, in a fine production by Theatre Exile that opened Thursday, takes place high up in the Rockies, in Colorado - an odd place, given the altitude, for someone who needs an oxygen tank to breathe. That's where we find Ulysses (the extraordinary Pearce Bunting), a poet, clearly dying of emphysema and lung cancer. We meet him wearing nothing but a little greasy apron under his beer belly, a stained bandage across his chest, and the oxygen tank.
June 18, 2014 |
Maya Lang's debut novel, The Sixteenth of June , is a literary bridge between the City of Brotherly Love and James Joyce's enigmatic masterpiece Ulysses . Set in Philadelphia, Lang's book follows a pair of brothers (and the younger brother's fiancée) through a single day, the Joycean holiday of Bloomsday, June 16, from their grandmother's funeral in the morning to their parents' extravagant Bloomsday fete in the evening, a perennial affair at the family's Delancey manse.
July 30, 1998 |
One reader wonders why Gone With the Wind didn't make what is rapidly becoming known as "The List. " Another asks about the omission of Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honor trilogy. Several bring up the names of Flannery O'Connor and Eudora Welty, while yet another complains that, even though he is scarcely an ignoramus or a buffoon, the very top of the list is reserved for a book he simply cannot read. So here's my dirty little secret: I can't read it, either. "It" is Ulysses, which a panel of judges laboring on behalf of the Modern Library has chosen as the greatest novel of the 20th century in the English language.