Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bloomsday 2015

It is Bloomsday. James Joyce’s novel Ulysses (1922) begins on June 16, 1904, and ends in the early hours of the following day. Here is a passage from “The Oxen of the Sun,” the novel’s fourteenth episode. The setting is a maternity hospital, where a Mrs. Purefoy is in labor, and where Stephen Dedalus and medical-student friends carouse. In Joyce’s schema for Ulysses, the technic of “The Oxen of the Sun” is “embryonic development”: the episode is written in shifting styles that chronicle the development of English prose, ending in parody, slang, slurred speech, and the language of an American revival preacher: “The Deity ain’t no nickel dime bumshow.” It is getting late (“Keep a watch on the clock”), and Stephen Dedalus and company are very drunk:

[From the Modern Library edition (1961).]

Other Bloomsday posts
2007 (The first page)
2008 (“Love’s Old Sweet Song”)
2009 (Marilyn Monroe reading Ulysses)
2010 (Leopold Bloom, “water lover”)
2011 (“[T]he creature cocoa”)
2012 (Plumtree’s Potted Meat)
2013, 2013 (Bloom and fatherhood)
2014 (Bloom, Stephen, their respective ages)

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