Monday, June 16, 2008
James Joyce's novel Ulysses takes place today, 104 years ago, that is, June 16th, 1904.
The novel, considered by many literary critics to be one of the greatest books ever written, describes in florid detail a single day in the life Leopold Bloom, his wife Molly and Stephen Dedalus, a young would-be-writer -- a character based on Joyce himself. Bloom, a Jewish advertising salesman, spends the day wandering through the streets and offices, pubs and brothels of 1904 Dublin.
Today, all over the world, people will read Ulysses--silently and aloud, singly and in groups, to commemorate the day. I suppose we could all do worse today than to take thirty seconds and read the opening lines:
"STATELY, PLUMP BUCK MULLIGAN CAME FROM THE STAIRHEAD, bearing a bowl of
lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown,
ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him by the mild morning air. He
held the bowl aloft and intoned:
--INTROIBO AD ALTARE DEI." (I will go to the alter of God.)
It couldn't hurt. And it might scare the crap out of the account people.
Posted by George Tannenbaum at 7:25 AM