Quarter of ten.

Today is Bloomsday. A big day for James Joyce in Dublin. The thought of Ulysses takes me back to being a student in fall 1989. We had class in a room of Fenton Hall, on the first floor. It was the gray building next to Gilbert, the business school. At least two other students in the class were snobbish dilettantes, and one of them I knew as a coworker. At the beginning of the term I sat next to her, but later I sat farther back with a very nice blonde girl from Georgia. As the term advanced, I got a day behind on the readings, so I heard the lectures prior to reading the assignments. Backwards. But reading Ulysses was such an aesthetically beautiful experience. I identified particularly with Stephen’s loss of his mother, even though my own mom was still alive. Joyce kept echoing the idea of “love’s bitter mystery” in reference to Stephen’s mom, and said it was a “pain that was not yet love.” Very poignant and sad, and it set the tone for me for that whole term. Yet there was a great deal of humor in Ulysses too, and a lot of it was through the use of puns. “When I makes tea I makes tea, and when I makes water I makes water.”

So today is Bloomsday. Blow the dust off your copy of anything James Joyce and take a moment to appreciate his life and work.


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