Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday lit. blogging: special Bloomsday edition

Today is June 16, the day on which James Joyce's Ulysses takes place. I wonder if anybody reads Ulysses anymore? It's a daunting read, and very time consuming to get through the whole thing, but certain parts are pure gold. It's classic modernist fun--quite different in scope and feeling and tone from Woolf's works, but still steeped in the modernist credo: describing life as it really is.

Oh, to be in Dublin downing a pint of Guiness right now...

Woodshadows floated silently by through the morning peace from the stairhead seaward where he gazed. Inshore and farther out the mirror of water whitened, spurned by lightshod hurrying feet. White breast of the dim sea. The twining stresses, two by two. A hand plucking the harpstrings, merging their twining chords. Wavewhite wedded words shimmering on the dim tide.

A cloud began to cover the sun slowly, wholly, shadowing the bay in deeper green. It lay beneath him, a bowl of bitter waters. Fergus’ song: I sang it alone in the house, holding down the long dark chords. Her door was open: she wanted to hear my music. Silent with awe and pity I went to her bedside. She was crying in her wretched bed. For those words, Stephen: love’s bitter mystery.

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