Bloomsday

Joyce UlyssesHappy Bloomsday, the annual fete that draws thousands of celebrants who want a brush with the literary but have no intention of reading the book. Too bad: it’s challenging, to be sure, but also canny about human nature, politically charged, occasionally profound, and quite funny. I’m fairly certain it is the first book to connect sexual climax with exploding fireworks, at least in English, since no other work had dared to show the former, much less connect it to the latter. No, I’ll not;  you’ll have to find it on your own. You needn’t read the whole book. You can’t, all on this or any other June 16. But give it a look. Read a few pages and let yourself hear the music of the language. At the very least, trot over to YouTube and seek out a reading of Molly Bloom’s soliloquy. I recommend either the audio version by the great Siobhan McKenna or the video with equally fabulous Angeline Ball (of The Commitments, no less), who finds all the sexiness of that monologue. That’s shi-VON, by the way, just like it’s spelled.

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