Happy Bloomsday everyone! This day in 1904 is the day described in detail in James Joyce's epic novel, Ulysses, and on this Bloomsday I have chosen to begin my quest to read it; ideally before next Bloomsday (hey, I just thought of something -- maybe I could spend next Bloomsday in Dublin! But I digress ....). I plan to read a little bit every day and each Wednesday write about my progress here: a) To prove to you that I am actually reading it; and b) to encourage others to read along with me.
So the edition I am reading says that its the complete and unabridged text "as corrected and reset in 1961". One problem though: it is not annotated, so I am going to be using the web (and other readers) to help me along.
Ready? Let's go!
Today I did dip my feet into the novel and made it to page 23. It is morning, at a tower on the sea-side of Dublin; and Buck Mulligan and Stephen Dedalus are preparing breakfast. It sounds to me like it's some kind of monastery - they describe a tower - but I can't be sure. They are joined by an Englishman, known only as Haines, and after breakfast the men all go down to the sea to bathe. Not much, really, but I am already enjoying the way Joyce uses witty dialogue (though sometimes it is difficult to tell who is speaking) and his descriptions of the sea-coast are quite lovely:
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.We'll see how the day progresses .......