Happy Bloomsday

Today in 1904 Dublin, James Joyce and Nora Barnacle went on their first date. Joyce celebrated the occasion with an iconic novel that everyone has heard of, and most people haven’t read. Which is a shame because James Joyce’s Ulysses is only occasionally difficult – the rest is a cracking read. Even the challenging bits can be negotiated by simply going with the flow of the language. Our minds supply multiple meanings if we let language have its wicked way.

My good deed on this happy day is to post RTE’s ‘unabridged audiobook’, weighing in at at 9 hours and 33 minutes. I just started re-reading the novel, so I’m wary of the audiobook in case it preempts the picture I get from reading the text. I’ll read first and listen later.

I hope you enjoy the audiobook, realising there’s nothing to fear except fear itself. And heaping handfuls of glorious language to enjoy.

4 thoughts on “Happy Bloomsday

  1. Thank you! Joyce’s masterpiece is so much more accessible in audio format. At a long-ago Bloomsday I was a surprise hit by memorising and reciting Molly’s soliloquy from the wonderful Naxos audiobook (Irish accent and all!), and in doing so I discovered the sheer exuberance of the writing. It’s the length that defeats me. I’m not a stayer so I find the book is better appreciated in excerpts than to plough through the whole thing in one go. But at least I’m enjoying it. And you’re right, lose the fear!

    • Molly’s soliloquy!? I am hugely impressed, and would love to have been there. I’m listening to the audiobook in chunks, after reading the text, just to let my imagination have its way with how the characters sound. Have you moved yet? I do hope you’re still writing.

      • Not writing but enjoying time away from my computer and devices. We’ll be moving soon and may even be in your neck of the woods next year, visiting friends. Are you up for coffee? Tea?

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