Tag Archives: James Joyce

➤ If it’s June 16, it’s Bloomsday in Dublin, again

➢ From 09:10 BST, Saturday June 16 … ending at midnight
Radio 4’s day-long real-time dramatisation of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses begins with Stephen Rea narrating and Mark Lawson commentating live from Dublin — “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan” calls Stephen Dedalus to the top of the Martello tower overlooking Dublin Bay, and so begins James Joyce’s celebrated account of June 16, 1904.

Bloomsday , Dublin, James Joyce , Leopold Bloom

Bloomsday in Dublin: walks, recreations of Ulysses and dramatic readings celebrate Leopold Bloom’s odyssey through the city on a single day in 1904

➢ Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the defining novel of modernism, James Joyce’s Ulysses, in Radio 4’s In Our Time, June 14

➢ 1904, The day Nora made a man of Joyce — background to Bloomsday

James Joyce, Nora Barnacle

Joyce and Nora in later years … Ulysses ends with Molly Bloom’s words: “I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes”


➤ INDEX of posts for June 2011

Boy George, 50th birthday,Jon Moss, Barbara Moss,

That Man in the Middle: George O’Dowd at his 50th birthday party with former Culture Club drummer and father of three children, Jon Moss and his wife Barbara. © Dave Benett/Getty

➢ Jarvis takes his lyrics to Eliot’s publisher Faber — video interview with Pulp’s songwriter

➢ Too cool to crow — Paradise Point just happen to be gigging in Hyde Park before Grace and Pulp top the bill

➢ Lest we forget: man has changed his ways since Peter Wyngarde cracked the sickest joke on vinyl

➢ Irrational, Professor Cox! Discussing science in a tent at Glastonbury?

➢ Martin Kemp’s Stalker gets autumn DVD release

➢ Will the magical blasts from the past follow St Martin’s out of Soho? Plus — Pulp’s finest hour at the art school’s farewell party

➢ Heaven 17 remind us how electronic music can send the soul soaring!

➢ The Blitz Kids WATN? No 28: Stephen Linard, fashion designer

➢ Hot days, cool nights, as Blue Rondo join the new Brits changing the pop charts — first glimpse of the crazy seven-piece as the 1981 charts fill with the new British pop

Pepsi DeMacque, Shirlie Holliman, Pepsi & Shirlie, then and now,Here & Now, tour

Back on tour: Pepsi & Shirlie in 1987, and this year photographed by Shirlie Kemp’s daughter, Harleymoon

➢ When Shirl asked Peps if she fancied an arena tour, Peps said to Shirl, Why not? — TV interview

➢ EPIC forecasts for the 2015 media landscape loom closer than we think

➢ Aside from the freaks, George, who else came to your 50th birthday party?

➢ One million people think Charlie really is SoCoolLike — meet  the UK’s most popular YouTuber

➢ 1904, The day Nora made a man of Joyce — Bloomsday celebrated

➢ Boy George hits the big Five-0 and he now says, yes, he has ‘lots of regrets’

Paradise Point, Run In Circles , video, Cameron Jones,pop music

Cameron Jones: Paradise Point vocalist

➢ Hear about the many lives of Midge Ure, the Mr Nice of pop — This Is Your Life, 2001

➢ Wise-cracking Sallon shimmies back onto London’s party scene — Boy George’s best friend recovers after assault

➢ Mix your own version of Bowie’s Golden Years with a new iPhone app

➢ 2010, Lady Gaga ousts Lily Allen as UK’s most played artist

➢ Martin Rushent is dead — friends pay tribute to the man who made stars of the Human League and shaped the sound of 80s electro-pop

➢ What happens when retromania exhausts our pop past — Simon Reynolds on our compulsion to relive and reconsume pop history

➢ Up close and cool — Paradise Point’s first official video wins Boy George’s approval

Farewell St Martin’s, Pulp, Jarvis Cocker,University of the Arts, CSM,

Pulp playing at St Martin’s: Jarvis Cocker bids farewell to his old art school at the best party for years. Grabbed from gstogdon’s YouTube video


1904 ➤ The day Nora made a man of Joyce

James Joyce Tower, Martello, Sandycove

Bloomsday celebrations: James Joyce Tower and Museum is a Martello tower in Sandycove near Dublin. Joyce’s stay here is said to have inspired the opening of his novel Ulysses

❚ “THE GREATEST ENGLISH PROSE STYLIST”, Irish-born James Joyce, met his partner for life Nora Barnacle “sauntering” along a Dublin street on June 10, 1904. The chance encounter is described in Finnegans Wake:

If he’s plane she’s purty, if he’s fane, she’s flirty, with her auburnt streams, and her coy cajoleries, and her dabblin drolleries, for to rouse his rudderup, or to drench his dreams

James Joyce , Nora Barnacle

James Joyce and Nora Barnacle in 1904, the year they met

In those days, romantics young and old didn’t “date”. He asked if he could meet her again and on the chosen day she blew him out, so he sent her a note and then they agreed to take a walk.

On the evening of June 16 Nora, a 20-year-old chambermaid, and James, the 22-year-old writer, went walking to the village of Ringsend. Several aspects of Joyce’s life converged on this day and he was to tell Nora later “You made me a man”. Years on, the author who gave the word “epiphany” its special meaning chose this sacred date for the setting of Ulysses, a modern re-telling of Homer’s Odyssey, in which all the action takes place on the same day in Dublin in 1904. The date was to become Bloomsday, derived from Leopold Bloom, the 38-year-old protagonist of his yarn.

The book was published by the American ex-pat Sylvia Beach who ran the bookshop Shakespeare and Company in Paris in 1922 — the same year as T S Eliot’s The Waste Land, both works resonating to the cultural incoherence thrown up by the First World War. Ulysses furnished a touchstone for the whole 20th-century modernist movement in literature, as well as being spiced with racy humour deemed too “obscene” to publish in England until 1936 (and indeed banned in Ireland until the 1970s). Joyce personalised the chaotic stream-of-consciousness technique — writing as if thinking aloud — by employing a rich lexicon of 30,000 words, greater than Shakespeare’s and most everyday speakers of English, since many words were Joyce’s own musical inventions. About the book’s size, Joyce joked: “I spent seven years writing it. People could at least spend seven years reading it.” Samuel Beckett said of Joyce’s prose: “It is not to be read. It is to be looked at and listened to.”

Leopold Bloom, James Joyce

Leopold Bloom drawn by Joyce

For the past 50 years Bloomsday has been commemorated annually in Dublin as fans dress in Edwardian costume to enjoy readings and merriment as they retrace Bloom’s footsteps through and around the city, taking in landmarks such as the site of Leopold and Molly Bloom’s home in Eccles Street, Davy Byrne’s pub and the old brothel quarter. Tradition has it (though the biographer Richard Ellmann disagrees) that the day before Ulysses begins, Joyce had spent a week in the Martello tower in Sandycove, eight miles south of Dublin on the coast road, where a university friend fired a gun at him, to be immortalised as “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan” in the novel’s opening. Today the tower houses a museum of mementoes and is well worth the metro ride.

The paradox is that not a word of Ulysses was written in the city on the Liffey, because Joyce chose to spend his adult life in exile, variously in Trieste, Paris and Zurich. When he died there in 1940, Nora Barnacle was asked which living writers she liked, and her reply was: “Sure, if you’ve been married to the greatest writer in the world, you don’t remember all the little fellows.” Nora lived on in loneliness and also died in Zurich in 1951, where she shares his grave in a wooded cemetery to this day.

Gordon Bowker, James Joyce A Biography, ➢ As the current book of the week being serialised on BBC Radio 4, Gordon Bowker’s James Joyce A Biography (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, May 2011) paints a wonderfully detailed portrait of the eccentric author in 15-minute segments

➢ The James Joyce Centre at North Great George’s Street in Dublin

James Joyce, Nora Barnacle

Joyce and Nora in later years ... Ulysses ends with Molly Bloom’s words: “I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes”