Today is Bloomsday
, the 105th anniversary of the day on which all the (fictional) events of James Joyce's Ulysses
take place. It's a hell of a day to visit Dublin, I'd imagine, where pubs are sopping with revelry
.Colum McCann's piece in today's Times
offers a touching reflection on his experience reading the story inside a lonely room in a New York hospital, one that thrust him into a confrontation with his deceased grandfather
, whom he only met only once, in a similarly lonely hospital bed, and who likely wandered the very Dublin streets as Leopold Bloom, Stephen Dedalus, Buck Mulligan, and everyone else.I can't muster up a reading experience of McCann's magnitude, but I do hold the book in a singularly high regard-it gets me misty-eyed and knotted up in the gut just thinking about it. I'm pretty partial to the Cyclops section which, among countless other things, plays with our inabilities to acknowledge competing perspectives, and which includes this gem of a line:"The eyes in which a tear and a smile strove ever for the mastery were of the dimensions of a goodsized cauliflower."What's your favorite line from Ulysses
?Image: a first edition of Joyce's masterpiece.