Ulysses Wednesday – It Begins!

  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 …….


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