Pale Wire (Popscene)

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

LITERATURE

Hey yo, today was Bloomsday. June 16th was the day that James Joyce's famous character Leopold Bloom took his walk around Dublin in Joyce's (in)famous novel Ulysses. Each year in Dublin they have a big festival to celebrate the novel. This year is the 100th anniversary so they're really going bonkers.

Julia Keller, one of my favorite writers at the Chicago Tribune, has a neat article about the challenges of reading one of the English literature's most daunting books. Click here to read it.

The score thus far:

Joyce -- 5.

Keller -- 0.

Five times I've tried. Five times I've faltered. Five times I've plucked it off the shelf -- taking care not to drop it on a tender toe, seeing as how its bulk could surely draw blood or split bone -- and five times I've lifted the cover and felt that peculiar fizz of anticipation that starts in the pit the stomach and travels up the spine like the stripe in a barber pole.


(Fun fact: Ulysses is now at 41 on Amazon's sales chart. I wonder where it was last week. This whole Bloomsday idea is marketing genius!)