Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Bloomsday & Calypso #6
16th of June 1904, the day author James Joyce realized he was in love with Nora Barnacle, is the specific day the novel Ulysses is revolving about.
For years it has been celebrated as Bloomsday in Ireland.
But, hey, that's today. Happy Bloomsday everyone!
A whole nation celebrating a novel, where else can that happen than on the isle named Erin.
The rest of the world still shrugging their shoulders and calling the novel difficult or advanced.
Enter: Leopold Bloom/aka Stephen Daedalus/aka Ahasverus/aka Odysseus/aka James Joyce.
Once one has accepted this; the necessity of any Irishman to talk metaphorically, not to get executed as a rebel.
Twisting and turning words and sentences in and out of context, till everything seems to have a triple bottom became Joyce's specialty and the master degree of hundreds of literature students.
The newborn science of psychology, the Darwinism, the philosophers on the continent going in different directions, the streams of contradictions in music, painting, the revolution of natural, physics and chemistry sciences, even fashion changed dramatically. The Church and the British regime were the conservative and often threatening elements in this melting pot of a new world emerging.
Midst in this James Joyce, aka Leopold Bloom, is falling head over heals in love. He and his Nora, aka Molly should stay together for the rest of their lives.
This, and any Irishman's deep double bound love/hate for his homeland,
is skillfully woven into this dinosaur novel.
The great lines painted with a thick brush and beautiful or harsh details carefully engraved with a silver needle.
the name of a sea goddess in Greek mythology, is the title of chapter II.
According to Homer Calypso held Odysseus captured for seven years, before Athene managed to free him and send him home to his beloved Penelope.
To Leopold Bloom this morning is a contradiction of feeding the cat, making breakfast, thinking politics, (the home-rule sun is going up in north WEST behind the shut down Irish Parliament, now Bank of Ireland), waiting upon his beloved Molly, going to the outhouse, listen to the church bells and discussing transmigration of souls.
I'd like to share the cat feeding sequence with you.
"Cup of tea soon. Good. Mouth dry. The cat walked stiffly round a leg of the table with tail on high.
-- O, there you are, Mr Bloom said, turning from the fire.
The cat mewed in answer and stalked again stiffly round a leg of the table, mewing. Just how she stalks over my writing-table. Prr. Scratch my head. Prr.
Mr Bloom watched curiously, kindly, the lithe black form. Clean to see: the gloss of her sleek hide, the white button under the butt of her tail, the green flashing eyes. He bent down to her, his hands on his knees.
-- Milk for the pussens, he said.
-- Mrkgnao! the cat cried.
They call them stupid. They understand what we say better than we understand them. She understands all she wants to. Vindictive too. Wonder what I look like to her. Height of a tower? No, she can jump me.
-- Afraid of the chickens she is, he said mockingly. Afraid of the chookchooks. I never saw such a stupid pussens as the pussens.
Cruel. Her nature. Curious mice never squeal. Seem to like it.
-- Mrkrgnao! the cat said loudly.
She blinked up out of her avid shameclosing eyes, mewing plaintively and long, showing him her milkwhite teeth. He watched the dark eyeslits narrowing with greed till her eyes were green stones. Then he went to the dresser, took the jug Hanlon's milkman had just filled for him, poured warmbubbled milk on a saucer and set it slowly on the floor.
-- Gurrhr! she cried, running to lap.
He watched the bristles shining wirily in the weak light as she tipped three times and licked lightly. Wonder is it true if you clip them they can't mouse after. Why? They shine in the dark, perhaps, the tips. Or kind of feelers in the dark, perhaps.
He listened to her licking lap."