Thursday, 16 June 2011

Bloomin' Nora

It's Bloom's Day: when literate drunk Irish people (and that's all of them) celebrate James Joyce's Ulysses, which - as you all know because you've read it - follows Leopold Bloom round Dublin on June 16th.

Some choice quotations from that wonderful book:
A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.
...Yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then 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. 
Love loves to love love. Nurse loves the new chemist. Constable 14A loves Mary Kelly. Gerty MacDowell loves the boy that has the bicycle. M. B. loves a fair gentlema. Li Chi Han lovey up kissy Cha Pu Chow. Jumbo, the elephant, loves Alice, the elephant. Old Mr Verschole with the ear trumpet loves old Mrs Verschoyle with the turnedin eye. The man in the brown macintosh loves a lady who is dead. His Majesty the King loves Her Majesty the Queen. Mrs Norman W. Tupper loves officer Taylor. You love a certain person. And this person loves that other person because everybody loves somebody but God loves everybody. 
The supreme question about a work of art is out of how deep a life does it spring. Paintings of Moreau are paintings of ideas. The deepest poetry of Shelley, the words of Hamlet bring our mind into contact with the eternal wisdom; Plato's world of ideas. All the rest is the speculation of schoolboys for schoolboys. 
 Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods' roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.
A corpse is meat gone bad. Well and what is cheese? Corpse of milk 
I'm hungry now. Here's my favourite:
I fear those big words, Stephen said, which make us so unhappy.  
Not from Ulysses, but good anyway:
Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives. The English reading public explains the reason why. 


ed said...

'Perfumes of embraces all him assailed. With hungered flesh obscurely he mutely craved to adore'.

Took me a good three to four months (I read a companion alongside it) to finish that book. Worth it though. Then I intellectually detoxed with Harry Potter, if I remember rightly.

Zoot Horn said...

I'll probably read this masterwork again now. Yes I said yes I will Yes.

The Plashing Vole said...

Zoot is a Joyce expert by the way: send your queries his way.