FREE JOYCE’S ‘ULYSSES’LiberateUlysses promotes the use of media new & old to creatively spread the word and enjoyment of James Joyce's 'Ulysses.'
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A remarkable review of Ulysses popped into my @UlyssesLives Twitter feed this weekend from an astute, funny, honest young man: Elliott Johnson. On YouTube Elliott didn’t look like he was of college age, yet he read the whole book and has some great things to say about it. So far he has posted 2 videos of his fast-paced comments, chapter by episode, with more to come. Below are those reviews and Elliott’s explanation of himself. To find the rest of the reviews, follow @jerryjellyson on Twitter or subscribe to JerryJellyson on YouTube. — Steve Cole
I’m fifteen and from Essex, in the UK, although being Irish would be cool too. At some point I’d like to be a filmmaker or writer but in the meantime I’ve got Ulysses reviews. I toyed with the idea of reading Joyce’s Homeric heavyweight, the novel to end all novels, for several months before finally diving into it headfirst while looking for some light holiday reading. While it may not have been an easy journey, it blew me away and has permanently (positively?) affected the way I approach the written word. I have a feeling no book will ever live up to Ulysses, a feeling which I can conveniently ignore when reading anything else. My love for the novel will only increase with every re-reading. My favourite Ulyssean quote is “The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit” from Ithaca, and the ensuing meditation on the “infinitesimal brevity” of human life. Beautiful and profound.
A third city now conquered for Bloomsday! Working on the theory that every city can be a microcosm of the Ulysses universe James Joyce depicted with Dublin, I wandered through Montreal, Canada, for Bloomsday this year. Below are some of the city sights and the passages from the novel they evoked.
The eyes that were fastened upon her set her pulses tingling. She looked at him a moment, meeting his glance, and a light broke in upon her. Whitehot passion was in that face, passion silent as the grave, and it had made her his. She leaned back far to look up where the fireworks were and she caught her knee in her hands so as not to fall back looking up and there was no-one to see only him and her when she revealed all her graceful beautifully shaped legs
O, I fear me, he is Greeker than the Greeks. His pale Galilean eyes were upon her mesial groove. Venus Kallipyge. O, the thunder of those loins! The god pursuing the maiden hid.
Clay, brown, damp, began to be seen in the hole. It rose. Nearly over. A mound of damp clods rose more, rose, and the gravediggers rested their spades.
Force, hatred, history, all that. That’s not life for men and women, insult and hatred. And everybody knows that it’s the very opposite of that that is really life.
What were habitually his final meditations?
Of some one sole unique advertisement to cause passers to stop in wonder, a poster novelty, with all extraneous accretions excluded, reduced to its simplest and most efficient terms not exceeding the span of casual vision and congruous with the velocity of modern life.
Beauty: it curves: curves are beauty. Shapely goddesses, Venus, Juno: curves the world admires. Can see them library museum standing in the round hall, naked goddesses. Aids to digestion. They don’t care what man looks. All to see. Never speaking.
Professor Bloom is a finished example of the new womanly man. His moral nature is simple and lovable. Another report states that he was a very posthumous child. I appeal for clemency in the name of the most sacred word our vocal organs have ever been called upon to speak. He is about to have a baby.
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 gentleman. You love a certain person. And this person loves that other person because everybody loves somebody but God loves everybody.
The resurrection and the life. Once you are dead you are dead. That last day idea. Knocking them all up out of their graves. Come forth, Lazarus! And he came fifth and lost the job. Get up! Last day!
those fine young men I could see down in Margate strand bathingplace from the side of the rock standing up in the sun naked like a God or something and then plunging into the sea that lovely little statue he bought I could look at him all day long curly head and his shoulders his finger up for you to listen theres real beauty and poetry for you I often felt I wanted to kiss him all over also his lovely young cock there so simple I wouldnt mind taking him in my mouth if nobody was looking as if it was asking you to suck it
There is another world after death named hell. I do not like that other world she wrote. No more do I. Plenty to see and hear and feel yet. Feel live warm beings near you. Let them sleep in their maggoty beds. They are not going to get me this innings. Warm beds: warm fullblooded life.
unless I paid some nicelooking boy to do it since I cant do it myself a young boy would like me Id confuse him a little alone with him if we were Id let him see my garters the new ones and make him turn red looking at him seduce him I know what boys feel
FYI: Montreal’s massive Notre Dame Des Neiges cemetery is worth exploring.
Here’s last year’s Bloomsday photo exploration of Baltimore.
— Steve Cole, Baltimore
A New Bloomsday Adventure for 2015!
Here’s something new that is sure to jumpstart your city’s annual celebration of James Joyce’s Ulysses on June 16. (What? No Bloomsday action in your town? Well, you’ve got some work ahead of you.) It’s a lively alternative to the routine readings from the novel that rips the spirit of Ulysses off the page and kicks it into the streets of your fair city for all to enjoy.
A Scavenger Hunt to Find Leopold Bloom!
It’s a game. It’s an urban quest. It’s a puzzle. It’s a test of wits that guides the adventuresome through their own wandering odyssey in search of Joyce’s everyman hero, Leopold Bloom. It’s a celebration of being alive like Bloom with his relentless curiosity and awareness and love of the physical and sensual world around him.
The Scavenger Hunt to Find Leopold Bloom encourages players to rediscover their own city by doing just what Bloom did on his long walk through Dublin: paying attention to the people and the places around them. This Hunt requires no previous knowledge of Ulysses to participate. In fact, it’s designed to engage the novice as well as the fan with the humor and humanity of the book and entice as many people as possible to play along.
The LiberateUlysses/UlyssesLives project offers you, Ulysses fans around the world, all of the intellectual, strategic, and promotional power at our command to support a Scavenger Hunt to Find Leopold Bloom where you live. But the tough work of planning an event customized to your community is up to you, the would-be organizers of what could very well be a global Bloomsday first.
Are you game? Great. Here’s the plan.
The Scavenger Hunt to Find Leopold Bloom unfolds across a swath of your city you select that contains locales and experiences that evoke Bloom’s own odyssey: a church, butcher shop, library, eatery, markets, cemetery, lingerie shop, river bank, bookshop, pub, newsstand, flower market, public park, beach … the list is endless. You set the time of the Hunt (an hour or two) when your chosen city landscape pulses with life. Players (teams, individuals) are given a map and clues that guide their search for a living breathing Bloom who is hidden in plain sight somewhere in your metropolitan labyrinth. As with any Hunt, there are prizes and surprises at the end.
Clues will be hidden inside stores, revealed by people on the street (“guides” planted by Hunt organizers), displayed in shop windows, or even found on the street. The locales and clues will explicitly echo themes and experiences in Ulysses, if not to the letter (lemon soap) then to the spirit (all sweet sensual scents) of Joyce’s over-flowing tale.
And what of Leopold Bloom himself, the ultimate goal of this Hunt? Well, certainly his resurrection once-a-year for his secular saint’s day doesn’t stretch credulity any further than Saint Nick circling the globe one night every year. And after all, Bloom, as our favorite everyman, never really left this world, did he?
So that’s the skeleton for A Scavenger Hunt to Find Leopold Bloom; the flesh, bones and pulsing heart of your Hunt you will craft to suit the local landscape and the whims of your own imagination. To make the Hunt a success, you’ll likely need the following:
- a sizeable town or city to stage the Hunt in, with a sizeable and adventurous population to join in the fun
- a half dozen or so co-conspirators to stage the Hunt on the Big Day
- a local publicity push loud enough to be heard far and wide
- the eager participation of merchants and others lucky enough to find themselves within the boundaries of your Bloomsday Hunt
So, are you Ulysses-addicted enough to take on this mad Bloomsday celebration? If you are and believe you can muster the resources outlined above, write to Steve Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Onward to Bloomsday 2015!
Initial details are out on what Montreal has in store for Bloomsday 2015. One highlight is a keynote address by Kevin Birmingham, author of the remarkable book The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses, June 16 at 7:30 pm at the Jewish Public Library. For more info:
Woodshadows floated silently by through the morning peace from the stairhead seaward where he gazed. Inshore and farther out the mirror of water whitened, spurned by lightshod hurrying feet.
Two shafts of soft daylight fell across the flagged floor from the high barbacans: and at the meeting of their rays a cloud of coalsmoke and fumes of fried grease floated, turning,
long lassoes from the Cock lake the water flowed full, covering greengoldenly lagoons of sand, rising, flowing. My ashplant will float away. I shall wait. No, they will pass on, passing, chafing against the low rocks, swirling, passing.
He approached Larry O’Rourke’s. From the cellar grating floated up the flabby gush of porter.
Where was the chap I saw in that picture somewhere? Ah yes, in the dead sea floating on his back, reading a book with a parasol open. Couldn’t sink if you tried: so thick with salt. Because the weight of the water, no, the weight of the body
He saw his trunk and limbs riprippled over and sustained, buoyed lightly upward, lemonyellow: his navel, bud of flesh: and saw the dark tangled curls of his bush floating, floating hair of the stream around the limp father of thousands, a languid floating flower.
On the slow weedy waterway he had floated on his raft coastward over Ireland drawn by a haulage rope past beds of reeds, over slime, mudchoked bottles, carrion dogs. Athlone, Mullingar, Moyvalley, I could make a walking tour to see Milly by the canal.
He threw down among them a crumpled paper ball. Elijah thirtytwo feet per sec is com. Not a bit. The ball bobbed unheeded on the wake of swells, floated under by the bridgepiers.
Tour the south then. What about English wateringplaces? Brighton, Margate. Piers by moonlight. Her voice floating out. Those lovely seaside girls.
A last lonely candle wandered up the sky from Mirus bazaar in search of funds for Mercer’s hospital and broke, drooping, and shed a cluster of violet but one white stars. They floated, fell: they faded.
How serene does she now arise, a queen among the Pleiades, in the penultimate antelucan hour, shod in sandals of bright gold, coifed with a veil of what do you call it gossamer. It floats, it flows about her starborn flesh and loose it streams, emerald, sapphire, mauve and heliotrope, sustained on currents of the cold interstellar wind, winding, coiling, simply swirling,
(Gaudy dollwomen loll in the lighted doorways, in window embrasures, smoking birdseye cigarettes. The odour of the sicksweet weed floats towards him in slow round ovalling wreaths.)
This year the LiberateUlysses project took a Bloomsday staycation in Baltimore to see if James Joyce’s Ulysses could live in 2014 as comfortably as it does in 1904 and in any city as naturally as it inhabits Dublin. The #UlyssesPic photographic evidence from the streets of Baltimore is displayed below for all to see.
Excerpts from Ulysses that inspired this Baltimore #UlyssesEpic:
Wish I had a full length oil-painting of her then. June that was too I wooed. The year returns. History repeats itself. Life, love, voyage round your own little world. And now?
Nice to hold, cool waxen fruit, hold in the hand, lift it to the nostrils and smell the perfume. Like that, heavy sweat perfume. Always the same, year after year.
—Hello, Bloom. What’s the best news? Is that today’s? Show us a minute.
—You can keep it, Mr Bloom said.
—Ascot. Gold cup. Wait, Bantam Lyons muttered. Half a mo. Maximum the second.
—I was just going to throw it away, Mr Bloom said.
Mr Bloom walked unheeded along his grove by saddened angels, crosses, broken pillars, family vaults, stone hopes praying with upcast eyes. More sensible to spend the money on some charity for the living. Pray for the repose of the soul of. Does anybody really? Plant him and have done with him. Like down a coalshoot. Then lump them together to save time.
I do not like that other world she wrote. No more do I. Plenty to see and hear and feel yet. Feel live warm beings near you. Let them sleep in their maggoty beds. They are not going to get me this innings. Warm beds: warm fullblooded life.
He stayed in his walk to watch a typesetter neatly distributing type. Reads it backwards first. How quickly he does that job. Practice makes perfect. Seems to see with his fingers.
Astonishing the things people leave behind them in trains and cloak rooms. What do they be thinking about? Women too. Incredible.
Beauty: it curves, curves are beauty. Shapely goddesses, Venus, Juno: curves the world admires.
—Three cheers for Israel!
—And the Saviour was a jew and his father was a jew. Your God.
—By Jesus, says he, I’ll brain that bloody jewman for using the holy name.
She looked at him a moment, meeting his glance, and a light broke in upon her. She drew herself up to her full height. Their souls met in a last lingering glance. Yes, it was her he was looking at and there was meaning in his look.
Mr Mulligan had resolved to purchase the freehold of Lambay island. He proposed to set up there a national fertilising farm to be named Omphalos with an obelisk hewn and erected after the fashion of Egypt and to offer his dutiful yeoman services for the fecundation of any female of what grade of life soever.
Professor Bloom is a finished example of the new womanly man. His moral nature is simple and lovable. Many have found him a dear man, a dear person.
(Against the dark wall a figure appears slowly, a fairy boy of eleven, a changeling, kidnapped, dressed in an Eton suit.) BLOOM (Wonderstruck, calls inaudibly.) Rudy!
Would the departed never nowhere nohow reappear?
Ever he would wander, selfcompelled, to the extreme limit of his cometary orbit, beyond the fixed stars and variable suns and telescopic planets, astronomical waifs and strays
those fine young men I could see down in Margate strand bathingplace standing up in the sun naked like a God or something why arent all men like that thered be some consolation for a woman like that lovely little statue he bought I could look at him all day long curly head I often felt I wanted to kiss him all over
a nice plant for the middle of the table Id get that cheaper in wait wheres this I saw them not long ago I love flowers Id love to have the whole place swimming in roses God of heaven theres nothing like nature
NOTE: This project would not have been possible without the enthusiasm, imagination, and skill of my friends Dan and Mary. Dan provided the Joycean expertise, vehicular muscle, and modeling endurance; Mary the photographic hardware, artist’s eye, and a magical way with light and lenses. — Steve Cole, Baltimore, Md. USA
Enjoy Bloomsday with a stroll through a photo gallery inspired by passages from James Joyce’s Ulysses. Contributions have come in from all around the world. Take a look and reJoyce! — SC
Join our new Bloomsday project to bring James Joyce’s Ulysses to life in the ‘selfie’ age. Re-imagine the heart and soul and humor of Joyce’s epic everyman novel with the help of whatever photo-taking device you have at your fingertips. Then share your vision online with the world on June 16 for Bloomsday.
Your challenge is to take a line or passage from the book and create a photo that brings it to life in the world we live in today. There is no shortage of inspirations to chose from in Joyce’s encyclopedia odyssey of our human condition – see a few samples listed below.
Use the photographic muse to break the novel free of the confines of time (1904) and place (Dublin, Ireland) and show the tale anew. Bring forth something you really like in Ulysses and be as daring, poetic, joyful and/or silly as you like to express it with photos. We encourage you to emphasize the human in your photos to match the profusion of humanity stuffed into the book.
Once you’ve taken your photo (plain, fancy, or PhotoShopped), post it along with the Ulysses line that inspired it to your favorite social media channel on Monday, June 16, with the hashtag #Ulyssespic. We will actively promote that hashtag leading up to Bloomsday and will retweet/share pics we really like on @UlyssesLives and Liberate Ulysses (Facebook). Note that Edwardian dress and obvious Irish references are not required.
NO WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
If you’re feeling particularly proud of your work, submit your photo(s) to us for our Bloomsday 2014 #Ulyssespic Competition. Just drop your pic(s) and the Ulysses line(s) in the email to email@example.com before June 15. On Bloomsday we’ll post all suitable entries in an image gallery on this website for the world to enjoy. AND we’ll pick one photo that we feel best evokes the spirit of Ulysses to receive a Grand Joycean Prize of one colorful letterpress-printed broadside of your choice from The Works of Master Poldy (The Salvage Press, Dublin) suitable for framing.
FOR STARTERS a few lines from Ulysses to get you going:
Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather
Nice to hold, cool waxen fruit, hold in the hand, lift it to the nostrils and smell the perfume.
Young life, her lips that gave me pouting. Soft, warm, sticky gumjelly lips.
Mr Bloom stood at the corner, his eyes wandering over the multicoloured hoardings.
Hidden under wild ferns on Howth. Below us bay sleeping sky. No sound.
Blazes Boylan looked in her blouse with more favour, the stalk of the red flower between his smiling teeth
Mr Bloom with his stick gently vexed the thick sand at his foot. Write a message for her.
I love flowers Id love to have the whole place swimming in roses God of heaven theres nothing like nature the wild mountains then the sea and the waves rushing
Ever he would wander, selfcompelled, to the extreme limit of his cometary orbit.
Mr Bloom walked unheeded along his grove by saddened angels, crosses, broken pillars, family vaults, stone hopes praying with upcast eyes, old Ireland’s hearts and hands.
Mr Malachi Mulligan resolved to purchase Lambay island and set up there a national fertilising farm to be named Omphalos with an obelisk hewn and erected after the fashion of Egypt
Plenty to see and hear and feel yet. Feel live warm beings near you. Let them sleep in their maggoty beds. They are not going to get me this innings.
Grafton street gay with housed awnings lured his senses. Muslin prints, silk, dames and dowagers, jingle of harnesses
His downcast eyes followed the silent veining of the oaken slab. Beauty: it curves, curves are beauty. Shapely goddesses, Venus, Juno: curves the world admires.
What in water did Bloom, waterlover, drawer of water, watercarrier, returning to the range, admire?
To catch up and walk behind her if she went slowly, behind her moving hams.
Buck Mulligan slit a steaming scone in two and plastered butter over its smoking pith. He bit off a soft piece hungrily.
Touch me. Soft eyes. Soft soft soft hand. I am lonely here
Gerty MacDowell was seated near her companions, lost in thought, gazing far away.
The boy by the gravehead held his wreath with both hands staring quietly in the black open space. A mound of damp clods rose.
Dr Bloom is bisexually abnormal. He is a finished example of the new womanly man. He is prematurely bald from selfabuse, perversely idealistic in consequence.
Your favorite passages not here? Let us know about it in a comment on this post or via @UlyssesLives and we’ll add it pronto!
(Another of the 12 shades of Leopold Bloom illustrated in The Works of Master Poldy from The Salvage Press, excerpts from James Joyce’s Ulysses.)
he sees not only the injustice of political prejudice – I belong to a race too that is hated and persecuted – in his dust up with the citizen – It’s no use. Force, hatred, history, all that – he sees the everyday separation we have between ourselves and others who are different – Why we think a deformed person clever if he says something we might say – and acknowledges the reality of cruelty in the natural world, watching his cat – Cruel. Her nature. Curious mice never squeal – Bloom takes in the full 360 of human life and strife and the struggle we face living together with others
To see more Master Poldy, visit: http://ow.ly/vXfRo
To purchase Master Poldy online, visit: http://ow.ly/vXg8a
a mad mix of machines and melodies – Almost human the way it sllt to call attention – Bloom’s imagination soars – Sea, wind, leaves, thunder, waters – as he reflects on the sounds in his life – cows lowing, the cattle market, cocks, snakes hissss – the sounds of his wife – Chamber music. I often thought when she. Tinkling – the joy and feeling behind those common singing sounds – Yes joy it must be. Mere fact of music shows you are – even the dumb door – Doing its level best to speak – wonderful that he notices and tells us – There’s music everywhere.
Another of the 12 shades of Mr Leopold Bloom depicted in glorious letterpress in “The Works of Master Poldy,” rendered by The Salvage Press (Dublin 2013).
To see more of The Works of Master Poldy, visit: http://ow.ly/vXfRo
To buy The Works of Master Poldy online, visit: http://ow.ly/vXg8a