The James Joyce Reading Circle


20 thoughts on “The James Joyce Reading Circle

  1. Although episode six takes place in the lead up to and aftermath of a funeral, I find it to be the most humerous so far. The four men in the carriage on their way to Paddy Dignam’s burial gossip like old ladies at a sewing circle and give truth to the saying that when three Irishmen talk together no one wants to be the first leave because the other two will surely be talking about him.
    In Poldy’s inner dialogue he cracks “come forth Lazarus! He came fifth a lost the job.’

  2. This morning reading the “Scylla and Charybdis” episode.”Wait. Five months. Molecules all change. I am other I now. Other I got pound.” Entering Month Five of the global plague, will I become Unmade? Overmade? Doublebaked and Crumbled? Certainly Glazed at least. ~Don

  3. Is there such a thing as an allusion to a text that has not yet been written? When Stephen says the phrase “Gone with the wind, he mentions in the very next sentence “Tara” which is the setting of Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 book ‘Gone With The Wind’.

    1. Nothing new under the sun? Maybe not. Mitchell’s title is taken from a 19th century poem by Dowson also about the demise of the Southern culture. I would have bet it was a biblical reference like “Inherit the Wind.” I suppose an Irish novel would have a better claim to the reference to Tara. Your point is well taken, however, and exactly what James Ramey said as discussed in the Episode 1 “What They Are Saying.” Joyce is the champion at collecting and connecting allusions.

  4. The JJRC will withhold posting temporarily in observance of a raucus Bloomsday 2020. Writing about “Giacomo Joyce” will resume on or about June 18. Meanwhile, sing like Molly. Dance like Maginni. Blossom like Bloom. Then, if necessary, sue someone like Denis Breen. Slåinte! ~Don

  5. Montréal Bloomsday underway. Opening ceremony wonderfully informative connecting the 1918 pandemic referred to in the “Hades” episode to our current plight. Thank you Michael Kenneally, Chair of Concoirdia’s School of Irish Studies.

  6. My response to a question on social media regarding similarities Joyce’s Irish “nationalism” and how he might relate to today’s Korean nationalism.

    “I have always thought there is an affinity between Ireland and Korea. The introduction of the written word by Korea in the Pacific rim and the preservation of writing by Irish monks, for example. There is also the unhappy coincidence of being subjugated by a nearby imperial neighbor. Like Korea, Ireland was made a tool in the struggle between large continental countries (China/France) and insular empires (Japan/Great Britain). It is also interesting that both are divided countries and the southern entities became economic forces at roughly the same time (~1995 onward)– and for the same reason, effective education. Joyce may be the very best representative of the Irish diaspora. He was not a nationalist but a broadcaster of the seed of Irish culture that today continues to bear fruit. At least in the US, the Korean diaspora is thriving. I would be happy to hear how it fares elsewhere.” Don

  7. Regarding the famous photo of Marilyn Monroe reading Ulysses: She is “reading” the page opposite the back cover. Is there any text on that page of that edition? Those who read Ulysses, don’t need photo evidence. Their lives reflect all the other pages. Don

  8. A friend says that post deliveries of books to review are like dipping into a bowl of jellybeans. She enjoys all resulting surprises equally well. I am envious. Reading or snacking, I am always looking for the black licorice and the spicy cinnamon, ~Don

  9. I’m listening to a reading of Italo Calvino’s If On a Winter’s Night A Traveler (Yep. That’s how it’s capitalized and for good reason). It describes a grand literary conspiracy of artificial intelligent authoring tools, a mystical existence of plots yet to be written, storylines that loop among novels. I leap to the realization that the Joyce canon is simply one novel of interchangeable characters.

    I think I’ve cheated the conspiracy by listening to instead of reading the book, so I’ll find a hardcopy and hilite every word. If I can’t find that cover and title, I suppose any book will do as well.

  10. I follow the curation of Joyceana on social media. One connection is at Glenn has an impressive breadth of materials and researches them impeccably. Recently he posted the cover and frontpage of William Carlos Williams’ autobiography I Wanted to Write a Poem. I replied, mentioning a favorite poem of mine.

    The following exchange ensued:

    Don: Of all the millions of poems I don’t understand [The Red Wheelbarrow (I actually misstated the title)] is my favorite. Don’t you love it?
    Glenn: It depends….

  11. Re God-given rights: Man creates a concept, then the idea escapes. It takes on an identity and begins to evolve controlling rather than being controlled by Daedalus. God/Nature was perhaps the first of these concepts. AI is the most recent. The fact that man had an idea that there exists a God doesn’t prove that God doesn’t exist, but I find no evidence of God-given rights. That’s a human concept. It doesn’t mean it’s bad, just that it’s oversold. The same things were said about divine right absolutism. I suspect that at one time even the concept of human government was pure– until mankind applied it to it’s ( no! their– many different even oppositional) self-interest(s).

  12. My new cyber pal Donall Dempsey refers to Joyce as Jimmy the Joister. Isn’t that perfect? Consider Tim Finnegan falling from the joist and boarded for his Wake. Think about the crucifixions in FW: Christ, Cuchulain, and H.Chimpden.

  13. Reuters reported a survey conducted by online dating bus(s) terminal Match. Survey results indicate 76% of members will only date people who share political leanings. In dog breeding that dooms the bloodline. In a society it predicts the same for education, housing, public discourse, and compromise everywhere (Editor: It’s SPITE that conquers all).

  14. I was asked today what I was doing and told the reply should be in verse. It did go from bad to Verse

    Writing of Madam Sinico, what strain/
    Fussy Duffy, the eponymous “Pain”/
    If his obsession weren’t Nietzche/
    Life could have been peachy/
    Emily missing her train/

  15. Thank you.

    This month has been the best month in the short history ( March 2020) of the James Joyce Reading Circle. Its purposes are two:

    To encourage an international Joycean connection among individual readers


    To inspire a few young people to take up a devotion to Ulysses.

    I am an old guy. With luck and vaccines, I’ll see the one-hundredth anniversary of Ulysses. I can do nothing however to boost the book into it its third century. Readers of twenty-five years of age (given the promise of science) can perpetuate a future of Bloomism.

    If you’re curious, here’s a log of readership by country. This from fewer than 400 approved followers.

    Nation June ’21 Reads

    US 253
    IRE 112
    ITA 48
    ISL 26
    CAN 21
    BRA 13
    ESP 13
    UK 11
    MAC 8
    SWE 7
    TUR 5
    CHI 4
    GEO 4
    SER 2
    MEX 2
    DEN 2
    AUS 2
    NET 1
    PER 1
    CHI 1
    POL 1
    GRE 1
    GER 1
    PAK 1
    JAP 1
    RUS 1

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