With words, that is.
Today is Bloomsday. So today, we will visit a library and take a walk.
The library belongs to Gabriel Byrne, of course. In an interview with the New York Post (no, not the New York Review of Books, darn it!), Mr. Byrne notes four titles that remind us of his attachment to the Irish word–a love affair, if you will. They include:
- Colum McCann: Let the Great World Spin
- Roddy Doyle: The Commitments
- Nuala O’Faolain: Are You Somebody?
- Colm Tóibín: Brooklyn
He must have been truly limited to four; otherwise it seems certain Edna O’Brien’s Saints and Sinners would be on this list! And how coincidental that McCann has just won the 2011 International Impac Dublin Literary Award for Spin. It is a great book from an original and authentic voice. Which, come to think of it, is true for all of the books on Gabriel’s list.
Have you read any of these? All of them? Are there others you think he should have put on his list? And just what are YOU reading now, anyway? Please add a comment!
Now, on to the walk. In honor of Bloomsday, let’s take a virtual walk of Dublin, according to James Joyce:
Walking Ulysses is a free, Web-based application that takes users on a detailed, virtual tour of Dublin, allowing them to follow in the footsteps of Leopold Bloom, the novel’s protagonist and the character whose name gave us Bloomsday, today’s June 16th holiday that celebrates Joyce’s life and work.
“We’re playing with time and space,” says Mr. Nugent, an assistant professor of English who has been teaching Ulysses for the past four years.
Users of the interactive tool can follow along either chapter by chapter or jump around, stream-of-consciousness style, as Bloom makes his way across Dublin. Click a chapter title: “The Lotus-Eaters.” Then move along through the streets of old Dublin, pausing to view an archival image of the city and listen to a passage from the novel. Then await instructions on where to go next.
Read the rest of this Chronicle of Higher Education article and learn a bit about how this walk was created!
Happy Bloomsday to you!