The Writer’s Almanac reminded me that today is the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday – the day that the fictional Leopold Bloom spent wandering the streets of Dublin in James Joyce’s Ulysses. I’d like to say that when I read the book in college that I understood even half of it, but I’d be lying. However, somewhere along the line, something weird happened: I stopped trying to actually understand what I was reading and instead just let the words flow through my mind. Once I’d let go of that, I started enjoying the book much more because even though I was no longer comprehending every obscure reference, I was getting a much better idea of the overall meaning. And, in the end, Molly Bloom’s soliloquy was quite affecting. So happy 100th anniversary, Leopold, Stephen and Molly!
(If you’ve never read Joyce before, I’d highly recommend Dubliners before Ulysses. A much more approachable book and the final story, “The Dead,” is a true masterpiece.)