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Marking time

Marking time in June 2004

Wednesday 16 June 2004

Ulysses in daily doses

Today is the centenary of Bloomsday, the day on which every­thing in James Joyce’s Ulysses took place.

I used to think Ulysses was unapproachable, until I bought myself the Naxos audio book. For long driving trips I load the four disks into the CD magazine, and switch on as soon as I get onto the highway. Jim Norton reads most of the text, with Marcella Riordan as Molly. It’s like having them in the car with me, telling me the story. It’s wonderful, and I’m not the only one who thinks so.

To celebrate the centenary, Jason White is publishing Ulysses page-by-page, like a blog. I’ve signed up for his daily RSS feed, and expect to revisit Jorn Barger’s gazetteer.

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him by the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned:

—INTROIBO AD ALTARE DEI.

Halted, he peered down the dark winding stairs and called out coarsely:

—Come up, Kinch! Come up, you fearful jesuit!

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