AS I WRITE this it is impossible to say whether the drama surrounding Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s alleged new high constitutes an actual new low, but drama does seem to be the word of the moment. Exactly one year ago I moved to this city, and in the time since I have witnessed the restless strut and fret of local municipal politics, the principal player of the stage forever availing himself to fresh tales full of sound and fury.
IT MAY BE that you are aware of a weekly program of mine called “The Roundtable.” The table to which this title refers, and at which the show is recorded, was purchased in 1992 at a Kingston, Ontario antique store called Turk’s. Over the decades many have sat and drank and discussed and argued over this late 19th century furnishing. But even these twenty years are as nothing measured against the life which had similarly transpired (or perhaps dissimilarly: I shall likely never know) over this same table before I arrived to Princess Street one Spring afternoon, the requisite ninety dollars in my pocket.
IN AN AGE which commends novels by citing their “accessibility,” one praises James Joyce’s Ulysses before a good many deafened ears. This singular 1922 work demands much from the reader, but the reward of one’s efforts is enormous. The highest tribute I can pay is this: I derive pleasure beyond what I can describe from the time I’ve lived among the fictional citizens of Dublin on June 16, 1904. I feel a bit sorry for anyone who doesn’t, or can’t, understand why I say this.
Posted in Writers and Writing
Tagged 1904, Bloomsday, Ireland, James Joyce, June 16, Kingston, Leopold Bloom, Literature, Novels, Stuart Gilbert, Ulysses