Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Today is Bloomsday

The Irish Times sent staff writer Rosita Boland out to Joyce's birthplace at 41 Brighton Square, Rathgar. In a feature headed "What does Joyce mean to you?" she reports:
Patty Geraghty lives nearby and walks past number 41 most days but she has never realised that Joyce had any connection with the house. She looks up at the plaque now curiously. “No, I was never aware this was a Joyce house,” she admits. She hasn’t read anything by Joyce. “I think Ulysses is something you probably should have read, but I haven’t. Is it poetry? Maybe I have read it and I’ve just forgotten it.”

The local postman, Gerry Scanlon, who’s worked for the Post Office for 30 years, has been on this particular beat for 15 years. “From the very first day I was delivering post, I knew Joyce was born in this house,” he explains. “That’s because I ran into tourists looking for it. There used to be a lot more of them around. You don’t see so many these days.”

Scanlon has “no interest” in reading anything by Joyce. “I know what Ulysses is about though. It’s about this guy who went around Dublin on June 16th and ended up somewhere else from where he started out.”

Jane Richardson is walking her Westie, Maevy, past number 41. “I love knowing Joyce was born here. It makes my daily walk interesting,” she declares. She has attempted to read Ulysses , but gave up. “I believe it was written to be listened to rather than to be read,” she says. “Maybe I’ll get the CDs and try listening to it this year.”

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