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James Joyce: 1929 Reading of Anna Livia Plurabelle from Finnegan’s Wake September 30, 2013

Posted by The Typist in books, cryptical envelopment, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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Well, you know or don’t you kennet or haven’t I told you every telling has a taling and that’s the he and the she of it. Look, look, the dusk is growing! My branches lofty are taking root. And my cold cher’s gone ashley. Fieluhr? Filou! What age is at? It saon is late. ‘Tis endless now senne eye or erewone last saw Waterhouse’s clogh. They took it asunder, I hurd thum sigh. When will they reassemble it? O, my back, my back, my bach! I’d want to go to Aches-les-Pains. Pingpong! There’s the Belle for Sexaloitez! And Concepta de Send-us-pray! Pang! Wring out the clothes! Wring in the dew! Godavari, vert the showers! And grant thaya grace! Aman. Will we spread them here now? Ay, we will. Flip ! Spread on your bank and I’ll spread mine on mine. Flep! It’s what I’m doing. Spread ! It’s churning chill. Der went is rising. I’ll lay a few stones on the hostel sheets. A man and his bride embraced between them. Else I’d have sprinkled and folded them only. And I’ll tie my butcher’s apron here. It’s suety yet. The strollers will pass it by. Six shifts, ten kerchiefs, nine to hold to the fire and this for the code, the convent napkins, twelve, one baby’s shawl. Good mother Jossiph knows, she said. Whose head? Mutter snores? Deataceas! Wharnow are alle her childer, say? In kingdome gone or power to come or gloria be to them farther? Allalivial, allalluvial! Some here, more no more, more again lost alla stranger. I’ve heard tell that same brooch of the Shannons was married into a family in Spain. And all the Dunders de Dunnes in Markland’s Vineland beyond Brendan’s herring pool takes number nine in yangsee’s hats. And one of Biddy’s beads went bobbing till she rounded up lost histereve with a marigold and a cobbler’s candle in a side strain of a main drain of a manzinahurries off Bachelor’s Walk. But all that’s left to the last of the Meaghers in the loup of the years prefixed and between is one kneebuckle and two hooks in the front. Do you tell me. that now? I do in troth. Orara por Orbe and poor Las Animas! Ussa, Ulla, we’re umbas all! Mezha, didn’t you hear it a deluge of times, ufer and ufer, respund to spond? You deed, you deed! I need, I need! It’s that irrawaddyng I’ve stoke in my aars. It all but husheth the lethest zswound. Oronoko ! What’s your trouble? Is that the great Finnleader himself in his joakimono on his statue riding the high horse there forehengist? Father of Otters, it is himself! Yonne there! Isset that? On Fallareen Common? You’re thinking of Astley’s Amphitheayter where the bobby restrained you making sugarstuck pouts to the ghostwhite horse of the Peppers. Throw the cobwebs from your eyes, woman, and spread your washing proper! It’s well I know your sort of slop. Flap! Ireland sober is Ireland stiff Lord help you, Maria, full of grease, the load is with me! Your prayers. I sonht zo! Madammangut! Were you lifting your elbow, tell us, glazy cheeks, in Conway’s Carrigacurra canteen? Was I what, hobbledyhips? Flop! Your rere gait’s creakorheuman bitts your butts disagrees. Amn’t I up since the damp dawn, marthared mary allacook, with Corrigan’s pulse and varicoarse veins, my pramaxle smashed, Alice Jane in decline and my oneeyed mongrel twice run over, soaking and bleaching boiler rags, and sweating cold, a widow like me, for to deck my tennis champion son, the laundryman with the lavandier flannels? You won your limpopo limp fron the husky hussars when Collars and Cuffs was heir to the town and your slur gave the stink to Carlow. Holy Scamander, I sar it again! Near the golden falls. Icis on us! Seints of light! Zezere! Subdue your noise, you hamble creature! What is it but a blackburry growth or the dwyergray ass them four old codgers owns. Are you meanam Tarpey and Lyons and Gregory? I meyne now, thank all, the four of them, and the roar of them, that draves that stray in the mist and old Johnny MacDougal along with them. Is that the Poolbeg flasher beyant, pharphar, or a fireboat coasting nyar the Kishtna or a glow I behold within a hedge or my Garry come back from the Indes? Wait till the honeying of the lune, love! Die eve, little eve, die! We see that wonder in your eye. We’ll meet again, we’ll part once more. The spot I’ll seek if the hour you’ll find. My chart shines high where the blue milk’s upset. Forgivemequick, I’m going! Bubye! And you, pluck your watch, forgetmenot. Your evenlode. So save to jurna’s end! My sights are swimming thicker on me by the shadows to this place. I sow home slowly now by own way, moy-valley way. Towy I too, rathmine.

Ah, but she was the queer old skeowsha anyhow, Anna Livia, trinkettoes! And sure he was the quare old buntz too, Dear Dirty Dumpling, foostherfather of fingalls and dotthergills. Gammer and gaffer we’re all their gangsters. Hadn’t he seven dams to wive him? And every dam had her seven crutches. And every crutch had its seven hues. And each hue had a differing cry. Sudds for me and supper for you and the doctor’s bill for Joe John. Befor! Bifur! He married his markets, cheap by foul, I know, like any Etrurian Catholic Heathen, in their pinky limony creamy birnies and their turkiss indienne mauves. But at milkidmass who was the spouse? Then all that was was fair. Tys Elvenland ! Teems of times and happy returns. The seim anew. Ordovico or viricordo. Anna was, Livia is, Plurabelle’s to be. Northmen’s thing made southfolk’s place but howmulty plurators made eachone in person? Latin me that, my trinity scholard, out of eure sanscreed into oure eryan! Hircus Civis Eblanensis! He had buckgoat paps on him, soft ones for orphans. Ho, Lord ! Twins of his bosom. Lord save us! And ho! Hey? What all men. Hot? His tittering daughters of. Whawk?

Can’t hear with the waters of. The chittering waters of. Flittering bats, fieldmice bawk talk. Ho! Are you not gone ahome? What Thom Malone? Can’t hear with bawk of bats, all thim liffeying waters of. Ho, talk save us ! My foos won’t moos. I feel as old as yonder elm. A tale told of Shaun or Shem? All Livia’s daughtersons. Dark hawks hear us. Night! Night! My ho head halls. I feel as heavy as yonder stone. Tell me of John or Shaun? Who were Shem and Shaun the living sons or daughters of? Night now! Tell me, tell me, tell me, elm! Night night! Telmetale of stem or stone. Beside the rivering waters of, hitherandthithering waters of. Night!

James Joyce

OMG did he just say “vagina”? excerpts from Joyce’s Penelope episode from Ulysses for Banned Books Week September 25, 2013

Posted by The Typist in books, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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Floey made me go to that dry old stick Dr Collins for womens diseases on Pembroke road your vagina he called it I suppose thats how he got all the gilt mirrors and carpets getting round those rich ones off Stephens green running up to him for every little fiddlefaddle her vagina and her cochinchina theyve money of course so theyre all right I wouldnt marry him not if he was the last man in the world besides theres something queer about their children always smelling around those filthy bitches all sides asking me if what I did had an offensive odour what did he want me to do but the one thing gold maybe what a question if I smathered it all over his wrinkly old face for him with all my compriments I suppose hed know then and could you pass it easily pass what I thought he was talking about the rock of Gibraltar the way he put it thats a very nice invention too by the way only I like letting myself down after in the hole as far as I can squeeze and pull the chain then to flush it nice cool pins and needles still theres something in it I suppose I always used to know by Millys when she was a child whether she had worms or not still all the same paying him for that how much is that doctor one guinea please and asking me had I frequent omissions where do those old fellows get all the words they have omissions with his shortsighted eyes on me cocked sideways I wouldnt trust him too far to give me chloroform or God knows what else still I liked him when he sat down to write the thing out frowning so severe his nose intelligent like that you be damned you lying strap O anything no matter who except an idiot he was clever enough to spot that of course that was all thinking of him and his mad crazy letters my Precious one everything connected with your glorious Body everything underlined that comes from it is a thing of beauty and of joy for ever something he got out of some nonsensical book that he had me always at myself 4 and 5 times a day sometimes and I said I hadnt are you sure O yes I said I am quite sure in a way that shut him up

Odd Words May 30, 2013

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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Bloomsday, the celebration of James Joyce’s Ulyssses, returns to New Orleans and the Irish House on June 16, organizer Micheal Zell has announced. The entire action of the novel is set on June 16 in Dublin, Ireland, and all across the world fans of Joyce celebrate with a day of readings and other festivities. Come read or just join us and enjoy good food and drink. All are welcome to read, up to 10 minutes max. Featuring guest readers: John Joyce, The Brothers Goat (Michael Jeffrey Lee & Christopher Hellwig), Vincent Cellucci, Pandora Gastelum, Herbert Kearney, and Susan Larson. This year’s celebration will be starting at 2 p.m. instead of breakfast.

On June 5-8 New Orleans, Louisiana will host the 21th Annual Southern Fried Poetry Slam for the first time since Hurricane Katrina. The four-day festival is slated to take place in downtown New Orleans. The Southern Fried Poetry Slam will be expected to attract over two hundred people. The literary competition features preliminary bouts and culminates in the Southern Fried Poetry Slam Finals on Saturday, June 8, 2013. In addition to the commemorative Moon Pies and RC Colas of Southern Fried tradition, this year’s champions will receive over $6500 in cash and various prizes as well as a couple local merchant wears. You can get more details on events and venues on the Facebook page.

& The Thursday night poetry scene continues at Flora’s Coffee Shop with an evening of poetry featuring Chris Carries and Quess? followed by the open mic at 8 p.m. t Flora Gallery and Coffee Shop is located at 2600 Royal St. at the corner of Franklin Ave. Carrier is the author of Mantle and After Dayton and several chapbooks. He earned an MFA from the Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Currently, he divides his time between Lafayette, where he is pursuing a PhD in English (with a concentration in creative writing) at the University of Louisiana, and Clarksville, AR, where he lives with his person Dawn Holder. Michael “Quess?” Moore is a poet, educator, and an actor in that order. His writing and work with youth as a poet led him to the classroom where he most recently spent four years as an English teacher—3 as a middle school teacher at Martin Behrman Charter Elementary and one as a freshman teacher in NOCCA’s Academic Studio. He is a founding member of Team SNO (Slam New Orleans), New Orleans’ first slam poetry team since Katrina, and the only 2 time national championship team the city has ever produced. He’s also a member of VOIC’D (Voices Organized in Creative Dissent), a collective of actors with a focus on social justice, whose last production, “Lockdown,” received critical acclaim and sold out audiences several nights in a row. He has produced a self-titled CD, “A Scribe Called Quess?” and his debut book of poetry, Blind Visionz, can be found at http://www.lulu.com

& Also on Thursday evening the Alvar Branch Library hosts an evening of poetry at 7 p.m. featuring Chris Champagne, Kelly Harris DeBerry, Jonathan Kline, and Valentine Pierce read from their work. Come for the poetry! Stay for the pie! This month features poets Liz Green, Krystal Languell, and Robert Alan Wendeborn: Green grew up in New Jersey and received her MFA from Warren Wilson College. An associate poetry editor at H_NGM_N Books, she works as a mental health counselor in New Orleans. Recent work has appeared in Forklift, Ohio, H_NGM_N, and on Anderbo.com. Languell is treasurer and member of the board of directors for the Belladonna* Collaborative. She also edits the feminist journal Bone Bouquet and teaches writing in NYC. Her first book, Call the Catastrophists, is now available from BlazeVox Books. Wendeborn lives and writes in Portland, OR. His poems and reviews can be found in The Collagist, >kill author, PANK, and other cool places. He blogs for Uncanny Valley, and you can follow him on Twitter @rawbbie.

& This Friday Spoken Word New Orleans hosts a very special show at Special Tea at 8 p.m. call The Retro Mic, dedicated to the “old heads”. Spoken Word New Orleans organizer Lionel King says, “I called up a few of my old poetry friends and we decided to get together and have a lil poetic fun. Already confirmed Hollywood, Shedrick White, Benjamin, Danielle, Erica Murray, Ginger, Butter, Peaches, and a very special guest. This is one of those show you don’t want to miss. Watch the architects show you how they build this scene.” Hosted by Lionel King. Admission $5.

Maple Street Book Shop moves the monthly Diane Tapes reading this Friday to the Maple Street shop at 6 p.m. for featured poets Liz Green, Krystal Languell, and Robert Alan Wendeborn. Green grew up in New Jersey and received her MFA from Warren Wilson College. An associate poetry editor at H_NGM_N Books, she works as a mental health counselor in New Orleans. Recent work has appeared in Forklift, Ohio, H_NGM_N, and on Anderbo.com. Languell is treasurer and member of the board of directors for the Belladonna Collaborative. She also edits the feminist journal Bone Bouquet and teaches writing in NYC. Her first book, Call the Catastrophists, is now available from BlazeVox Books. Wendeborn lives and writes in Portland, OR. His poems and reviews can be found in The Collagist, >kill author, PANK, and other cool places. He blogs for Uncanny Valley, and you can follow him on Twitter @rawbbie

& On Saturday the Latter Memorial Library’s monthly Poetry Buffet changes the menu to feature creative non-fiction read by Constance Adler, Karen Celestan, Bill Lavender, and Patrice Melnick at 2 p.m.

& Storytime with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Uptown features The Chicken Sisters by Laura Numeroff at 11:30 am.

& Saturday the New Orleans Public Library kicks off its Summer Reading Program for children and teenagers with special events at branches all over the city. You can get the details for your local branch on the library schedule on the Nutrias.org website by following this link, and a full listing of programs through the summer here.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artists paints the crowd and performers. At 6 p.m. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.

& On the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of each month, Jenna Mae hosts poets and spoken-word readers at 8:00 p.m. at the Fair Grinds Coffee House on 3133 Ponce de Leon St.

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

& Tuesday Octavia Books features a presentation and signing with Claire Manes at 6 p.m. featuring OUT OF THE SHADOW OF LEPROSY: The Carville Letters and Stories of the Landry Family. In 1924 when thirty-two-year-old Edmond Landry kissed his family good-bye and left for the leprosarium in Carville, Louisiana, leprosy, now referred to as Hansen’s Disease, stigmatized and disfigured but did not kill. Those with leprosy were incarcerated in the federal hospital and isolated from family and community. Phones were unavailable, transportation was precarious, and fear was rampant. Edmond entered the hospital (as did his four other siblings), but he did not surrender to his fate. He fought with his pen and his limited energy to stay connected to his family and to improve living conditions for himself and other patients.

& Adrian Van Young and Michael Jeffrey Lee will be at Maple Street Book Shop’s Bayou St. John location Tuesday, May 4th, at 6PM. Adrian Van Young will be signing his newest book, The Man Who Noticed Everything, while Michael Jeffrey Lee will be signing his collection Something in My Eye. has taught writing at Boston College, Boston University and Grub Street Writers, a creative writing non-profit. In fall 2013, he will begin teaching creative writing and composition at Tulane University. He received his B.A. in English from Vassar College, and his MFA in fiction from Columbia University, where he formerly taught as well. In 2008, he was the recipient of a Henfield Foundation Prize and was nominated by Columbia’s faculty for inclusion in the Best New American Voices 2010 Anthology. Lee’s stories are bizarre and smart and stilted, like dystopic fables told by a redneck Samuel Beckett. Outcasts hunker under bridges, or hole up in bars, waiting for the hurricane to hit. Lee’s forests are full of menace too-unseen crowds gather at the tree-line, and bands of petty crooks and marauders bluster their way into suicidal games of one-upmanship. In Something In My Eye, violence and idleness are always in tension, ratcheting up and down with an eerie and effortless force. Diction leaps between registers with the same vertiginous swoops, moving from courtly formality to the funk and texture of a slang that is all the characters’ own. It’s a masterful performance, and Lee’s inventiveness accomplishes that very rare feat-hyper-stylized structure and language that achieve clarity out of turbulence, never allowing technique to obscure what’s most important: a direct address that makes visible all those we’d rather not see.

& The First Tuesday Book Club meets at Maple Street Book Shop’s Uptown location at 5:45 PM the first Tuesday of every month. June’s book is On the Rez by Ian Frazier. Book club books are always 10% off at Maple Street Book Shop. On the Rez is a sharp, unflinching account of the modern-day American Indian experience, especially that of the Oglala Sioux, who now live on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the plains and badlands of the American West.
& Every Tuesday at 6 p.m. the Barnes & Noble West Bank hosts Westbank Writers’ Group. Every is welcome, from novices to serious authors. Join us for inspiration, friendly critiques, or just to connect with other local writers.

& On Wednesday Esoterotica hosts a new show on “True Confessions” featuring erotic writing at the Allways Lounge, with doors at 7 and show at 8 p.m. A donation is requested. Odd Words visited week before last and this is an electrically charged evening with a good dose of fun (and a drinking game, at least at the last one). Highly recommended for those who think the tongue, ear and brain are among the most important erogenous zones.

& The Jefferson Parish Public Library hosts an Author Event! Wednesday at Jean Morgan Meaux, In Pursuit of Alaska at 7 p.m. in the East Bank Regional Library Jefferson Room. Most Americans wouldn’t recognize their names: Charles Hallock, Caroline Willard, Harry de Windt, Mary Hitchock. Yet, their stories are as integral to the larger story of America as anyone’s, says Jean Morgan Meaux, who has written about these and 23 other “hardy souls” who in the 19th and early 20th century traveled to Alaska to discover and record the last and largest of American frontiers. The book, In Pursuit of Alaska: An Anthology of Travelers’ Tales 1879-1909 is a labor of love for Meaux, who began compiling the first-person accounts from the Alaskan wilderness in the 1980s, when she was a resident of the state

& Bloomsday in New Orleans

& Coming up in June the Louisiana Humanities Center will host “Tuesdays with Earl,” a five-week lunchtime reading series. Participants are invited to bring their lunches for a scholar-led conversation about Earl of Louisiana, the 1961 book by legendary author A.J. Liebling. The one-hour sessions will take place every Tuesday at noon, from June 18 through July 16 at the Louisiana Humanities Center at 938 Lafayette Street. Enrollment is free but limited to 40 people. To sign up, email boyles@leh.org.

Bloomsday NOLA June 14, 2011

Posted by The Typist in books, Irish, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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Bloomsday NOLA will be observed at Micks Irish Pub, 4801 Bienville at Bernadotte. 6:30 pm until we can’t read coherently any longer. Bring anything you like by Joyce to share, or just come join in the literary craic. Visit and Like the Bloomsday NOLA Page on Facebook or look for the #bloomsdaynola tag on Twitter for further updates.

Odd Words May 5, 2011

Posted by The Typist in 504, 504ever, books, literature, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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I am looking to organize a Bloomsday event in New Orleans on June 16. If you’re interested in participating join the group on Facebook Bloomsday NOLA or drop me an email. If you can’t manage to attend a Bloomsday event, you can always visit this project and get your fill of hearing the book read aloud at James Joyce intended it. And if I don’t get enough people, look for me on a corner in Frenchman Street the evening of June 16, reading to the crowd. If it comes to that, beer and relief readers will be most welcome.

Thomas Beller edited the esteemed New York literary magazine Open City for 20 years and 30 issues. It recently ceased publication, and Beller, now an assistant professor at Tulane, spoke about the magazine’s life and death, among other things, with a new local literary website started by the Press Street press, Room 220.

And so, the listings:

& I’m not a big fan of mysteries but former Times Picayune report Julie Smith has always come highly recommended to me, and she joins fellow New Orleans mysterian Greg Herren in celebrating the release of their new Young Adult novels at Octavia Books Thursday, May 5 at 6 p.m.

& Starting May 5, a free staging of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus will be held here. OK, not exactly on the FB page but at 612 Piety. It sounds, um, fun: “In a warehouse in the Bywater, a small ensemble of actors will unfold Shakespeare’s earliest, goriest and most absurd tragedy with lighthearted savagery.” Get you some epically dead people. You know you want some. Through May 14th.

& Because you can never have too much Shakespeare, the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden is the idyllic setting for the NOLA Project’s dusktime performances of Shakespeare’s whimsical A Midsummer Night’s Dream Tickets $10, $8 seniors/students, $6 children, free for NOMA members and students from many local universities with student ID. 7 p.m. Friday May 6 through May 27. That sounds like tonic relief from Titus Andronicus indeed.

& The Ebony Center at 4215 Magazine Street hosts a weekly spoken-word, music and open-mic event. Tickets $7 general admission, $5 students. 11 p.m. Friday.

& Also on Friday, May 5 Maple Street Book Shop will host a reading with Eve Abrams and Thomas W. Jacobsen on Thursday, May 5, 2011, 6:00 P.M. Ms. Abrams conducted the interviews the Preservation Hall Band Members for the new book, Preservation Hall. Mr. Jacobsen is the author of Traditional Orleans Jazz: Conversations with the Men Who Make the Music. Gather with us for a night of music, culture and food!

& On Saturday, Poet Gian “G-Persepect” Smith and Alphonse “Bobby” Smith host Pass It On, a weekly spoken-word and music event at the George & Leah McKenna Museum of African American Art, 2003 Carondelet St. Admission $6. 9 p.m G-Persepect is the poet featured in the Treme trailer.

& On Sunday, May 8 the Maple Leaf Bar hosts the Everette Maddox-founded poetry reading at 3 pm (ish) with an Open Mike.

& Don’t forget every Wednesday at 9 pm be sure to check out the open poetry forum hosted by Kate Smash in the amphitheater on Decatur across from Jackson Square. No list, no mic, just anyone who shows up free to read what they like. Musicians encouraged to join. Organizer Kate Smash said the first one was, well, smashing.

& Also every Wednesday Thaddeus Conti will revive the Dinky Tao poetry meeting (reading, discussion, drinking–coffee in this case) at 8 pm 5110 Daneel at The Neutral Ground Coffeehouse.

Bloomsday June 16, 2009

Posted by The Typist in books, Ireland, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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“Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read…”
— Stephen Dedalus in James Joyce’s Ulysses.

And so it is Bloomsday and there is nothing going on in New Orleans. No, that is not true. In this city there is always something going on, at this time of year when everyone is out on a stoop or sitting under a shady spot on the neutral ground or strolling in the shade of Audubon Park or Lake Vista, in spite of the dreadful heat that has finally arrived there are people everywhere, somewhere people are cooking, many others are drinking, and somewhere there will be something very like a parade (I think of the bicyclists I saw the other night coming out of the Marigny at Elysian Fields, of the woman who had dressed a tricycle out as a white fairy horse and rode it in a diaphanous Princess Buttercup gown into the Quarter. Never say “nothing is going on” in this city; ask yourself why you are at home telling yourself that).

I forgot to ask Amy at the bookseller’s party Saturday night why she was not holding a Bloomsday party this year and of course last year I didn’t go and there isn’t one this year and let that be a lesson to you, that if you see something good happening in this town and you do not go it will be your own damned fault if next time there is nothing, you will be one of those “if only a few more people had shown up” and you’ll have no one to blame to yourself. That was part of the long conversation I had with the famous geographer who came to collect his book award (and that long conversation part of the reason I forgot to ask Amy about Bloomsday), and he asked why I came home and I told him I was afraid for the city, that if there was not a critical mass of people sufficient to sustain the place it might fail and I wanted to be here, to help tip the scale toward survival. So if you don’t go, its your own damn fault when its gone.

So if there are no Bloomsday readings, not even a handful in a bar with broken copies sprouting yellow post-it notes and pouting favorite passages then maybe what I need to do is something solitary (no, I’m not going to go stand on a street corner and read into the crowd as I once suggested when no one answered my online queries, but if you see someone doing this somewhere tonight buy them a drink, will you?). The story of Ulysses is not just the story of Bloom the unlikely everyman or Daedalus his chronicler but also the story of the city, a picture of Dublin on June 16, 1904, the day James Joyce met Nora Barnacle, and the story advances as much by the action of it’s characters in the context of the street as by their interaction with the other characters, the city unfolds not when Bloom and Dedalus meet but as they each make their separate walks though it. Ulysses is probably the most ambitious and famous example of capturing the “the genie soul of the place“.

What I should do is not worry about the Dublin of 1904 but about the New Orleans of 2009. I should take myself out and walk some familiar street as I once walked the streets of Rehoboth, Delaware on our last trip to the ocean before we left for Fargo, to walk with a mind to build a perfect mental picture of a place I was afraid I might not see again. I should pick somewhere (perhaps a circuit of the French Quarter, or a walk the length of Magazine, somewhere there are certain to be people) and just take careful mental note of everything and everyone I see, every bit a conversation overheard, to do what I pledged to myself long ago but don’t do enough now (life is too busy: the counting house, the kids, her crazy job I have to hear about for hours every night) which is to be myself a chronicler of place, of people in a place, to tell the story of a city.

So don’t sit inside tonight reading about a city an ocean and a century away but set out down some street here in this city, your city–down your street, or an old street of fond memories or a new old street your barely know–with your warehouse eyes bright with Arcadian rum and drink it all in, let the city wash over and into every pore. Be a part of the city’s story, then tell it. There is not one great work of a single hand like Ulysses that tells the story of New Orleans and may never be, but there are a hundreds of bloggers each telling a small piece of the story of New Orleans. Step out sometime today into the city and remember all you see. Try sometime this week to tell a small bit of the story of June 16 in New Orleans

Tales of Grave Ulysses February 28, 2008

Posted by The Typist in 504, cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, postdiluvian, quotes, Toulouse Street, Uncategorized.
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….O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gilbraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

— James Joyce’s Ulysses

Soon it will be June and where then shall we meet, and who shall read? I have never done a Bloomsday and have always wanted to. The last hereabouts looks to have been June 2005 and then, well, you know. So, who’s in?


P.S.–It’s hard to see online, but this has a NoLa Rising tag painted down the left side.