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Posts Tagged ‘James Joyce

“The law of unintended consequences pushes us ceaselessly through the years”*…

 

Much has been said about the ways we expect our oncoming fleet of driverless cars to change the way we live—remaking us all into passengers, rewiring our economy, retooling our views of ownership, and reshaping our cities and roads.

They will also change the way we die. As technology takes the wheel, road deaths due to driver error will begin to diminish. It’s a transformative advancement, but one that comes with consequences in an unexpected place: organ donation…

* Richard Schickel

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As we get to the heart of the matter, we might spare a thought for a wicked bender of English words, James Augustine Aloysius Joyce; he died on this date in 1941.  A poet and novelist best known for Ulysses, he was the preeminent figure in the Modernist avant-garde, and a formative influence on writers as various as (Joyce’s protege) Samuel Becket, Jorge Luis Borges, Salmon Rushdie, and Joesph Campbell.

In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Ulysses No. 1, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man No. 3, and Finnegans Wake No. 77, on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.  The next year, Time Magazine named Joyce one of its 100 Most Important People of the 20th century, observing that “Joyce … revolutionized 20th century fiction.”  And illustrating that Joyce’s influence was not confined to the arts: physicist Murray Gell-Mann used the sentence “Three quarks for Muster Mark!” (in Joyce’s Finnegans Wake) as source for the elementary particle he was naming– the quark.

A portrait of the artist as a 38 year old man: the image of Joyce included in a printed subscription order form for the 1921 Paris edition of Ulysses. The image itself dates from 1918,

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Written by LW

January 13, 2017 at 1:01 am

“It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression, ‘As pretty as an airport”*…

 

From Tokyo’s Narita Airport (and its carpet’s cautionary history), to

Portland Airport’s famous footpad…

Ever since the dawn of time man has separated himself from the lifeless earth beneath him with carpets.

Nowhere has this renunciation of man’s transience been more joyous or uplifting than in the medium of airport carpets.

From Santiago to Sydney, from Bishkek to Boston, the airport carpet sings out its inviolable song, a sign of man’s refusal to go drably into that dark night of international travel.

Such aesthetic intimacy, poetry and passion, has for too long gone unnoticed by the modern traveler.

Until now…

The stories behind the flooring at dozens of the world’s aerodromes: Carpets for Airports.

* Douglas Adams, The Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

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As we watch our steps, we might recall that today is Bloomsday— the date on which Leopold Bloom goes about Dublin in Ulysses, James Joyce’s immortalization of his first outing with Nora Barnacle, the woman who would eventually become his wife.  Readers can join in celebrations almost anywhere in the world.

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Written by LW

June 16, 2015 at 1:01 am

“When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes”*…

 

From the proprietors of a second-hand bookshop in Brisbane, Australia, a collection of things they’ve found in the books they’ve bought…

More at Stuff in Old Books.

* Desiderius Erasmus

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As we riffle through the pages, we might recall that it was on this date in 1933, that Federal Judge John M. Woolsey, ruling on an action precipitated by Random House publisher Bennett Cerf as a test case, that the James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is not obscene.  Woolsey reserved judgement on the objects found interleaved therein.

1922 first edition cover

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Written by LW

December 6, 2014 at 1:01 am

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others…”*

 

One of a wonderful series of Faces in Things.

* Jonathan Swift

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As we endeavor to follow Schopenhauer’s good advice, we might send amusing birthday greetings to Aron Ettore Schmitz; he was born on this date in 1861.  Much better known by his pen name, Italo Svevo (though not so nearly well known as he deserves to be), Schmitz was a successful businessman and aspiring writer who drew James Joyce as an English tutor during Joyce’s sojourn as a Berlitz instructor in Trieste.  Joyce admired Schmitz’s first (and largely ignored) novel Senilità. Years later Schmitz failed to find an Italian publisher for his second novel and ultimately self-published; Joyce, by then in Paris, had the text translated into French and intervened with his publisher to secure a release.  The novel, La Coscienza di Zeno (The Confessions of Zeno, or Zeno’s Conscience as a later English translation has it) was such a critical success that the then-dean of Italian critics, Eugenio Montale, discovered it, and Schmitz’s novel got a commercial release in Italy.  

Zeno Cosini, the novel’s hero, a businessman fascinated by Freudian theory, mirrored Schmitz– who was also a model for Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Joyce’s Ulysses.

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Written by LW

December 19, 2013 at 1:01 am

Characteristic characteristics…

 

Just a sample of flickerdart‘s helpful tips in “How To Recognize The Artists In Paintings.”

[TotH to Richard Kadrey]

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As we develop our discernment, we might recall that it was on this date in 1926 that James Joyce and Thomas Wolfe took the same tour of the Waterloo battlefield in Belgium.  While Wolfe was too shy to approach Joyce, he recalled him as “very simple, very nice.”

Joyce and Wolfe

 

Written by LW

September 22, 2013 at 1:01 am

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl…

The first panel of “Ulysses SEEN

The product of a quartet of Philadelphia-based artists and Joyce-freaks who call themselves Throwaway Horse LLC, Ulysses SEEN is a lovingly-created graphic version of Joyce’s famously-densely-symbolic novel, along with a Reader’s Guide and a blog that comments both on the text(s) and their creation.

As Joyce observes in Chapter 12 (“Cyclops”), “Love loves to love love…”

As we thank God for the obsessions (well, at least *some* of the obsessions) of others, we might tip our berets to Roger Vadim, who was born (as Roger Vladimir Plemiannikov) in Paris on this date in 1928.  Vadim worked as a journalist, author, actor, screenwriter, director, and producer, but is best remembered as the lover and/or husband and promoter of a series of beautiful actresses:  Brigitte Bardot (whose career he launched), Catherine Deneuve, Annette Strøyberg, Jane Fonda, Catherine Schneider, and Marie-Christine Barrault.

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We stand corrected…

As 2009 draws to a close, and we do our best, with an eye to a better 2010, to learn from our errors, the good folks at Regret the Error have helpfully compiled “Crunks 2009: The Year in Media Errors and Corrections.”

It features such capital corrections as this, from the British Medical Journal:

During the editing of this Review of the Week by Richard Smith (BMJ 2008;337:a2719,doi:10.1136/bmj.a2719), the author’s term “pisshouse” was changed to “pub” in the sentence: “Then, in true British and male style, Hammond met Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye, in the pub and did a deal.” However, a pisshouse is apparently a gentleman’s toilet, and (in the author’s social circle at least) the phrase “pisshouse deal” is well known. (It alludes to the tendency of men to make deals while standing side by side and urinating.) In the more genteel confines of the BMJ Editorial Office, however, this term was unknown and a mistake was made in translating it into more standard English. We apologise for any misunderstanding this may have caused.

And this, from the Los Angeles Times:

Bear sighting: An item in the National Briefing in Sunday’s Section A said a bear wandered into a grocery story in Hayward, Wis., on Friday and headed for the beer cooler. It was Thursday.

… Such exalted errata (and consequent apologia) as this, from The Sun (UK):

In my column on August 22 I suggested that Sharon Osbourne was an unemployed, drugaddled, unfit mum with a litter of feral kids. This was not intended to be taken literally. I fully accept she is none of these things and sincerely apologise to Sharon and her family for my unacceptable comments. Sorry Sharon…

…Such terrific typos as this, from The Daily Universe, a student paper at BYU:

In printed copies of Monday’s Daily Universe, due to a spelling error in a photo caption, the word “apostles” was replaced with a different word. The Daily Universe apologizes to the Quorum of the Twelve and our readers for the error.

(The spelling error appeared in a photo caption in which the word “apostle” was rendered as “apostate.” In referring to activities at the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints last weekend, the caption read in part, “Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostates and other general authorities raise their hands in a sustaining vote…”)

And it features some exquisite headlines of the poorly-chosen sort, like the one at the top of this post and this particularly tasteless use of the First Children:

See more in each of these categories and others (e.g., Sources, Misquotes, Hoax) here.

As we wonder how many of the wounds afflicting the traditional press are self-inflicted, we might recall that it was on this date in 1916 that James Joyce’s semi-autobiographical Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was published in New York (having been previously serialized in Ezra Pound’s review The Egoist). It was published in the UK the following year.

Cover of the first edition (title in relief)

Your correspondent’s time in the land of consistent snow and occasional power continues; so per earlier alerts, (Roughly) Daily is unlikely to be roughly daily again until early in the New Year…

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