Tuesday, June 16, 2009


The primary significance for me of June 16th it that is my nephew, Jacob Weed's, birthday. He's nine years old and when I spoke to him earlier this morning, he was excavating tyrannosaur bones from a brick of plaster. My sister, Heather, said his birthday celebration already began on Saturday with a party: since Catherine believes that birthdays are supposed to last a whole week (if not the entire month), then he still has at least four more days to enjoy.

Today is also, of course, the day in which all of the events in James Joyce's novel, Ulysses, take place. I have begun reading the novel three times over the years: each time I try, I get a little further along but still have yet to slog through more than a hundred pages or so before I put it down again. Here in NYC, there are readings from the novel at Symphony Space by famous actors; Catherine and I tell ourselves every year that next year we're going... but somehow we never manage to get it together (to be fair, this year we've been given tickets to see A Midsummer Night's Dream at the New York City Ballet because our friends, Eric and Anne, were appalled that neither of us has ever seen any classical ballet performed live).

While I won't be able to hear them spoken (and I would love to hear Barbara Feldon's take—in addition to having had a big ol' crush on Agent 99 in my youth, I think she's still got one of the sexiest voices in the business), I would like to share the last few lines of Molly Bloom's famous soliloquy that ends the novel. The entire text of the speech can be found here and the online version of the novel is here.
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 the pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar 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.

No comments: