Vital Signs

Belated Bloomsday

June 16 is Bloomsday, named after the character of Leopold Bloom in James Joyce's Ulysses. Joyce's huge book takes place all on that long June day in 1904—250,000 words long, that is. We are told that Ulysses is one of the most important books of the century.

We are told it is an intelligent book. But who amongst us has ever had a serious and satisfying intellectual discussion of the book? Dare we ask who has truly read it?

Ulysses seems to encourage false postures and impostors of bourgeois bohemia —those bores who eagerly call themselves "artist" and who create no art. It has also been a boon to academia, to the producers of thesis papers, and to those who hold literary conferences. There are so many theories about the book that it keeps this crowd away from the unemployment queue, enabling them to wander further around in mazes lost.

Those who seek to solve the riddle of the great Ulysses can do it with one blinding strike of the pike. You can put out the eye of that giant, dumb Cyclops by reading "An Analysis Of The Mind Of James Joyce," a short essay in a very intelligent book by Wyndham Lewis entitled Time and Western Man. Lewis, a contemporary of Joyce, picked up the thread to lead us out of the Joycean labyrinth and examined much of what is wrong with the intellect in our age.

Therein is examined the all-in-one-day...

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