Friday, 17 June 2011

Epic Journeys #1 - Ulysses in the footsteps of Leopold Bloom in his travels around the city of Dublin on Thursday the 16th of June 1904 between 8 a.m. and 2 a.m. the following morning

A drawing of Leopold Bloom by his creator
James Joyce

Our souls, shame-wounded by our sins, cling to us yet more, a woman to her lover clinging, the more the more.   [p54 Penguin edition] 

Touch me. Soft eyes. Soft soft soft hand. I am lonely here. O, touch me soon, now. What is that world known to all men? I am quiet here alone. Sad too. Touch, touch me.    [p54 Penguin edition] 

It was exactly seventeen o'clock.    [p306 Pengin edition] 

James Joyce's Ulysses is constructed around Homer's The Odyssey. Both recount epic journeys of their heroes Leopold Bloom and Odysseus respectively on their journeys home, Odysseus from Troy to the island of Ithaca, where his wife Penelope is besieged by suitors vying for her hand, Bloom to his house at 9 Eccles Street, Dublin where his wife Molly is with her lover Blazes Boylan. They have to overcome many obstacles and temptations on the way - Sirens and Cyclops for Odysseus, singing barmaids and an ill-tempered nationalist called the Citizen for Bloom. Odysseus arrives home with his son Telemachus and they slay the suitors in a climactic bloodbath. Bloom arrives home with his surrogate son Stephen Dedalus and they sit in the kitchen and drink a cup of cocoa. Odysseus's journey took ten years, Bloom's eighteen hours. But both, in their own ways, were epic, and both have become part of our mythology.

This is a rough outline of Bloom's journey on Thursday the 16th of June 1904, a day celebrated in Dublin as Bloomsday.

Early morning leaves 9 Eccles street, goes Larry O'Rourke's corner Eccles street/Dorset street and buys kidneys, returns 9 Eccles street with kidneys, later along sir John Rogerson's Quay, past Windmill lane, through Lime street, crosses Townsend street, to Westland row, darts a keen glance through door of post office, enters post office, picks up letter to Harry Flower, Esq., c/o P.O. Westland Row, leaves post office, into Brunswick street, Cumberland street, All Hallows (St. Andrew's) southwards along Westland row, gate of College Park

Tritonville road in funeral carriage, Irishtown, Ringsend, Brunswick street, Watery lane, Ringsend road, Dodder bridge, Grand canal, St. Mark's, under railway bridge, Queen's theatre, Rotunda Corner, up Rutland square, Blessington street, Berkley street / past end Eccles street, Phibsborough road, Crossguns bridge / the royal canal

Butler's monument, glances along Bachelors walk, O'Connell bridge, Westmorland road, Fleet street, past Westmorland house, College street, Tommy Moore's roughish finger, Trinity college, Nassau street corner, Duke street, Cambridge street, Burton restaurant, leaves Burton's without dining, turns back towards Grafton street, Danny Byrne's public house, Dawson street, Duke lane, Dawson street opposite, Molesworth street helps blind man, Doran's public house, Kildare street, past National Museum gates, National Library to check ad. in Kilkenny People

Stephen strolls in, Leopold meanwhile Essex bridge, Blazes Boylan comes in, Leopold in pub, Leopold leaves bar, crosses 'up quay', Greek street

Lower and Middle Gardener street, Mountjoy square, west, Gardener place as far as farthest corner of Temple street, north, bearing right as far as Hardwick place, crosses by St George's church, arrives Eccles street, Blazes gone, drinks cocoa

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