Your Boston Bloomsday To-Do List


(A little late for the traditional 8 a.m. start time, but feel free to pick it up at Episode 9.)

Episode 1 - Telemachus. Breakfast. Shave. Take a dip at Carson Beach in Southie.

God, he said quietly. Isn't the sea what Algy calls it: a grey sweet mother? The snotgreen sea. The scrotumtightening sea. Epi oinopa ponton. Ah, Dedalus, the Greeks. I must teach you. You must read them in the original. Thalatta! Thalatta! She is our great sweet mother. Come and look.

Episode 2 - Nestor. Duck into a BU summer school history class.

Had Pyrrhus not fallen by a beldam's hand in Argos or Julius Caesar not been knifed to death? They are not to be thought away. Time has branded them and fettered they are lodged in the room of the infinite possibilities they have ousted. But can those have been possible seeing that they never were? Or was that only possible which came to pass? Weave, weaver of the wind....

"History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake."

Episode 3 - Proteus. Walk along the waterfront. Close your eyes, contemplating the “ineluctable modality of the audible.” Open them again. See the sea change. Pick your nose and smear it on a rock.

Under the upswelling tide he saw the writhing weeds lift languidly and sway reluctant arms, hising up their petticoats, in whispering water swaying and upturning coy silver fronds. Day by day: night by night: lifted, flooded and let fall.

Episode 4 - Calypso. Buy a pork kidney in Chinatown. Cook it up good.

Mr. Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liver slices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencod's roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.

Episode 5 - Lotus Eaters. Visit to post office...check for love letter. (Or at least check your e-mail.) Take a hot tub bath at Inman Oasis.

Enjoy a bath now: clean trough of water, cool enamel, the gentle tepid stream. This is my body. He foresaw his pale body reclined in it at full, naked, in a womb of warmth, oiled by scented melting soap, softly laved. He saw his trunk and limbs riprippled over and sustained, buoyed lightly upward, lemonyellow: his navel, bud of flesh: and saw the dark tangled curls of his bush floating, floating hair of the stream around the limp father of thousands, a languid floating flower.

Episode 6 - Hades. Visit Mount Auburn Cemetery. Ponder your mortality.

I daresay the soil would be quite fat with corpse manure, bones, flesh, nails, charnelhouses. Dreadful. Turning green and pink, decomposing. Rot quick in damp earth. The lean old ones tougher. Then a kind of a tallowy kind of a cheesy. Then begin to get black, treacle oozing out of them. Then dried up. Deathmoths. Of course the cells or whatever they are go on living. Changing about. Live for ever practically. Nothing to feed on feed on themselves.

Episode 7 - Aeolus. Stop by a newspaper office. (Feel free to buy an ad.)

He stayed in his walk to watch a typesetter neatly distributing type. Reads it backwards first. Quickly he does it. Must require some practice that. mangiD. kcirtaP. Poor papa with his hagadah book, reading backwards with his finger to me. Pessach. Next year in Jerusalem. Dear, O dear! All that long business about that brought us out of the land of Egypt and into the house of bondage alleluia. Shema Israel Adonai Elohenu.... How quickly he does that job. Practice makes perfect. Seems to see with his fingers.

Episode 8 - Lestrygonians. Order a grilled cheese and a glass of wine at All-Star Sandwich Bar.

He smellsipped the cordial juice and, bidding his throat strongly to speed it, set his wineglass delicately down.... Mr Bloom ate his strips of sandwich, fresh clean bread, with relish of disgust, pungent mustard, the feety savour of green cheese. Sips of his wine soothed his palate. Not logwood that. Tastes fuller this weather with the chill off.

Episode 9 - Scylla And Charybdis. Visit the BPL. Thumb through a copy of Hamlet.

Well: if the father who has not a son be not a father can the son who has not a father be a son? When Rutlandbaconsouthamptonshakespeare or another poet of the same name in the comedy of errors wrote Hamlet he was not the father of his own son merely but, being no more a son, he was and felt himself the father of all his race, the father of his own grandfather, the father of his unborn grandson who, by the same token, never was born for nature, as Mr Magee understands her, abhors perfection.

Episode 10 - Wandering Rocks. Free period. Perambulate aimlessly. Do some people-watching.

Mr Kernan turned and walked down the slope of Watling street by the corner of Guinness's visitors' waitingroom. Outside the Dublin Distillers Company's stores an outside car without fare or jarvey stood, the reins knotted to the wheel. Damn dangerous thing. Some Tipperary bosthoon endangering the lives of the citizens. Runaway horse.... Denis Breen with his tomes, weary of having waited an hour in John Henry Menton's office, led his wife over O'Connell bridge, bound for the office of Messrs Collis and Ward.... A cavalcade in easy trot along Pembroke quay passed, outriders leaping, leaping in their, in their saddles. Frockcoats. Cream sunshades.

Episode 11 - Sirens. Get a drink and listen to musical stylings on offer at Ryles.

From the saloon a call came, long in dying. That was a tuningfork the tuner had that he forgot that he now struck. Acall again. That he now poised that it now throbbed. You hear? It throbbed, pure, purer, softly and softlier, its buzzing prongs. Longer in dying call.... A voiceless song sang from within, singing.... A duodene of birdnotes chirruped bright treble answer under sensitive hands. Brightly the keys, all twinkling, linked, all harpsichording, called to a voice to sing the strain of dewy morn, of youth, of love's leavetaking, life's, love's morn.

Episode 12 - Cyclops. Get in an argument with a racist.

-- Mendelssohn was a jew and Karl Marx and Mercadante and Spinoza. And the Saviour was a jew and his father was a jew. Your God.

-- He had no father, says Martin. That'll do now. Drive ahead.

-- Whose God? says the citizen.

-- Well, his uncle was a jew, says he. Your God was a jew. Christ was a jew like me.

Gob, the citizen made a plunge back into the shop.

-- By Jesus, says he, I'Il brain that bloody jewman for using the holy name. By Jesus, I'll crucify him so I will. Give us that biscuitbox here.

Episode 13 - Nausicca. Take a walk on Revere Beach. (Behave yourself.)

The summer evening had begun to fold the world in its mysterious embrace. Far away in the west the sun was setting and the last glow of all too fleeting day lingered lovingly on sea and strand, on the proud promontory of dear old Howth guarding as ever the waters of the bay, on the weedgrown rocks along Sandymount shore and, last but not least, on the quiet church whence there streamed forth at times upon the stillness the voice of prayer to her who is in her pure radiance a beacon ever to the storm-tossed heart of man, Mary, star of the sea.

Episode 14 - Oxen Of The Sun. Visit the maternity ward at MGH. Consider the long evolution of the English language.

Send us, bright one, light one, Horhorn, quickening and wombfruit. Send us, bright one, light one, Horhorn, quickening and wombfruit. Send us bright one, light one, Horhorn, quickening and wombfruit.

Hoopsa, boyaboy, hoopsa! Hoopsa, hoyaboy, hoopsa! Hoopsa, boyaboy, hoopsa.

Episode 15 - Circe. Get very drunk. Walk around the Combat Zone, and try to picture the days when there was an actual red light district in Boston.

KITTY (Peers at the gasjet.) What ails it tonight?

LYNCH (Deeply.) Enter a ghost and hobgoblins.

ZOE Clap on the back for Zoe.

(The wand in Lynch's hand flashes: a brass poker. Stephen stands at the pianola on which sprawl his hat and ashplant. With two fingers he repeats once more the series of empty fifths. Florry Talbot, a blond feeble goosefat whore in a tatterdemalion gown of mildewed strawberry, lolls spreadeagle in the sofa corner, her limp forearm pendent over the bolster, listening. A heavy stye droops over her sleepy eyelid.)

KITTY (Hiccups again with a kick of her horsed foot.) O, excuse!

ZOE (Promptly.) Your boy's thinking of you. Tie a knot on your shift.

(Kitty Ricketts bends her head. Her boa uncoils, slides, glides over her shoulder, back, arm, chair to the ground. Lynch lifts the curled caterpillar on his wand. She snakes her neck, nestling. Stephen glances behind at the squatted figure with its cap back to the front.)

Episode 16 - Eumaeus. Hail a cab. Engage in a long, rambling conversation with the cabby.

All kinds of Utopian plans were flashing through his (Bloom's) busy brain. Education (the genuine article), literature, journalism, prize titbits, up to date billing, hydros and concert tours in English watering resorts packed with theatres, turning money away, duets in Italian with the accent perfectly true to nature and a quantity of other things, no necessity of course to tell the world and his wife from the housetops about it and a slice of luck. An opening was all was wanted. Because he more than suspected he had his father's voice to bank his hopes on which it was quite on the cards he had so it would be just as well, by the way no harm, to trail the conversation in the direction of that particular red herring just to.

Episode 17 - Ithaca. Arrive home. Make a cup of cocoa. Talk about life. Walk out in your back yard. Pee in the bushes while you gaze up at the “heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit.”

What action did Bloom make on their arrival at their destination?

At the housesteps of the 4th of the equidifferent uneven numbers, number 7 Eccles street, he inserted his hand mechanically into the back pocket of his trousers to obtain his latchkey.

Was it there?

It was in the corresponding pocket of the trousers which he had worn on the day but one preceding.

Why was he doubly irritated?

Because he had forgotten and because he remembered that he had reminded himself twice not to forget.

What were then the alternatives before the, premeditatedly (respectively) and inadvertently, keyless couple?

To enter or not to enter. To knock or not to knock.

Bloom's decision?

A stratagem. Resting his feet on the dwarf wall, he climbed over the area railings, compressed his hat on his head, grasped two points at the lower union of rails and stiles, lowered his body gradually by its length of five feet nine inches and a half to within two feet ten inches of the area pavement, and allowed his body to move freely in space by separating himself from the railings and crouching in preparation for the impact of the fall.

Episode 18 - Penelope. Crawl into bed, with your feet on the pillows and your head under the covers, weary, drifting off to sleep, thinking of the person you love.

...glancing eyes a lattice hid for her lover to kiss the iron and the wineshops half open at night and the castanets and the night we missed the boat at Algeciras the watchman going about serene with his lamp and O that awful deepdown torrent 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 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 Jo 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.
| More

 Friends' Activity   Popular 
All Blogs
Follow the Phoenix
  • newsletter
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • youtube
  • rss
Latest Comments
Search Blogs
Phlog Archives