‘Sixteenth Today It Is’

A fictional 100th anniversary: The action in “Ulysses” was set on June 16, 1904. There’s a nice editorialin The New York Times marking the occasion. It notes that while the novel has become a symbol of impossible, elitist literature — a perception sadly reflected in a human-on-the-street poll today in the San Francisco Chronicle — it’s actually anything but inaccessible:

“Its stuff is the common life of man, woman and child. You take what you can, loping over the smooth spots and pulling up short when you need to. Dedalus may indulge in Latinate fancy, and Joyce may revel in literary mimicry. But the real sound of this novel is the sound of the street a century ago: the noise of centuries of streets echoing over the stones.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *