Saturday, 16 June 2012

Yes I said yes I will Yes

Nothing is more important than reconnecting with your bliss. Nothing is as rich. Nothing is more real.

by Lu Yang

Everyone's bliss comes from different places.

For me, today, June 16th, Bloomsday, I've been transported into a state of bliss, listening to BBC Radio 4's dramatisation of James Joyce's Ulysses, which will continue in small packages of sheer delight right up until midnight.

How I love that book!

When I was at school, if you won the award for exceptional work over an academic year, you could choose a book for a prize, to be presented on Speech Day. As a pretentious child, I always asked for the book that might make me appear to be the very most intellectual. (Cringe!) One year it was War and Peace. I think I was about 13 when I asked for Ulysses. 

I tell you what, though, I read both from cover to cover. All 1400 pages of War and Peace. All 265,000 words of Ulysses.  And I loved them. I truly did. At first I didn't love Ulysses, because I was trying to read it as a novel, trying to work out what was happening, trying to analyse and compartmentalise.

But then I just lost myself in the language and let it all wash over me and round me and through me. There is poetry in every line. No matter what the subject matter of the line, it is poetry.

“Mr. Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods’ roes. Most of all...
Or, here he is in the bath...

“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.”

I'll be downloading the dramatisation and it will soothe me to blissful sleep each night, so it will, I tell you.

Yes I said yes I will Yes.