James Joyce, Bloomsday and me

Jimmy Joyce

I’ve been asked to be one of the readers of a Bloomsday event, and I can’t wait.

I’ll be reading about six pages from the Nestor section — one of the sections from Stephen Dedalus’s point of view — of Ulysses starting at 6 pm Monday, June 16th, at the Rensselaer County Historical Society, 57 Second St. in Troy, NY.

In addition to my Irish heritage (County Cork, baby!) and having read Ulysses as an undergrad and as a graduate student, I also have a circuitous connection to the Joycean universe through the first short story I had ever gotten published, when I was in grad school.

The story, “Out of Japan,” was published in a now-defunct literary journal that was called The Abiko Quarterly. It came out of Abiko, Japan, a town in the Chiba prefecture, about an hour or so outside of Tokyo. And though the journal included new, literary fiction, it also called itself “A Publication of the James Joyce Parlor Japan,” as its main purpose was to be a scholarly journal focusing on James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake.

Now that I’ll be reading at a Bloomsday event, I can’t help but think of it as me and Jimmy, together again.

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