Sunday, June 16, 2013

Meeting Ourselves

I've never read James Joyce's Ulysses.  I can't even say I've tried. This is sort of embarrassing as I am an English teacher... and I back in the 90's I lived in Dublin for almost three years.

But, in honor of Bloomsday, I just wandered through my neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights with a group of fellow bookworms.  Led by three chatty (and well-read) guides, we stood in the long-lost shadows of Carson McCullers, Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, and Arthur Miller.  We walked by the homes that housed the desks of W.H. Auden and Walt Whitman and Betty Smith.  We stood on the Promenade and stared out at the bridge Hart Crane celebrated with the lines:

"And Thee, across the harbor, silver-paced As though the sun took step of thee, yet left Some motion ever unspent in thy stride,---"

We didn’t discuss the current influx of young scribes and artists, but they are here.  While we perused the memorials for those writers of the past, Lena Dunham and her crew were dashing by us to get to their next reading or interview.

Joyce (in that book I’ve yet to read) seems to have it right when he says,

“If Socrates leaves his house today he will find the sage seated on his doorstep. If Judas go forth tonight it is to Judas his steps will tend.’ Every life is many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-law. But always meeting ourselves.”

No comments:

Post a Comment