It’s that time of year in Ireland when everyone pretends they have read Joyce’s lauded masterpiece Ulysses and get together to reenact moments from the epic novel (all of which takes place in a single day, June 16th). Like so many others, I never made it through the book. I tried. Despite being lauded as possibly the greatest novel of all time, I can’t help it fails one major criteria for a great novel, namely readability. It really feels like an awful lot of solipsistic inpenetrable old bollocks that makes little or no sense. But maybe that’s just me. Legions of scholars and bores have made a career out of dissecting it, so good luck to them. The best interpretation of James Joyce though is surely reserved for this sketch by The Brownbread Players where a mashed Dublin skanger analyses Finnegan’s Wake under the watchful eye of legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog.
Enjoy your Bloomsday everyone, whether you’ve read the novel or not. It is as good an excuse as any to dress up in silly clothes, have a few scoops and take pride in being brilliant and Irish. But if someone tries to coax you into picking up a copy of the novel to read it, just smile knowingly and say: “no I said no I won’t No”.
The brownbread mixtape is a free monthly comedy, poetry & music show in the Stag’s Head pub in Dublin, Ireland.
Each show has a theme. We all have loads of fun. Simple as that.