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  • morganfagg

Reading Joyce, well trying to

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

Despite butchering the pronunciation of "impudent" I enjoyed the feed of vocabularly that I had to quickly digest for this month´s James Joyce readings with the Bloomsday Society.

More of a Zoomsday meeting as the Society has been unable to meet in person for over a year but has managed to meet online on the last Wednesday of each month and continue reading passages from Joyce´s Ulysses and Finegan´s Wake.

I have not yet read Joyce´s books and sometimes feel like a phoney phoning it in but have really enjoyed the discussion and readings done by the society each month as well as books introducing and explaining the life and writings of James Joyce.

I encorage others to check out the Bloomsday Society in Madrid and to dive into Joyce even if you haven´t finished any of his books and I am looking forward to checking out and getting my hands on a copy of Romping through Ulysses and Romping through Dubliners, which are currently out of print.

I believe there will be further editions printed in time for Bloomsday and I will anxiously await further news about these books published by a company called At it Again.

At it Again is a Dublin based company that aims to bring Irish literature to life through events and publications, which I believe sources suppliers from Ireland and prints in Dublin but you can check out their products for yourself on

There are many people around the world who have a love of Irish literature and I hope my reading tonight hasn´t ruined the rhythm and rhyme of James Joyce´s writings, and I encourage everyone to give Joyce a chance even if you have never managed to finish any of his novels.

Below is the transcript of the reading I was given for March´s monthly meeting of the Bloomsday Society but despite my difficulties in pronouncing some of the words in full flow of the way they were written, the rest of the society act out their scripts beautifully while mixing music in between readers.

The Spanish society naturally reads Joyce in two languages which is only a fraction of the languages that the writer actually spoke himself.


To revert to Mr Bloom who, after his first entry, had been conscious of some impudent mocks which he however had borne with as being the fruits of that age upon which it is commonly charged that it knows not pity. The young sparks, it is true, were as full of extravagancies as overgrown children: the words of their tumultuary discussions were difficultly understood and not often nice: their testiness and outrageous mots were such that his intellects resiled from: nor were they scrupulously sensible of the proprieties though their fund of strong animal spirits spoke in their behalf. But the word of Mr Costello was an unwelcome language for him for he nauseated the wretch that seemed to him a cropeared creature of a misshapen gibbosity, born out of wedlock and thrust like a crookback toothed and feet first into the world, which the dint of the surgeon’s pliers in his skull lent indeed a colour to, so as to put him in thought of that missing link of creation’s chain desiderated by the late ingenious Mr Darwin. It was now for more than the middle span of our allotted years that he had passed through the thousand vicissitudes of existence and, being of a wary ascendancy and self a man of rare forecast, he had enjoined his heart to repress all motions of a rising choler and, by intercepting them with the readiest precaution, foster within his breast that plenitude of sufferance which base minds jeer at, rash judgers scorn and all find tolerable and but tolerable. To those who create themselves wits at the cost of feminine delicacy (a habit of mind which he never did hold with) to them he would concede neither to bear the name nor to herit the tradition of a proper breeding: while for such that, having lost all forbearance, can lose no more, there remained the sharp antidote of experience to cause their insolency to beat a precipitate and inglorious retreat. Not but what he could feel with mettlesome youth which, caring nought for the mows of dotards or the gruntlings of the severe, is ever (as the chaste fancy of the Holy Writer expresses it) for eating of the tree forbid it yet not so far forth as to pretermit humanity upon any condition soever towards a gentlewoman when she was about her lawful occasions. To conclude, while from the sister’s words he had reckoned upon a speedy delivery he was, however, it must be owned, not a little alleviated by the intelligence that the issue so auspicated after an ordeal of such duress now testified once more to the mercy as well as to the bounty of the Supreme Being.

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