TheFirstSixMonths: Bookish movements- Nora & James Joyce

This was going to be a post without many stories, but a little wandering. Stories just happened. In the midst. 

James Joyce met Nora Barnacle on June 10. Their first walk and date however was towards Ringsend by River Liffe on June 16, 1904. Leopold Bloom’s ordinary day is chosen to be June 16. Celine and Jesse meet in Vienna on June 16.

The very erotic letter exchanges (which were auctioned, even) between Nora and Joyce have led to split opinions on whether this date was “chaste”. Like the “potential” implications in Celine’s Vienna.

Leopold proposed to Molly in Howth.

Howth

“…I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes. “

Nora started learning French in the anticipation of his move to Paris, and ran away with Joyce. They set up house in mainland Europe in 1905 and got married in 1931. As predicted by his father (based on her surname) she never left him.

Every year Dubliners celebrate the first date as Bloomsday, becoming one with the characters (playing a part or two) and walking the “Ulysses path”. At times, a Bloomsday isn’t required even.

Stories: Here, here, here, here and here

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