Today is Bloomsday, June 16, the day all the events in James Joyce’s Ulysses take place.
Named for main character Leopold Bloom, Bloomsday is celebrated by Joyce fans around the world, with a huge celebration in Dublin, where the book is set. Fans spend the day honoring Joyce, reenacting scenes from the novel, and generally having a wild time.
Molly Bloom, Leopold’s wife is lusty and seductive, even crude in comparison to Leopold’s more cerebral nature. Both Blooms have had affairs and at the end of the book they continue to question the value of their marriage. Yet in Molly’s 24,000 word unpunctuated stream of consciousness soliloquy that ends the novel, it’s hard to deny the joy she finds at the hands of her husband.
In honor of Bloomsday, the final words of Molly’s soliloquy:
… 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.
Happy Bloomsday, everyone. Yes?