Nice calm morning. Got up and made breakfast for Eileen (toasted blueberry muffin, cheese mushroom onion omlette, OJ and tea). Listening to recordings of composer Peteris Vasks on youtube.
I picked up his name from a guy on Twitter who said people who like Arvo Part should check him out. He’s Latvian and has written stuff for organ but there seems to be limited access to his scores in this country. I did a cursory check online.
I notice that the people I follow on Facebook rarely point each other to resources online. It’s mostly people doing quick short updates on their lives, and reports from silly quizzes they take and games they play.
I take this to mean that people aren’t exploring that much on the entirenet (internet). I find this curious because that is one of the things I have enjoyed so much about the internet: running across new ideas and reading articles and discussions.
Probably due to its nature (the rolling present) Twitter seems to do a better job. I follow musicians and journalists and readers and listeners. That way I do get pointers to some interesting stuff. Like the Vasks.
So today I have a bit of relief from my recent relentless schedule. Yesterday was stressful as I tried to do some church stuff. Emails back and forth with my priest and parishioners. The good news is that I have a violinist for my upcoming Bach cantata movement arrangement. Yay!
In between I have been reading Ulysses by Joyce and books about the book. One book about the book is quite good. “Ulysses and Us: The Art of Everyday Life in Joyce’s Masterpiece” by Declan Kiberd. (Also found an online comic book of Ulysses. Looks kind of cool. link)
It is helping me dislodge Ulysses from the part of my brain where I keep complicated goofy intellectual college things. Kiberd points out that Joyce was attempting to write a piece for the common reader and would be amused and flummoxed at how university intellectual types pick him to pieces while neglecting the basic idea of READING him (Hemingway’s copy famously has only the beginning and ending pages opened….
if you wonder how they know this, books used to come with the pages uncut and in order to read them one had to cut every other page free. This also was a handy way to keep your place.)
So I have been alternating reading my hard copy of Ulysses and the online Gutenbergy edition. This has had the unfortunate result that I realize how bad the free online edition is. Many mispellings, no italics, no placement of poetry and lines on the page. Yikes.
Anyway, yesterday I reread one of my favorite parts of the book. This is the beginning of Leopold Blooms day. The reader is perched in his head as he makes breakfast for Molly and takes a quick walk to the butcher. This stuff is great. Bloom’s point of view of life is one of practicality, humor and since it is inside his head brutal and total honesty.
Kibard says that he is the long lost corrective father of Stephen Dedalus. Dedalus. Bloom is the seasoned answer to Dedalus’s confused rebellious poetic nature. Very cool.
Kibard also reminded me how Joyce has emphasized the reality of life. All his characters are lower class Irish and either poor or coming from a dirt poor background. Also a major point is that he has enshrined the simple act of living by chronicling and detailing the events of one simple day in Dublin. A day when nothing particularly earthshattering happened in the world.
Kibard also mentions that Joyce said he never met a boring person. He found all people interesting. I like that.