I spent Bloomsday Eve, somewhat perversely, in the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library, reading Woolf’s notes on Ulysses from 1919, when the opening seven episodes were published serially. I was on the hunt for Dalloway footnotes, so reading with a particular purpose, and, though it’s always thrilling to read Woolf’s handwriting, I didn’t find anything that changed the prevailing—and accurate—sense that Woolf knew his work, but it wasn’t really for her.
Though I love and admire Ulysses, it struck me as funny to wake up on Bloomsday and realize how I’d spent the previous night.
For a treat, however, I direct you over to Lauren Elkin’s blog where you can read an interview with my friend, the effervescent Keri Walsh, who’s just edited Sylvia Beach’s letters. Beach was, of course, the owner of Shakespeare & Co. books in Paris and the first publisher of Joyce’s masterpiece. Keri’s book is at the top of my pile & I plan to invite her to contribute here, too. So, click on over for a foretaste of Beach wisdom.