Happy Bloomsday Everybody!

16 Jun


For all those Joyce fans out there, I thought I would do a special little post in commemoration of Bloomsday. That is, June 16th. You know, the day that everything within Joyce’s masterpiece takes place. In honor of the work, I picked out a great little quotation from it that I’ve been thinking about lately. To give a little background, a friend and I had a brief textual discussion yesterday or the day before about embarrassment in which he essentially tried to cap the conversation with calling me an embarrassment. While I know [hope] he was joking, the whole notion of embarrassment got me thinking about what I think we all consider the supposed root cause of embarrassment.

Mistakes in my mind have become quite a funny thing. Looking at the word with my phoggy philologist goggles (most like to call these beer goggles. But pretending to be a little classier than that, I will accept wine or sherry goggles. Maybe port.) it seems to imply that a mistake is reqlly a miss-take or a missed-take. Like a missed step or something. Or like an actor who, using the jargon I’ve heard, missed that last take. It really isn’t that big of a deal.

So why do we feel shame and embarrassment at our mistakes? Don’t look at me. I don’t have an answer for that. It was more of a hypothetical, really. Look at Stephen Dedalus instead. It was in Ulysses where he said simply:

“A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.”

The portals of discovery? Good lord, get me a towel. For a “genius”–a creative soul–mistakes are empty things, literally portals or doorways. They have no meaning in and of themselves. There’s no meat to them. Only possibility. And discovery. In this light, mistakes are the catalyst for really exciting stuff. Maybe this is why they are volitional for Dedalus (who is really just a speaker box for Joyce).

So in honor of Bloomsday, and Joyce, and Ulysses, and Stephen Dedalus, I’m gonna go out there and make some mistakes. Maybe I’ll even write about them. Starting with a Guinness. In honor of Bloomsday, of course.


2 Responses to “Happy Bloomsday Everybody!”

  1. Jess June 17, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    The towel part made me laugh out loud, which made my stomach shake, which disturbed the pup pup snoozing my lap. I like this.

    • Dev Varma June 18, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

      no one ever got me that towel…

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