Archived Pages from 20th Century!!

James Joyce

A Web Page by Charles Cave

Ulysses group readthrough is now in progress. Come and join the fun!

Bloomsday was celebrated in Sydney on the 16th June
at the Powerhouse Museum and included
a multi-media presentation of Wandering Rocks


Greetings from Sydney, Australia! Computer software is my profession, but Joyce is one of my favourite authors. The James Joyce and Finnegans Wake mailing lists, combined with email, the World Wide Web and most recently, the MOO, have allowed me to further my enjoyment of Joyce by participating in many fruitful discussions with a great group of Joyce-netizens in Cyberspace. These lists were the subject of an article in the New York times on 16th June 1996.

I was trying to work out when and why I got interested in reading Joyce. In my early teenage years, I saw a copy of Ulysses owned by a friend's mother, and my memory of the book was that it didn't contain punctuation (I must have seen Molly Bloom's monologue!). Evidence of a nascent interest was a newspaper clipping from my scrapbook about the 1982 Joyce conference in Dublin. Something had prompted me to keep that article, as well as an article about Stephen Joyce (Grandson) in 1982 and an article related to Bloomsday in 1992 in Sydney.

The overall reason for reading Joyce, particularly Ulysses was to accept the challenge of reading (and understanding) a "difficult" novel .. the same reason I tackled Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum. Many people had said Ulysses was the most important novel in the 20th Century, which I thought was a good reason for reading it.

I have been slowly reading all of Joyce's works, starting with Dubliners, then Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses and I completed Finnegans Wake in December 1995 and really enjoyed it! In addition to Joyce's works, I have several Joyce related books on my shelves, including Richard Ellman's biography of Joyce, David Pierce's "James Joyce's Ireland", some critical works by Clive Hart, Anthony Burgess, Hugh Kenner and Bernie Benstock.

I joined the International James Joyce Foundation in early 1995, and the Sydney based James Joyce Foundation following the 1995 Sydney Blomsday celebrations. My dream is to attend the Symposium in Zurich (1996) and meet fellow Joyceans.


Before embarking on reading Ulysses, I re-read my Penguin classics edition of Homer's Odyssey, and made an index/glossary for later reference. Another useful navigation aid was Stuart Gilbert's schema, which I typed into an Excel spreadsheet (and is available at this Web site as a tab delimited file).

I finished my first reading of Ulysses in 1993, and wrote a short essay about my impressions of this novel, together with a list of my favourite quotations.

Naxos Audio Books

I'm a big fan of Naxos CDs with their vast budget range of classical music titles. Earlier this year (1995), they released a 4 CD set of Ulysses which I couldn't resist buying for $A22.95. I call these disks my Bloomsday in a Box because I can sit back and listen purely for enjoyment. I typed out the brochure for these titles as well as the playlist for the Ulysses discs. A review from the Irish Voice was posted to the mailing list.

Bloomsday - Sydney, 1995

I attended my first Bloomsday on a cold, rainy, Sydney day, and stayed for the majority of the 10 year marathon reading. Have a read of the brochure, which had a photo of Marilyn Monroe reading Ulysses. Judging by the newspaper reportin the Australian newspaper, the Melbourne Bloomsday seemed like a lot of fun.

My scrapbook collection had reviews of the first Bloomsday in Sydney in 1989, as well as the 1994 event. These articles were from Sydney's best newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald.

Joyce Bibliography

I've been collecting details of every book related to Joyce to act as a master checklist for my personal study program. This list gets posted to the mailing list, and valuable feedback is received. Have a browse for yourself!

Joyce for Beginners - David Norris

This book was published in 1995 by Icon books, as part of a series of light-hearted, yet informative beginners books. I couldn't resist buying this book for its humourous illustrations and succint introduction to Finnegans Wake. I scanned some of the illustrations to introduce the book, so do have a look!

Finnegans Wake

The first thing I heard about Finnegans Wake was that it was the origin of the word quark. Quarks are sub-atomic particles as well as the name of a desk-top publishing package, QuarkXpress. I don't know how Joyce would have coped writing Finnegans Wake with a word-processing package, let alone desk-top publishing.

Some more Web sites...

These Web pages are just my scribbledehobbles, so please have a look at the following...

Last updated: 5th April 1996
Charles Cave
Sydney, Australia
Email: [email protected]