By a calendrical coincidence, this year’s Father’s Day is an especially literary one. It falls on June 16th, which is celebrated annually, at least by English majors, as Bloomsday. That’s the day on which Leopold Bloom, the hero of James Joyce’s Ulysses, peregrinates around Dublin, and it’s the day on which Joyce’s ardent fans don period garb and recreate that journey by traipsing across the city in Bloom’s footsteps. On this side of the globe we just hoist a Guinness or two and affect an Irish accent for a few hours.
Ulysses has a lot to do with fatherhood, actually. Some representative quotes:
- A father, said Stephen, battling against hopelessness, is a necessary evil.
- Paternity may be a legal fiction. Who is the father of any son that any son should love him or he any son?
- [A son’s] growth is his father’s decline, his youth his father’s envy, his friend his father’s enemy.
Sheesh. No wonder people drink on Bloomsday. Lighten up, Mr. Joyce....Read More