"The Lestrygonians"


There are a great many ways in which God has blessed me on this trip to Dublin. I was able to see the houses of W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, AE, Robert Griffiths (founder of Irish Geology), many wonderful Churches and other such magnificent things.

However, one way in which He has chosen to enrich me beyond bounds is in my reading of Ulysses. When I knew I was going to Dublin, I decided to reacquaint myself with one of the most magnificent novels of the twentieth century.

Today I found myself reading the section knows as "The Lestrygonians." In it, Leopold Bloom walks down O'Connell street to Grafton street--right in front of my hotel. There are brass plaques all over with sentences from this chapter. On the way to watch a performance of Riverdance at a small, gorgeously appointed theatre, I found one that I had not seen to date, in front of a statue on the way to Trinity College, labeled simply, "Moore." I just about jumped for joy, because now, I was able to chart the amble up O'Connell with some precision.

I know this doesn't seem like much, but reading Joyce's masterwork in the city it was meant to commemorate and even enshrine is such a humbling experience and an enriching experience. Where before I had some vague idea of people walking around a lot (the travels of Ulysses), now I had a sense of where they were walking and what they were doing.

Okay, so not the most exciting thing in the world, I suppose. And yet, it is. I could have continued with an intellectual appreciation of Ulysses as a work of art, but now I also have a bones-deep visceral appreciation of its amazing reality--the reality not only of the city but also of the thought of the characters.

Tomorrow I leave, but today God vouchsafed my a glimpse of real genius that I will be able to appreciate and reflect on for the rest of my life.

I hope time allows me to share more of this truly wonderful trip with you in the future. I have even thought of calling it something like--"Keeping Track of His Hat in Europe."

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on July 17, 2009 5:56 PM.

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