I’m having a grand time listening to the installments of Ulysses on BBC Radio 4. There’s no temptation to venture outside since the weather is about as dreich as it’s possible to be a few days before Midsummer. It’s been at least 10 years since I last read Ulysses, so I bought a copy at our local second-hand bookshop, The Old Bookshelf. The owner had none in stock, not expecting any interest at all in this heel of the woolly sock that is the Kintyre Peninsula, and had to order one.
We are what is called a backwater, though Argyll and Bute has catapulted into media infamy these last few days, when the council banned 9 year old blogger, Martha Payne, from taking photos of school food. Only to be forced into a humiliating U-turn less than a day later. Martha – 1, Argyll & Bute Council – 0. The moral of the story is this: never mess with a 9 year old blogger when she has a hugely popular blog. Here is the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, with their Mull of Kintyre inspired celebration of Martha’s victory.
I’m surprised at how much a radio adaptation cuts out. We are zipping along at a cracking pace, leaving plenty of time for blogging, eating, and potty breaks. I think radio is an excellent medium for Ulysses – it brings out the voices, characterization, and narrative. The novel will always be harder going, but hopefully the experience of listening will ease the perceived burden of reading. I don’t expect to ever completely understand Ulysses and that’s a very good thing. It means the novel is never finite, with a settled meaning.
I apologize for offering you podcasts from Frank Delaney, starting from their inception on Bloomsday 2010. It now appears that the permalinks are available only from episode 65 in September, 2011. This means I can’t put them on the blog, nor are they visible on Delaney’s podcast page. I wanted to start from the beginning – the titles of the missing podcasts beckon like a desert mirage to a lost traveller. Since I’m reluctant to start halfway through, I’ll try to resolve this with Frank Delaney.com who alerted me to them in the first place. They are available on his podcast page from #65 onwards if you want to see them. In the meantime, here’s a one-off for today on James Joyce.