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Bloomsday Talk----In Memory of James Joyce

  • Zhuowen Li
  • 2017.07.03
  • News
In memory of the masterpiece Ulysses created by James Joyce, the Irish novelist in 20th century, the annually Bloomsday falls on June 16th, the day when Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Ulysses, roams the streets of Ireland. Every year on this day, “James Joyce-philes”Joycean from more than 60 countries gather together to hold various celebrations. Likewise, Muse College invited Dr. Mark Crimmins to provide the students access to James Joyce's works.

In each of James Joyce's four major works (Dubliners (1914), Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939)), he approaches the problem of how to represent the human mind in the process of thinking. The evolution of Joyce’s literary technique parallels Joyce’s dynamic and evolving approach to the representation of emotional, intellectual, conscious, and subconscious modes of thinking. With incomparable verbal ingenuity and a profound way of creating bold new fictional architectures, Joyce embarks on one of the greatest literary investigations into consciousness as a phenomenon: how it works, how it moves, how it is sensed, how it operates in a world of objects, how it unwinds itself in labyrinthine monologues, and how it reels in the vortex of human dialogic exchange.


In Bloomsday talk, Dr. Mark Crimmins located Joyce within the purview of the European Modernist project and explicated some specific passages from all four books in order to help students understand how Joyce’s fiction was conceptualized, how his technique functioned, and how to read his work in a rewarding and enlightening way.  



 HUANG Jinhan and HE Dongli, students from Muse College, acted as emcees of the lecture.



Students immersed themselves in the lecture.


 Students initiated heated discussion with Dr. Crimmins.


Dr. Crimmins took a photo with students to mark the occasion when the activity finished.



 Words from Students


I would say Dr. Crimmins was captivated by James Joyce's works. Before the lecture started, he told the teacher from the college: “I don't need microphones. What I do need is a watch.” When he officially began the lecture, he extolled the greatness of James Joyce with his voice being heard loud and clear in such a big conference room. When analysing the sentences in Ulysses, he even shouted those brilliant words out. When he requested another five minutes to finish his talk, I eventually realised what he meant by saying the “watch” thing-he was afraid he was too excited to finish the lecture on time. At first I wondered what kind of magic Joyce had to make Dr. Crimmins so obsessed with his work. Touched by Dr. Crimmins’ enthusiasm, after enjoying the one-hour lecture about James Joyce’s life stories and a portion of his work, I was amazed and inspired, too.

---- LI Zehong, freshman of 2016, School of Science and Engineering


Every year on June 16th, James Joyce’s followers of different nationalities wearing clothes in accordance with the style of Leopold Bloom’s era fills the streets of Dublin, holding reading gatherings to discuss Ulysses, in order to celebrate Bloomsday. In our school, the celebration is far from being as spectacular as the one in Ireland, but it was rather intriguing accompanied by Dr. Crimmins’ talk. I’ve been aware of the book Ulysses for ages, but I’ve never read this masterpiece because people’s complaints about its obscure, demanding, and time-consuming context held me back. So I really admire Dr. Crimmins, who studied Ulysses by reading it carefully for more than 10 times.

----LEI Jingyue, freshman of 2016, School of Management and Economics






Muse, always with you.