The Joyce of Cooking

Flicka Small on how food is everything in the world of Ulysses

A 1966 drawing of James Joyce by Adolf Hoffmeister (Wikimedia Commons)
A 1966 drawing of James Joyce by Adolf Hoffmeister (Wikimedia Commons)

Today is June 16, Bloomsday, the day in 1904 on which James Joyce’s novel Ulysses takes place. But this year also marks the 100th anniversary of its publication, and to celebrate the occasion, The American Scholar asked five writers for their thoughts on Joyce’s modern masterpiece. One of them, Flicka Small, wrote about the food in the novel, from the inner organs of beasts and fowls that Leopold Bloom eats with relish to the Gorgonzola on his sandwich—not to mention Molly Bloom’s sensuous seed cake, Blazes Boylans’s suggestive peaches, and everything that Stephen Dedalus can’t afford to eat. Flicka Small came to her lectureship at University College Cork by way of her earlier career as a chef, giving her a singular perspective on the wild array of foods that appear on that famous day in Dublin, Ireland.

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Stephanie Bastek is the senior editor of the Scholar and the producer/host of the Smarty Pants podcast.


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