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.
Go beyond the episode:
- Read Flicka Small’s contribution to our Joyce centennial, “Know Me Come Eat With Me”
- Read the other four essays: Robert J. Seidman on why Ulysses is as vital as ever; Keri Walsh’s celebration of the novel’s first publisher, Sylvia Beach; Donal Ryan on the three times he’s read it; and Amit Chaudhuri on just having fun with the flow
- Bloomsday 2022 is on in Ireland and around the world
- Whip up some pan-fried kidneys, a Gorgonzola sandwich, or some sugarsticky sweets
- We borrowed the title of this episode from Alison Armstrong’s excellent 1986 cookbook, The Joyce of Cooking, which you can find in used bookstores
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