not in our stars, but in ourselves
Bloomsday is a grand celebration of all things James Joyce. It takes place on June 16th every year, since the action in Ulysses all takes place on June 16th (immense though the novel is).
As you all know, I’m a sham. I tried to read Ulysses once. Really, I did! But I was doing so without any sort of annotations or assistance; and while there are certainly cleverer readers than I who could zoom through it without needing so much as a footnote, I am not so clever. After about 70 muddled pages, I admitted defeat. Someday, I will re-attempt it. Honest. And I won’t be too proud to hold Ulysses in one hand, and a terribly detailed set of annotations in the other.
Now, whether Marilyn Monroe was cleverer than I am, or whether this was simply a photoshoot to show off her status as the wife of a literary grand poo-bah, we’ll never know. I’m inclined to think she was pretty clever, but who asked me. There are lots of great shots from this session with Eve Arnold, but I think this one is my favorite:
A friend of mine (John, hi, hope all is well over there in Bath!) pointed out that, based on how close to the end she is, MM is probably somewhere in Molly Bloom’s chapter. And he pointed out, too, that her ending soliloquy seems especially apt for poor dear Marilyn:
…I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish Wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.
Well, you get the idea. Now go on and be literary, or at least have a pint of Guinness or a spot of whiskey or something.