My favourite…

Dr Peter Kennedy explains why Ulysses is a favourite in Hong Kong


Ian Candy (a Dub) and myself (a Corkman) started the Hong Kong Bloomsday in June1999.Sometimes it is just readings and Irish music, but we pushed the boat out for the 2004 centenary. This was a costumed performance held at the Hong Kong Club: a four-course meal with inter-course readings.We’ve held Bloomsday at the Football Club in Happy Valley, the China Club, a café in Elgin St. and in a Stanley Street walk-up among the dai pai dong stalls. You can see us in the film Joyce to the World (2004).

I first opened Ulysses because a schoolteacher recommended it, butI gave up by the third chapter. I resumed a year later but gave up again. I read all of it at university and, with the help of readers’ guides and a glossary, I started to understand. An MPhil. at Trinity included a Joyce course taught by David Norris: after that I was hooked and proselytising. I recall my son at three in his push-chair at the National Gallery lisping ‘Yeats, Joyce’at their portraits, to the astonishment of some adjacent Yanks. (He’d seen my Irish Writers T-shirts). […]

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March/April2018 (issue no.378)

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