The next meeting of the reading group is on Sunday the first of October at 7.30pm in the New Headingley Club.
We have reached the last episode of the book, Penelope, in which Molly Bloom gives us the woman’s view on life in Dublin at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The next meeting of the Ulysses reading group is on Sunday 10th of September. The meeting takes place in the New Headingley Club at 7.30pm.
The Odysseus theme continues with a mention of Sinbad the Sailor.
The next meeting of the Ulysses reading group is on Sunday 13th of August. The meeting takes place in the New Headingley Club at 7.30pm.
We are reading the Ithaca episode in which Leopold Bloom remembers the name of an important battle in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878: Plevna.
The next meeting of the Ulysses reading group is on Sunday 16th of July, 2017. We meet in the New Headingley Club at 7.30pm.
We are continuing our reading of the Ithaca episode.
The next meeting of the Ulysses reading group is on Sunday 25th of June, 2017. We meet in the New Headingley Club at 7.30pm.
We are reading the Ithaca episode in which we learn how water reaches the kitchen tap.
Bloomsday, the 16th of June, is a day dear to readers of James Joyce because of its significance for his novel Ulysses. This Bloomsday, to celebrate the man and his work, we are gathering in Heart café in Headingley for lunch at 1.30pm. You are very welcome to join us.
Afterwards, at 2.30pm., the Leeds Finnegans Wake Reading Group is holding a meeting in the Claremont room in Heart. The group had three successful sessions in The Tetley in Leeds, as a contribution to an exhibition by the Spanish artist Dora García. Again, you are warmly invited to participate and see what you can make of a difficult but rewarding book in the company of some acknowledged experts.
It is rare for a passage in Finnegans Wake not to produce in the reader a desire to enquire more deeply into some arcane knowledge referred to by Joyce. The readings which took place as part of the Dora García exhibition at the Tetley were no exception.
The pages we read mentioned many battles such as Camel, Flodden Field, Solferino, Thermopilae, Bannockburn (“panickburns”), and those in just one sentence. But the battle this passage is mostly concerned with is Waterloo in 1815 and its main protagonists, Wellington and Napoleon.
The mention of “scotcher grey” reminded me of the painting in Leeds Art Gallery which portrays the cavalry charge by the Royal Scots Greys early in the battle. It is by Lady Butler and entitled “Scotland Forever”. The gallery is closed until October of 2017 but its curator, Nigel Walsh, who was present at the last Tetley reading was able to tell me that it had been loaned to the Royal Armouries.
Inspired by the Wake reading, I paid a visit to the Armories the day after in order to reacquaint myself with the painting and to find out more about the battle of Waterloo. What I found was an extensive and informative display with maps, descriptions and a timeline of the battle, together with the uniforms and weapons of day. The centrepiece was a large scale model of the battlefield by William Siborne, one of two models he made in the 1830’s.
A subsequent meeting of the Finnegans Wake reading group encountered Joyce’s description of another aspect of battles, the scavenging of the remains: “ moonled brooches with bloodstaned breeks in em, boaston nightgarters and masses of shoesets and nickelly nacks and foder allmicheal”.
Phew! “Mind your boots goan out.”