Tuesday, June 16, 2009

'Imbibing of a good dose of history'

Happy Bloomsday, tea lovers!

I'm overdue for another plow through Joyce's seminal novel, in which Stephen and Leo wander the streets of Dublin on a very thoughtful June 16. I don't want to be the kind of blogger who stretches like Plastic Man to connect his subject to just about anything, but I'd feel remiss today not to drop one of Joyce's bits into the cup. From the "Lestrygonians" chapter:
"He walked on past Bolton's Westmoreland house. Tea. Tea. Tea. I forgot to tap Tom Kernan."
Stream of consciousness, baby. Nobody did it better. The full name of the place Bloom was walking by was the William Bolton & Co., Grocers and Tea, Wine and Spirit Merchants. He pauses on the "tea" and repeats it — a reminder of the 4 p.m. (tea time) tryst coming up between Bloom's wife, Molly, and a fellow named Boylan (perhaps also a triggering echo in the shop's namesake, Bolton). "Tea. Tea. Tea" ... it reads like a ticking clock.

And here's a ’toon poring over a few tea-related quips from the master — an image from the James Joyce Quarterly, published in (of all places) Tulsa, Okla.:

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