Kelly and Dermot sit down with P.J. Murphy and Jack Walsh, two volunteers who are keeping the legacy of Sweny’s Pharmacy alive. Sweny’s, of course, is the location where Leopold Bloom bought his lemon soap. We talk the history of Sweny’s, their Joyce connection and the challenges of preserving Joycean landmarks in 21st century Dublin. P.J. even shares a song at the end. Donate to Sweny’s here.
Kelly and Dermot talk about page #1 of Ulysses, taking a deep dive into the symbolism of the Catholic Mass in the opening scene. There’s lots of talk about blasphemy, transubstantiation, saints and why Kelly was a terrible altar server back in the day. We finish off with wild speculation about why kids don’t learn Latin and Greek these days.
In this episode we tackle the falling out between James Joyce and Oliver St John Gogarty, the origins of the character Buck Mulligan, what really happened in the Martello tower, blasphemous poetry and how Joyce found his sense of humor.
Dermot and Kelly discuss the connections between Ulysses and The Odyssey. We take on the Gilbert schema, how to market a book like Ulysses, what exactly happens in the opening chapters of The Odyssey, and how it corresponds to the “Telemachus” episode of Ulysses.
Tom O’Leary is an Irish-born actor and pub owner living in Portland, OR. He and Blooms and Barnacles host Kelly started the Ulysses Support Group (aka Book Club) together in 2017, and it is still going strong today! Kelly and Tom talk about why they love Ulysses, how to start your own Ulysses book club, Ulysses reading guides and why Ulysses helps Tom “go home” every time he reads it.