Friday, October 03, 2003

In an earlier post I took issue with Ellman’s
statement that Joyce had a weak tenor voice.
I’ve looked into that statement a little more
and believe the source to be James Joyce’s
aunt Mrs. Callanan who told Joyce even as a
child that he was “a weak tenor”.

The statement does not refer to the actual
strength of his tones but instead to his
range limits. After turning twenty, G was the
highest note Joyce could hit comfortably, or
with some work an A flat. (Most tenors can
hit a high C).

Note: Due to extended work hours (taken
on to help fund my trip to Bloomsday 100 in
Dublin) this blog will be switching from daily
posts to five days a week posting (M - F).

Thursday, October 02, 2003

That Other Biography

I’m putting on a book sale/benefit this
weekend and have been working on it
all week. One of the books donated is
Herbert Gorman’s James Joyce, which
I already own but have not yet read. I’ve
heard varying opinions on it. Here’s one
from Staley’s Annotated Critical Biography
of James Joyce:

“Although Gorman’s work is not to be
discounted, it remains a biography
written by one loyal to the subject and
dependent upon him for access to
nearly all material...... Gorman had
both the advantages and disadvan-
tages of a close relationship with
Joyce and his book clearly reveals this..
... Gorman’s relationship with Joyce on
occasion was a detriment, for Joyce
actively interfered and at least once
exercised a veto over material to be

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Happy October! I have great news. Great for me,
that is. I have been invited to speak at the
International James Joyce Symposium, aka
Bloomsday 100, next June. My topic of
presentation: New York State of Mind: James
Joyce and the Music of Tin Pan Alley.

I'm thrilled, thrilled I tell you.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Joyce’s Contributions to Physics

James Joyce is responsible for the quark.

Sort of. Actually, Murray Gell-Mann had a lot
to do with it too. Gell-Mann, an American
physicist, was born in 1929. He won the
Nobel Prize in 1969 for his study of sub-
atomic particles. He, along with his associate
George Zweig, was responsible for the quark
theory which hypothesized that quarks are
the smallest particles of matter (quarks
being particles that carry fractional internal
linkelectric charges. Or to be more precise:

“quark (kwôrk, kwärk) noun
Any of a group of hypothetical elementary
particles having electric charges of magnitude
one-third or two-thirds that of the electron,
regarded as constituents of all hadrons.”

Gell-Mann named the quark after a passage in
Finnegans Wake: “Three quarks for Master Mark,
Sure he hasn’t got much of a bark, And sure any
he has it’s beside the mark.”

Gell-Mann wrote of this in a private letter of June
27, 1978, to the editor of the Oxford English
Dictionary, which said that he had actually been
influenced by Joyce's word in naming the particle.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Literary Saloon mentions Tom Stoppard's play
The Coast of Utopia today. They have a nice little
info page on him here.

Stoppard wrote the play Travesties after
he discovered the interesting fact that Lenin,
James Joyce and Tzara all lived in Zurich at
the same time.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

I'm not sure where, why, or by whom
but Pirate Day was celebrated a week
or so ago. Someone brought James
Joyce into the festivities as seen here.
Age of Aquarius

I came across James Joyce's Natal Chart
on the internet. They use 6 am as the
time of birth, which is what astrologers
do if they don't have the birthtime. It
supposedly makes the chart less accurate
(ahem). I've looked in several sources and
can't find anything about what time of day
Joyce was born. If any of you know I'd
appreciate your emailing me. Here's a
breakdown of his planets:

Sun in Aquarius
Moon in Leo
Mars in Gemini
Venus in Aquarius
Mercury in Pisces
Jupiter in Taurus
Uranus in Virgo
Saturn in Taurus
Neptune in Taurus

I don't know a lot about astrology
but I believe Aquarius is known as
innovative and Taurus is stubborn.
Pisces is emotional & intuitive. Hmm.
There is a guy at the radio station
who is an astrologer. His show is right
before mine on Wednesdays. I'm going
to show this to him and see what he
thinks. Without telling him that it's
James Joyce. I'll let you know what he

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