Saturday, June 16, 2012

James Joyce (1882-1941)

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead,
bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay
crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained
gently behind him on the mild morning air. He held the
bowl aloft and intoned:
—Introibo ad altare Dei.
Halted, he peered down the dark winding stairs and
called out coarsely:
—Come up, Kinch! Come up, you fearful jesuit!
Solemnly he came forward and mounted the round
gunrest. He faced about and blessed gravely thrice the
tower, the surrounding land and the awaking mountains.
Then, catching sight of Stephen Dedalus, he bent towards
him and made rapid crosses in the air, gurgling in his
throat and shaking his head. Stephen Dedalus, displeased
and sleepy, leaned his arms on the top of the staircase and
looked coldly at the shaking gurgling face that blessed him,
equine in its length, and at the light untonsured hair,
grained and hued like pale oak.
Buck Mulligan peeped an instant under the mirror and
then covered the bowl smartly.
—Back to barracks! he said sternly.
He added in a preacher’s tone:
—For this, O dearly beloved, is the genuine Christine:
body and soul and blood and ouns. Slow music, please.
Shut your eyes, gents. One moment. A little trouble about
those white corpuscles. Silence, all.
He peered sideways up and gave a long slow whistle of
call, then paused awhile in rapt attention, his even white
teeth glistening here and there with gold points.
Chrysostomos. Two strong shrill whistles answered
through the calm.

Happy Bloomsday!

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