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Monday, June 16, 2014

A Semi-Eerie Bloomsday

What are the chances the book I'd finish closest to Bloomsday would take place in Ireland? Also, a large part of the action in "The Secret Scripture" occurs during the time James Joyce began gaining notoriety. A third Bloomsday connection - the central role played by the Catholic church in Sebastian Barry's 2008 novel.

"For history, as far as I can see, is not the arrangement of what happens, in sequence and in truth, but a fabulous arrangement of surmises and guesses held up as a banner against the withering assault of truth."

Roseanne Clear is Presbyterian - strike one. She resists an arranged marriage with a man over twice her age and instead marries into the clannish McNulty family - strike two. Father Gaunt catches her speaking with a man who is not her husband - strike three. Throw in the political and religious conflict arising from the birth of Ireland as an independent nation and add a second narrator's voice. Dr. William Greene is a psychiatrist at Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital - Roseanne has been institutionalized there for over sixty of her one hundred years.

Now if "Philomena" had been the most recent movie I'd seen, that would have been really odd. Read this terrific book, see that wonderful film and then tell me if you don't agree I'm having a semi-eerie Bloomsday.  

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