Helluva prescient Robert Crumb impression. Image Wikicommons.

This Sunday marks Bloomsday, the annual celebration of Irish author James Joyce and his works.

The author accurately portrayed as a question mark

According to Joyce scholars, the book is, at least in part, the story of HCE, his wife and their three children: both the primal family of human origins and Everyfamily. Underlying the wordplay is a central idea, inspired by the 18th-century Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico, that history is cyclic. Joyce demonstrated this in beginning the book with the end of a sentence left unfinished on the last page. And the first word to puzzle me — vicus — is a distortion of Vico’s name.

Joyce’s secret weapon with publishers: Puss n’ Boots eyes.  Image Wikicommons

In a Dublin street confrontation, angry readers applied a hardening epoxy substance to Joyce, just as he was pondering a confusing string of nonsense to escape. His petrified remains are still on display in the city. Image Wikicommons

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