james joyce

Happy 107th, Leo Bloom!

Today, June 16, Leopold Bloom--the protagonist of James Joyce's revered and often inscrutable novel "Ulysses"--turns 107.  Happy Birthday!  And, also, so what? 

So what--because "Ulysses" is often regarded as one of the 20th centuries greatest novels, and also one of the greatest novels few have ever read.

So what--because Leopold Bloom is one of literature's most vexing Jewish characters, as he's born Jewish, but never circumcised and baptized three times in order to marry his Christian wife, Molly.

The Last Word: Musings on Literary Estates, from Kafka to Kerouac

Last week I wrote about the ongoing battle over Chaim Grade's literary estate.  Then on Sunday, The New York Times Magazine had a front-pager on Kafka's  estate, which the National Library of Israel wants.  But which the descendants of Max Brod, who Kafka gave his papers to and told him to destroy, remain tied up in a ca

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