Skip to main content


Showing posts from June 7, 2020

Betrayal in Joyce and Wilde 1 of 2

  The opening part of a seminar paper written by Philip Harvey for the ‘Wilde about Joyce’ Bloomsday in Melbourne, 16 th June 2009, and read in the Brian Boru Room of the old Celtic Club, corner La Trobe and Queen Street, Melbourne. The numbered quotes were read by Bill Johnston. 1. Vae autem homini illi per quem Filius hominis tradetur … Et manducantibus illis, acceptit Iesus panem: et benedicens fregit, et dedit eis These lines from the Latin version of Mark’s Gospel were universally heard during the lives of Oscar Wilde and James Joyce. They were heard in their English form in the prayer of consecration in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. 2. Who on the same night that he was betrayed, took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it For centuries the gospel and the prayer at the communion remind those in attendance of the reality of betrayal. Indeed, at the very moment when the act of sharing is taking place, ultimate giving, we are made to remember

Betrayal in Joyce and Wilde 2 of 2

The concluding part of a seminar paper written by Philip Harvey for the ‘Wilde about Joyce’ Bloomsday in Melbourne, 16 th June 2009, and read in the Brian Boru Room of the old Celtic Club, corner La Trobe and Queen Streets, Melbourne. The numbered quotes were read by Bill Johnston. When readers want to argue for the main theme of Ulysses, or for the major catalyst to its original big bang, the answer is often the infidelity of Molly Bloom. We know that Joyce chose the 16 th of June in order to commemorate his first stepping into the Dublin streets with Nora Barnacle, on that same day in 1904. In other words, Ulysses is an anniversary book. The paradoxical irony of Joyce’s choice of date is not lost on anyone. The book itself is an obsessional account of the Othello problem – jealous paranoia on the part of Bloom. Richard Ellmann links this to Joyce’s discovery, after eloping with Nora and leaving Ireland, that she may have been with another man before Joyce. This unleashed

The Death of the Author Lately Written by the Author for Three Voices

The Death of the Author Lately Written by the Author for Three Voices: Obituarist    OB Ulysses   UL Wakese FW Collagist: Philip Harvey Performed at La Notte Ristorante in Lygon Street as part of the Bloomsday in Melbourne celebrations on 16 th of June 2011 [The MC will explain during the Introduction that in this reading questionable statements in the Obituary passages will be followed by a gong. Straight factual errors will be followed by the blowing of a paper whistle. Typos in the original text will be underscored by the soft playing of a music box. Patrons are asked to pay close attention for these occasions. A musician plays gong, paper whistle, and music box, as directed in the script.] OB: The New York Times, January 1941. Zurich, Switzerland, Monday, Jan 13- James Joyce, Irish author whose "Ulysses" was the center of one of the most bitter literary controversies of modern times, died in a hospital here early today despite the efforts of doctor

James Joyce, by Edna O’Brien

Here is a review by Philip Harvey written in 1999 or soon after, probably for Tain magazine in Melbourne. I only just noticed this again while searching through some files. When I went to find the book, it is signed by herself, Edna O’Brien. My guess is I ordered the book through Kenny’s Bookshop of Galway.   James Joyce, by Edna O’Brien. (London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1999) 0-297-84243-9 Anyone who writes a biography of James Joyce after Richard Ellman invites being called, at best, very brave and at worst, an epigone. In recent times mammoth biographies have emerged of Joyce’s wife and his father, making us wonder who will be next. His brother Stanislaus, perhaps, or their sister Margaret who became a nun and went to New Zealand? Hopefully not. This latest biographical burst only suggests how thoroughly the ground has been raked. Edna O’Brien’s attempt is uncritically adulatory of the Master and must have been written to a word limit. Adulation can backfire. O’

Cookbooks 14: Jane Grigson

14.   Jane Grigson. How her fruit book ever got into such a state is not purely due to glue. I would have laminated the cover because it was getting so much use. I could buy a new copy, always in print at $40, but will instead tie it in strong ribbon for the next consultation. Grigson is a writer I turn to when I get completely fed up with the Australian cliché about British cooking being all meat and three vegetables and aren’t we glad we graduated. When in fact we are, as with so many things, so bound to good things that are British, we don’t even notice. Furthermore, as Grigson makes perfectly clear in her friendly style, British cuisine has been a complex and evolving art, when it isn’t a science, for centuries. Our own adaptability to and absorption of cuisines outside our own purlieu owes much to inherited British enquiry at its best. When we visited family friends the Armstrongs of Rochester, they would serve Kir later in the afternoon. They are people of Kent, for whom the

Cookbooks 13: Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley

13.   Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley. I bought ‘Jerusalem’ (London, 2012) at the Avenue Bookshop in Albert Park with a book voucher I was presented for giving a lecture. You’d have to say it’s this book that established Ottolenghi’s name, and with good reason. Through the foreground medium of food, he and Tamimi present one of the best available introductions to the life of modern Jerusalem. I learn more about the City here than any amount of political commentary. Jewish and Arab cuisines are rich and earthy; ‘Jerusalem’ shows just how symbiotic the relationships really are. It’s a joint nostalgia trip, but both men are living in the present tense. There is a surprise article (pages 112-113) where they face up to the only thing all residents of Jerusalem agree upon: hummus. We learn the word ‘hummusia’, eateries specialising almost entirely in hummus. Even though everyone agrees yes hummus, this is then the cause for arguments of every kind. Egyptian Arabs inven

Cookbooks 12: Giacomo Castelvetro

12. Giacomo Castelvetro. This is technically about the oldest cookbook in the collection, first published in 1614. Its purpose is age-old too, to convince the English that they should eat more greens. Castelvetro is the forerunner of many authors in this series, an Italian introducing good Italian cooking and mysterious foreign ingredients to a suspicious audience. That he finds himself in London at all is due to his being that conflicted individual of the times, an Italian Protestant in need of protection. It’s a favourite period work, pounced on at a throwaway table of the Yarra Plenty Regional Library Service, Ivanhoe, Rosanna, Watsonia, Eltham sometime in the noughties. Gillian Riley’s translation, Jane Grigson’s Foreword, and the fruttivendolo artwork combine to make a fine History Play production. Castelvetro’s style is appealing. His concerns are health, balanced diet, simplicity of presentation, and freshness. (His entry on Rice indicates that risotto must still have been

Cookbooks 11: Laurel Evelyn Dyson

11. Laurel Evelyn Dyson. The bird on the cover is a King Parrot, painted by Captain John Hunter sometime between 1788 and 1790, which makes me wonder where the cherries came from. Dyson produces an embellished version of the jest, which basically runs “Boil a stone and a galah in a large pot. When the stone is soft enough to pierce with a fork, the bird is ready to serve.’ Similar instructions pertain for preparing cockatoos, parrots and other Australian birds. Today this colonial recipe betrays the European resistance to eating native fauna and flora, as well as a denial of their life-giving sustenance. One prefers sheep to kangaroo, and anyway what’s the kangaroo equivalent of mutton? There will be an answer, but not in English. That said, Dyson’s culinary history not only includes everything you’d expect, pavlova, Anzac biscuits and lamingtons (so much sugar!) but recipes for ginger-leaf barramundi, eucalyptus and honey lollies and, thanks very much, kangaroo kebabs. Dyson argu