Here’s a link to a Rachael Ray recipe for Smoky Roasted Eggplant Pasta that is easy and delicious. Once you try it her way, add your own variations to the basic recipe. I like to add other fresh vegetables to the pasta sauce after it’s blended.
June 16th, aka Bloomsday, is celebrated the world over by fans of James Joyce. His raucous and rambling novel Ulysses, with central character Leopold Bloom, takes place on that date in Dublin in 1904. The book was published in Paris in 1922 and met with consternation in some quarters, even leading to a charge of obscenity.
Reading Ulysses does require a commitment of time and some effort, but you will be well rewarded with astounding imagery and belly-laugh humor. Grab a copy of a companion book while you’re at the bookstore (or online) and don’t hesitate to use it. The richness of the novel would elude all but the most literary among us.
If you shy away from such a commitment, read (or re-read) something shorter to get you started. Try Dubliners, a collection of short stories, or A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (more about that in an upcoming post).
And a hearty thanks to Mr. Joyce for sharing his insights and perceptions with the world in such unique and incredible ways. Happy Bloomsday, James!
The James Joyce Centre has the official word on all things Joycean. A search for James Joyce will take you to many other sites.
In theaters now, Cave of Forgotten Dreams directed by Werner Herzog
Check your local theater listings for a chance to see the awe-inspiring cave art found in the Grotte Chauvet. The cave is located in southern France and is now closed to all except a few researchers. The entrance to the cave was sealed off long ago by geologic changes, and it remained that way until a few speleologists discovered it in 1994. The works found inside are thought to be the oldest examples of cave paintings, dated back about 30,000 years by radiocarbon methods.
German director Werner Herzog intersperses views of the art, accompanied by hypnotic music composed by Ernst Reijseger, with interviews with scientists and art historians in a documentary-like format. But it is the art itself that speaks to us across the ages: the sheer mastery of technique, of capturing shapes and essences with the materials these early humans had available. The very notion that the creatures they came across in their everyday lives were regarded with such reverence and appreciation touches upon an element of spirituality that still has meaning for us today.
Herzog finishes the film with a somewhat disconcerting trip to a nearby nuclear power plant, connecting our present with our past. I would have preferred to finish with further gazing at the art and listening to Reijseger’s music.
I enjoyed this beautiful sunset at a local park.