I’m lucky to live in Philadelphia, where the Rosenbach knows how to do Bloomsday right. I’ve read at Bloomsday at the Rosenbach twice (once with my dad on Father’s Day!) and participated as a guest many times. Today is busy but I’m hoping to stop by before the day is over. In the meantime, here’s a story I worked on recently about my favorite Joycean.
Shelly Brivic likes a good joke. When setting up our interview, he suggested that I call after 11 a.m.
“But if a man answers, hang up,” he said.
Brivic retired this year after more than 45 years in the English Department. At his retirement celebration he remarked, “I’ve been reading Finnegans Wake for so long that it takes me an hour to read a stop sign.”
His sense of humor is one of the many things that make him a beloved colleague and professor—something I can attest to, nearing the end of my seventh year working with him as a graduate student. (Another is his extreme dedication: I’d say that he will be sorely missed in Anderson Hall, but he’s still on campus every week.)
Shelly, an eminent James Joyce scholar, started working at Temple in 1969. He was hired shortly before finishing his dissertation on Joyce. The dissertation became his first book; his seventh will be out later this year. He’s also working on a novel. He describes it as short and sad, but it’s hard to imagine that it’s not also funny.