Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sinbad the Sailor and Tinbad the Tailor

James Joyce & Ulysses exhibition at the National Library

I didn't allow myself enough time to properly enjoy this unexpected pleasure, but they had to chase me out at Closing.

Not surprisingly, there's a great virtual tour online linked above. The Exhibit itself was one of the best uses of interactive computers and scanned images that allowed visitors to 'turn the pages' of manuscripts including Joyce's Paris-Pola Commonplace Book, two of the notebooks Joyce kept while constructing Ulysses, working drafts of the novel, and the novel itself.

Highlights for me were the recreation of the shopfront of Shakespeare and Company; an interactive family tree of the various publishers and editions of the novel; another recreation combining elements from different apartments in Zurich, Trieste, and Paris (loved the books piled on the floor and everywhere!); and -- naturally -- the small traditional display of sheet music and theatrical posters of the time which illustrated the source material for allusions and imagery.

And, indeed, there on a playbill for a Pantomine (!) of Sinbad the Sailor, you read down the cast of characters and see

Sinbad the Sailor
Tinbad the Tailor

Which naturally flips up the memory of:

Sinbad the Sailor and Tinbad the Tailor and Jinbad the Jailer and Whinbad the Whaler and Ninbad the Nailer and Finbad the Failer and Binbad the Bailer and Pinbad the Pailer and Minbad the Mailer and Hinbad the Hailer and Rinbad the Railer and Dinbad the Kailer and Vinbad the Quailer and Linbad the Yailer and Xinbad the Phthailer. (U 17.2320-8)

"Dude!" I wanted to grab the guy standing next to me. "It's from a pantomine! I've just seen a pantomine! I got it now! It's totally popular culture, isn't it?"

I did manage to muffle my American enthusiasm at chipping away one more chunk of cultural ignorance, and I may have missed other little treats such as that in my haste to see the entire thing before closing. So I plan to spend time online at the link above.

1 comment:

Count Screwloose said...

Ah, you make me very, very jealous, Miss T.

Yes I said yes I said damned jealous!