“For most of us, speaking Wakese seems as remote a possibility in daily life as communicating with extraterrestrials.” —Williams, Trevor L. Reading Joyce Politically. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1997.
“Dublin Mean Time had science on its side. It was also known as “Dunsink Time”, after the astronomical observatory in Finglas where the measurements were made. And as such it had gained a place in literature, via the inevitable James Joyce and Ulysses . Dunsink Time is arguably one of the novel’s subsidiary characters, earning several mentions including a passage in which Leopold Bloom deduces that it is “after one” because the timeball on the Ballast Office, overlooking O’Connell Bridge, has fallen. Timeballs were an aid to mariners, dropping (in the part of the world) at 1pm Greenwich time to allow ships check their chronometers. So the fall of the Ballast House ball meant only that it was after 1pm in London, and after 12.35pm here. But Joyce knew this very well. From the angle Bloom is looking, he can see only the ball and not the Ballast House clock, which would have shown Dublin time and which, being wired to Dunsink, was reputed as the most reliable time-piece in the city. The Ascot Gold Cup, run at 3pm in England, is a key off-stage event of the day on which Ulysses is set. Later in the book, Joyce has his characters speculating on the result and still in a position to place bets even though it’s nearing 4pm in Dublin. The discrepancy is explained by a combination of the local time-lag and the communications delay before news of the race arrives. The “wire” is not due until 4, and bets can still be laid until then.” —An Irishman’s Diary - The Irish Times - Wed, Nov 17, 2010
“Amongst the heralds of the new school he [WB Yeats] also mentioned Mr. James Joyce. “I am not a judge of the novel form,” he said, “but in Joyce’s work there is an intensity which is the essential of a great art. Even in a bad writer, or in a bad painter,” he continued, “one always can detect the signs of something new. Joyce is a very great writer, and something is there striving to be born.” —November 15th,1923 - The Irish Times - Mon, Nov 15, 2010
“As is often the case, though, such “abuses” have a long and esteemed history in English. The ground was not especially sticky in Little Women when Louisa May Alcott wrote that “the land literally flowed with milk and honey,” nor was Tom Sawyer turning somersaults on piles of money when Twain described him as “literally rolling in wealth,” nor was Jay Gatsby shining when Fitzgerald wrote that “he literally glowed,” nor were Bach and Beethoven squeezed into a fedora when Joyce wrote in Ulysses that a Mozart piece was “the acme of first class music as such, literally knocking everything else into a cocked hat.” —
Don’t be so sure about that last one.