Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bloomsday: Literary Inspiration

James Joyce Statue, Dublin

Today marks the day that Leopold Bloom set out on a journey of discovery through Dublin in James Joyce's grand twentieth century novel, Ulysses.  I had the grand opportunity of visiting Dublin with my wife back in 2007 and though we didn't actually retrace Mr. Bloom's steps, we did get to soak up lots of Irish history, visit places of historical and literary interest, and enjoy several of Dublin's cozy pubs.

I found it quite mind-blowing to walk the streets that Leopold did, and stopping in for a drink at the same local pub on Dublin's famous Grafton Street that he did really brought the book to life for me.  It is those moments - - where I find myself literally and metaphorically entrenched in the setting described in a novel - - that fuel my hunger for reading, writing and creating.  Those moments help melt away that occasional bout of creative block (both the writer's kind and the kind sound designers get).

As a sound editor, my journey to Ireland was quite inspiring, and since I always carry along a portable digital recorder, I was able to capture much of the local color on virtual tape and revisit that feeling with every listen.  I have thankfully been able to utilize many of those recordings in films that I've worked on since then!

My appreciation for the writings of Joyce, Wilde, and Brendan Behan, the music of the Dubliners and John Field, and my knowledge of filmmaking and writing have once again stirred the creative in me.  A screenplay stirs in my psyche and I am actively in the process of putting my thoughts to paper.

Davy Byrnes on Grafton Street
Okay, so this blog really wasn't so much about Bloomsday as it was yet another introspective leap into my stream of consciousness.  Still, inspiration is a grand and beautiful thing, and if I've learned anything from life, its that inspiration can strike at any moment, anywhere.  I find it just as easily in the pages of the Classics as I do on a walk with my wife.  And since I rarely travel with a notebook, a pen, and a trusty recorder, I am usually prepared to greet inspiration with open arms.

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