Bloomsday always sneaks up on us. So we don’t have any great plans to hear famous actors read selections from Ulysses. We won’t even be searching out an authentic Irish pub to recreate part of Leopold Bloom’s journey through Dublin. Nope, we’re celebrating perhaps the greatest highbrow novel of all time the most lowbrow way we know: with a quiz! Find out once and for all which Ulysses character you most resemble.
1. Who is your 21st-century icon? A. Samantha Jones, Sex and the City B. Woody Allen C. The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy
2. If your life had a genre, what would it be? A. Bodice-ripper B. Dark comedy C. You think it’s a Romantic tragedy; really, it’s satire
3. If you had a mantra, it would be: A. “yes I said yes I will Yes” B. “Mendelssohn was a jew and Karl Marx and Mercadante and Spinoza. And the Saviour was a jew and his father was a jew. Your God.” C. “The son unborn mars beauty: born, he brings his own pain, divides affection, increases care. He is a male: his growth is his father’s decline, his youth his father’s envy, his friend his father’s enemy”
4. Your favorite magazine is: A. Cosmopolitan B. Heeb C. Paris Review
5. If you had a theme song, it would be: A. “Lady Marmalade” — Labelle B. “Roam” — The B-52s C. “When Doves Cry” — Prince
6. What do you want out of life? A. Pleasure B. To belong, or at least not to stick out like a sore thumb C. Only to be recognized as the greatest literary mind of my time… oh, an a father figure
7. Which Odyssey character do you identify most with? A. Penelope (but I would never stay celibate for 20 years) B. Odysseus (not to be presumptuous or anything…) C. Telemachus (but I’m smarter)
8. What is your most noticeable verbal tic? A. Run-on sentences B. I’m always hedging and changing my mind C. Too many allusions
9. Who is your nemesis? A. My own sleepless mind B. Blazes Boylan C. Buck Mulligan
10. What is your preferred form of autoeroticism? A. Private B. Public C. Navel-gazing
If you scored mostly A’s: You vixen! You’re Molly Bloom, champion of all things sensual. You may not have the biggest part in Ulysses, but you get the last word. And what a word it is…
If you scored mostly B’s: You’re Leopold Bloom, patron saint of all that is earthly, embodiment of the wandering Jew archetype, as well as Stephen Dedalus’ makeshift father figure and the protagonist of this here masterpiece. You’re an outsider, and you may be a little rough around the edges, but you’re lovable just the same.
If you scored mostly C’s: Our apologies: You’re Stephen Dedalus. Portrait of the Artist was your moment in the sun, but now it’s all “You flew. Whereto?” Pretentiousness may be cute in high school, but once you’re an adult, there’s a fine line between deep and emo.