Thursday, 6 September 2012

Buying a ticket to Joyce

. . . like a scene from Finnegans Wake.

Having ploughed my way heroically through that tome and paid my best respects to Erin's fine son now resting peacefully in Zürich as well as poking my nose into the Zürich museum dedicated to Joyce's life and works and also having visited various Ulyssean  locations like the notorious Gentlemen's Bathing Place and the Martello Tower house, in and around Dublin, not to mention the partaking of a small cake and a Kleinerbrauner in the cafe' in Trieste where the first back of the envelope scribblings of Ulysses were made by regular customer Joyce, I naturally felt somewhat more than obliged to attend tonight's special reading of some of Joyce's work by the renowned actor Karl Markovics, an actor I saw presented with the Nestroy Ring a couple of years ago, and one or two other 'big' names at Vienna's landmark Theatre an der Wien; and so I went to the appropriate website, selected an unoccupied seat by clicking on it, accepted the terms and conditions and was just about to pay for  my €9 ticket in the back of the gods with my bit of plastic when the unspeakable happened. IT wanted my password!. I was already now at stage 3 of the 6 stage ticket transaction when all of a sudden IT demanded my personal Theatre an der Wien password!. I have no such password. Why would I have such a password!? I phoned the ticket office and explained to someone that I merely wished to purchase a ticket and to pay. I did not want a password!.

The voice at the other end of the conversation began with "I cannot English so good." And so I resorted to my Deutsch; a local Wienerisch variety "This is an international theater in a city full of tourists, I can't believe you can't speak Denglisch!" I ranted. It was no good. Everything the voice told me to do with my mouse I had already done. "Do it again noch einmals!" commanded the voice rising almost to feline soprano and so I did it again as calmly as I could in the circusdances. It was however to know travail. "You are doing etwas wrong" said the voice in almost echt Wienerdeutsch. "Sie haben ein Fehler gemacht!" "!Ich habe kein Fehler gemacht!" "Naja" und so weiter. And so I gave up and hung up. Logical argument had proven pointless for the voice could not and would not accept that its website was less than purrrfekt. It was . . .

I shall stay at home in the dark -  the unlit candle stout! 


  1. Obviously the problem could easily be resolved by placing a short but prominent notice on the home page and ticket purchase page stating simply the following.

    Customers wishing to purchase ticket/s must first register a password.

    Sometimes I can't help but wonder.

  2. Sitting through a reading of Joyce sounds like my idea of hell Gwil. I know - this is sacrilege to Dominic and probably to you too, so sorry.

  3. If it's any consolation you could always watch this (if you haven't seen it already):

    Reading Ulysses here - I've nearly finished Ithaca. Just Molly's monologue to go!

  4. Pat and Dominic thanks for your diverse comments :).

    Dominic, I've moved a sub-clause up from main para. 2
    to main para.1 to make a longjobofit in jj's traditional way!

    Thanks for the link which I will visit asap.

    I've just started on Schnitzler's Night Tales in English translation.


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