Blog 7 – Sydney Yellowblock vs. River Liffey

Joyce set Ulysses in Dublin. The River Liffey runs right through its guts. It is his symbol for life’s “riverrun” (that’s the first word of Finnegans Wake). I set Telemachus in Sydney. I could have chosen our famous harbour or beaches as my life symbol. But I chose Sydney Yellowblock Sandstone. There’s detailed history of Yellowblock in C9 (p.658). It is also the commodity for a corrupt political deal in C5 (p.274). The reflection off Yellowblock’s golden grains makes Sydney’s clear blue sky seem a still brighter blue, and deepen the torpor of our city streets when it is moistened and darkened by pixolating cloudscapes.