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In honor of the anniversary of Bloomsday, June 16, 1904, the day on which the novel Ullyses is set, I pose the following question...

...What does the novel tell us about what it means to be an advertising or marketing professional?
Here's an answer from an unexpected source, an overview of James Joyce's Ulysses by James Martin Adams. In the book, the hero Leopold Bloom (who corresponds to Homer's Odysseus) makes his living as an advertising solicitor. Why this profession? This is what Adams has to say:
"Because the art/trade of puff and publicity is a characteristic art/trade of modern society, involving cleverness but not creativity, a cliche-ridden mind and a measure of petty shrewdness, a smattering of all subjects and a mastery of none. Because it is performed under the auspices of the business, rather than the editorial department. Because it is a peripatetic, semi-bourgeois, sub-literary, pseudo-business kind of a job, entirely suitable for a small-time conniver like Bloom."
Or small-time connivers like us? Agenbite of inwit!

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Jonathan Kranz is the author of Writing Copy for Dummies and a copywriting veteran now in his 21st year of independent practice. A popular and provocative speaker, Jonathan offers in-house marketing writing training sessions to help organizations create more content, more effectively.

LinkedIn: Jonathan Kranz

Twitter: @jonkranz