Workaday workers in the printing works

U 7.87-9: Strange he [Nannetti] never saw his real country. Ireland my country. Member for College green. He boomed that workaday worker tack for all it was worth.

The setting in the printing works of the Freeman's Journal and Evening Telegraph is oddly appropriate for Bloom's "workaday worker tack", as the (Dublin) Evening Telegraph ran a Saturday column ("The Work-a-Day World"), signed by “a Work-a-Day Worker", which covered trade-union matters and other concerns of the working man.

Joseph Patrick Nannetti's obituary in the Freeman's Journal for 27 April 1915 elucidates Bloom's otherwise slightly cryptic comment on the expression:

It was he who was the first contributor to that very comprehensive, pithy and pregnant column of the 'Evening Telegraph' under the title of "Work a day World", appearing in the Saturday edition of that paper. That column, as emanating from the pen of Mr Nannetti, proved a faithful index and certain indicator of the state of the Trade and Labour Market. In it were seen the unselfish aims of a writer whose sole object was to knit together the several trade societies and kindred associations into one united bond of fraternal brotherhood.

Harald Beck

Revised 27 December 2012

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