Bloomsday – a celebration
Bloomsday is the global celebration of James Joyce’ landmark work, Ulysses. Set in Dublin, June 16 1904, Ulysses reflects the classic work of Homer’s Odyssey, chronicling the passage of Leopold Bloom through an ordinary day – the places he visits, the characters he meets, the things he learns.
Bloomsday came about in 1954 in Dublin as a pilgrimage of sorts, recreating the events of June 16 in Ulysses. Excerpts from the book were read aloud in situ and participants played various characters, visiting the numerous pubs and locations listed in the book along the way. Since then this celebration has gone on to become a day of festivities and cultural activities within Dublin and is also celebrated across the globe as enthusiasts perform the novel, or a portion of it, in public. 2011 saw Bloomsday performed via twitter, 140 characters at a time.
Ulysses is an amazing work and a challenge to read. My favourite chapter/episode of this book is the last one, 18, where Bloom’s wife Molly expresses her thoughts and feelings in an outpouring of pure stream-of-consciousness. Through all the tribulations of the day, this one brings it to a fitting close.
This Bloomsday where will you be?