June 16, 2010

Yes, yes, yes!


Eat your heart out, Civil War reenactors. You want to be doing Bloom's Day!

Yes, y’all, today is Bloom’s Day, the day all lovers of James Joyce’s Ulysses celebrate the novel, the events of which take place in Dublin, Ireland on this day in 1904. Bloom comes from the character Leopold Bloom. Lore has it that June16, 1904 was the date of Joyce’s first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle, when they wandered the streets of Dublin together. As for the character of Bloom, he’s supposedly based on Joyce’s friend Italo Svevo, the great Italian author who met Joyce when he signed up for a Berlitz class in English being taught by a young, unpublished James Joyce.

Bloom’s Day involves various cultural activities, including reading from Ulysses, dramatizations, walking tours, pub crawls—much of it instigated and organized by the James Joyce Centre in Dublin. Check out their full programme to plan your day, or just raise a nice tall glass of Irish.

Valerie Merians is the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.