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A blog about the stories we tell each other and how we tell them...

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Happy Bloomsday

June 16 is Bloomsday. It celebrates Leopold Bloom, the main character in James Joyce's Ulysses. The story takes place takes place in Dublin on a single day: June 16th 1904 - the day on which (we believe) Joyce first went out with his future wife, Nora Barnacle.
Ulysses follows the life and thoughts of Leopold Bloom and a host of other characters – real and fictional – from 8am through to the early hours of the following morning. 
Here's a few events I've been able to locate...
USA nationally  Radio Bloomsday will be broadcast live from 7pm to 2am ]on the Pacifica Radio Network, wbai 99.5FM in New York City, KPFK 90.7 in Los Angeles and online at www.wbai.org anywhere in the world. This year's broadcast includes artist from New York, Los Angeles, Dublin and London.
 Bloomsday Celebrations hosted by the Irish Writers' Centre in the Garden of Remembrance from 12-3pm with Finnegan's WakeA Traditional Irish Wake Celebrating Life, Death and Everything in Between. This traditional Irish 'wake' will both commemorate the work of Ireland's late, great writers and provide a platform to admire the wonderful writing being created in modern Ireland.
Lots also happening at The James Joyce Cente. Events include a breakfast, readings, Joycean tours around the city, songs and poetry readings, and actors wandering the streets dressed as characters from "Ulysses." And when the day is done, a quiz at the Great Hiberian Metropolis.
Los Angeles: Machine Project's Bloomsday Silent Read-A-Thon. Starting at 8 a.m. and going on until 3 p.m.

The first Bloomsday celebrations were held in France in June 1929 (only a few years after it was first published...in France.) The first Bloomsday to be celebrated in Ireland, however, had to wait to the fiftieth anniversary in 1954, but it must have been a pretty special day. The writers Patrick Kavanagh and Flann O’Brien visited locations like the Martello Tower at Sandycove, Davy Byrne’s pub and 7 Eccles Street, reading parts of Ulysses as they went. And drinking too...

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