Thursday, June 16, 2011

Appyhay Oomsdayblay!

Happy Bloomsday! With wordplay a hallmark of James Joyce's work, he surely would not object to the use of a little Pig Latin to acknowledge the only international holiday commemorating a work of art, namely, his masterwork, Ulysses. Set in Dublin in 1904 with Leopold Bloom as its protagonist, the novel's action transpires entirely on June 16th.

First observed in 1954, on the fiftieth anniversary of the events in the book, Bloomsday is now widely celebrated around the world. If one is lucky enough to be in Dublin, the James Joyce Centre offers a very full program. The Centre also provides a lengthy list of activities in many countries.

In Philadelphia, the Rosenbach Museum and Library is staging an all-day reading of Ulysses and many other events. The Rosenbach also possess a very strong Joyce collection, the centerpiece of which is Joyce's manuscript for Ulysses (the image shown here is from the Circe episode).

Joyce's work has inspired countless readers--and artists--over the years. Had he been writing in another era, however, things might have been different. McSweeney's Internet Tendency offers a glimpse at one possible scenario today: Feedback From James Joyce’s Submission of Ulysses to His Creative Writing Workshop . . . no I said no I won't No!

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