Saturday, 20 May 2017

Why Worry About Doomsday when you have Bloomsday?

Forgive me if I'm jumping the gun a little bit but I think that it's an appropriate time to get excited about Bloomsday 2017! For those of you who are not sure what I'm talking about - is this about flowers and gardening? - Bloomsday is a day long celebration of James Joyce's master masterpiece Ulysses. Originating in Dublin (as only natural) the celebration has since spread to other parts of the world. Dress ups, recitations everything you could possibly have that's Leopold Bloom related. Side note, what is the relevance of the Producers film/musical also having a protagonist called Leo Bloom? And I have also seen ads for a flower company called Bialystock and Bloom. But I digress. 

Bloomsday has been celebrated since 1994 by a very dedicated group of lasses and lads. You can find out more about them by clicking the photo.

Oh! It would probably help if you knew the actual dates of Blomsday for this year so it is happening from the 14-18 of June. Definitely check out the website for more specific information but highlights this year include a play called Getting Up James Joyce's Nose which sounds delightful really, and it's on at the Spiegletent so you know it'll be good. 

So what is Ulysses about? 
Well as the ever helpful Goodreads tells us, 'Ulysses, one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century, has had a profound influence on modern fiction. In a series of episodes covering the course of a single day, 16 June 1904, the novel traces the movements of Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus through the streets of Dublin. Each episode has its own literary style, and the epic journey of Odysseus is only one of many correlations that add layers of meaning to the text. Ulysses has been the subject of controversy since copies of the first English edition were burned by the New York Post Office Authorities.' That doesn't sound terribly gripping I know but the style was revolutionary and any book that was burned upon publication merits some sort of second look right? PS. Is this a good time to mention that I haven't read it yet? (There are so many books, especially in a bookshop that it's hard to keep track. Today I inadvertently sold a book that I kind of wanted to a customer.) 

If you'd like to read more about reading Ulysses you can do so with theses:

The Guardian: Is James Joyce's Ulysses the hardest novel to finish?
The Economist: James Joyce's "Ulysses"Why you should read this book
Sparknotes (because who doesn't love it?): Ulysses
The New York Review of Books: It's Still a Scandal

And if you're looking for the 1967 film then you can read a review here

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