Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Celebrate Bloomsday!

"Bloomsday is a commemoration observed annually on 16 June in Dublin and elsewhere to celebrate the life of Irish writer James Joyce and relive the events in his novel Ulysses, all of which took place on the same day in Dublin in 1904. The name derives from Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Ulysses. Thursday, 16 June 1904 was the date of Joyce's first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle, when they walked to the Dublin urban village of Ringsend."
-from the Wikipedia article

Bloomsday facts:

  • it was started in 1954 by John Ryan (artist & entrepreneur) & writer Flann O'Brien
  • in 1956, poets Ted Hughes & Sylvia Plath were married on Bloomsday
  • in Mel Brooks' 1968 film The Producers, Gene Wilder's character is named Leo Bloom in an homage to the character created by Joyce
  • punk band The Minutemen have a song called "June 16th" (on the album Double Nickels on the Dime)
  • long-running show The Simpsons has an episode where the family goes to Dublin & Lisa mentions Bloomsday
  • U2 have a song called "Breathe" that references events on June 16th (on the album No Line on the Horizon). Lyrics include: "16th of June 9:05, door bell rings, man at the door says if I want to stay alive a bit longer, there's three things I need you to know...")

For information on celebrating Bloomsday locally, check out this listing. The New York times also has a Bloomsday article.

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