Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Happy Bloomsday!

"Ulysses ... is a dogged attempt to cover the universe with mud, an inverted Victorianism, an attempt to make crossness and dirt succeed where sweetness and light failed, a simplification of the human character in the interests of Hell," proclaimed author E.M. Forster.

Today, as you may know, is the 100th Centenary of Bloomsday.

For millions of people, June 16 is an extraordinary day. On that day in 1904, Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom each took their epic journeys through Dublin in James Joyce's Ulysses, the world's most highly acclaimed modern novel. “Bloomsday”, as it is now known, has become a tradition for Joyce enthusiasts all over the world. From Tokyo to Sydney, San Francisco to Buffalo, Trieste to Paris, dozens of cities around the globe hold their own Bloomsday festivities. The celebrations usually include readings as well as staged re-enactments and street-side improvisations of scenes from the story. Nowhere is Bloomsday more rollicking and exuberant than Dublin, home of Molly and Leopold Bloom, Stephen Dedalus, Buck Mulligan, Gerty McDowell and James Joyce himself. Here, the art of Ulysses becomes the daily life of hundreds of Dubliners and the city’s visitors as they retrace the odyssey each year.


For those of you unfamiliar with the impact of Ulysses on modern English literature, be sure to check out the Guardian's Bloomsday Blog.

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