For many years now, I have celebrated Bloomsday with Mary Durkan in Toronto. Mary is the genius behind the wonderful events that take place each June 16. In fact, in 2005, Mary led a Classical Pursuits trip to Ireland to celebrate Bloomsday and several samples of the vast Irish literary genius. I am trying to persuade her to reprise that amazing trip.
Somehow, Mary has been able to disinhibit me and others from the book that many intend to read but never do.
If you are in or around Toronto, join us Saturday morning for Bloom in the Beach, re-enactment of scenes from James Joyce’s Ulysses when the Beach becomes Dublin for a day. We meander along the shore as we listen to some of the funniest and most moving episodes from The Book. We have a sing-along at one point, turn the local library into the National Library in Dublin, and conclude with a Bloomsday brunch and more music. Edwardian attire is encouraged but not obligatory.
For the rest of you, there may well be Bloomsday activities where you live.
WHAT IS BLOOMSDAY?
Bloomsday is an international Literary Holyday celebrating James Joyce’s seminal novel Ulysses in which Leopold Bloom, a Dublin Jew, and a cityful of other colourful characters go about their lives in the city of Dublin on June 16th, 1904.
A romantic rendezvous
Joyce chose this particular date for Bloom’s perambulations as a tribute to his wife and muse, Nora Barnacle, whom he first encountered outside Trinity College, close to Finn’s Hotel where she worked as a chambermaid. Although initially mistaking him for a Norwegian sailor, she agreed to meet him. June 16th marks their first romantic rendezvous.