Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bloom's Day

I have to interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to make an announcement. Did anyone know today is Bloom's Day? Bloom's Day is named for Leopold Bloom, the protagonist in James Joyce's classic Ulysses. The entire novel takes place on June the 16th, in 1903, I think, if I remember correctly.

I've read the book, twice, and while there is some incredible writing in it, I have to say the story isn't necessarily one of my favorites. The whole Stream of Consciousness concept is not one I'm very into, and Ulysses is even harder for me to follow than The Sound and the Fury, which I do love, even though I'm still not sure I know what actually happens in the book.

Anyway, I do think James Joyce was a great writer, and Ulysses is worth celebrating, even if I don't get it.

Some fans of Joyce have put together an interesting celebration for the whole thing this year, and are condensing the novel into a 24 hour series of tweets. There is no hashtag (that I know of), but you can find the tweets on @11ysses's feed.

There is also a fun NPR story on the whole thing: Tweeting 'Ulysses': Fans Put A Twist On Bloomsday.

I'll be back tomorrow with more philosophy micro, so for now, have a great Bloom's Day.

26 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

I didn't know this! Wow, the whole thing in tweets, huh? That would be a challenge!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I had no idea. I never read this. And I doubt would get it. Thanks for sharing.

Heather Kelly said...

Tweeting a novel, huh? That makes me consider all sorts of new possibilities for twitter. Like the party game where someone starts a story, and you go around the circle, each kid adding the next part. I haven't yet had my coffee, if I appear to be rambling. :) Thanks for the creative start to the day!

mooderino said...

I think what Joyce was trying to tell us was that eye patches are cool. I'm going to start wearing one and I should be published in no time.

mood

Candyland said...

Interesting way to promote a book/get the word out. I don't have the patience for that.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Bloom's Day - who knew?

Em-Musing said...

A toast to you for reading Ulysses. Me? Too Herculean a read, but perhaps it's time.

Jess said...

I actually did know this because of Pat Conroy's novel (I think it's his most recent) South of Broad. The protagonist is named after Leopold Bloom and dreads celebrating Bloom's Day with his academic parents each year.

Anita Saxena said...

Whenever I hear James Joyce I just think about that time in college I had to read Portrait of an Artist as A Young Man and how agonizing it was to finish. To be honest, I don't think I ever did. But then again, I was 19 at the time, and now that I'm older and wiser perhaps I might look upon the book differently now.
Happy Bloom Day!

Old Kitty said...

I've been on page 2 of Ulysses for nearly 25 years now.

Ahem.

Happy Bloom Day!! Take care
x

Ted Cross said...

Interesting that you read it twice. Was it an assignment or something?

Carrie said...

I once tried to read this book but didn't get very far. Thanks for posting about Blooms Day.

Michael G-G said...

In honor of the day, I'm wearing an eyepatch. However, my 4-year-old thinks I'm a pirate. Philistine!

Good for you, Matt for reading it twice. (I had to read it in college and quite enjoyed it, but haven't cracked it open since.) I'm sure that's twice as many times as 99.999% of the world's multitudinous billions. You're one in a billion!!

Jeffrey Beesler said...

Sounds to me like it might not be my cup of tea, but hurrah for Bloom's day all the same!

Cynthia Lee said...

I loved Dubliners but there is no power in the 'verse that can get me to read Ulysses.

Suzie F. said...

LOL, Old Kitty!

I'm impressed that you read it twice, Matt!

I had to buy Ulysses for an English lit class but we never got around to reading it. I think we only work by Joyce we read was "Portrait of An Artist as a Young Man," that year. I eventually *ahem* gave Ulysses away. Need to add it to my "books I'm embarrassed I never read" list.

Matthew MacNish said...

No one should be embarrassed, it's damn hard to make it through.

Rachele Alpine said...

The city near me is doing a 24 hour reading of Ulysses! They started at midnight and will be reading it nonstop in the town square until midnight tonight...kind of fun!

Bryan Russell (Ink) said...

I love Joyce. Though I admit I haven't made it through Finnegan's Wake. Though I have a theory that Joyce was secretly trying to write the unreadable novel. If you could call Finnegan's Wake a novel.

Hektor Karl said...

Your second paragraph captures a lot of my feelings about it. I certainly think it's worthwhile (even something more), but I understand those who are put off by it.

I first finished it more than a year after I first started it. It might be worth a re-visit for those who found their initial encounter unappealing.

Talli Roland said...

I had no idea such a day existed! Thanks for the enlightenment, Matthew!

Cold As Heaven said...

I never got the grasp on Ulysses. Tried to get through it twice, and gave it up twice. Portrait of the Artist ... and Dubliners were cool though >:)

Cold As Heaven

Bethany Elizabeth said...

That's such a cool idea - tweeting the entire novel. Hmm... :) I've wanted to read Ulysses for awhile, but I'll confess I've been a bit too intimidated to try it so far.

Angela Ackerman said...

Am I 100% lame for never having read this book?

*crawls under rock*

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Dude. Freaking awesome. I had no idea!! Joyce is a bit tougher than Faulkner, but worth it.

Joe said...

Once I went to a Bloom's Day reading of Ulysses at a theatre in NYC where different authors and personalities read the book from the stage one after another, beginning to end over a whole day (might have been two?). That's as close as I've come to reading it. Someday?