Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Happy Bloomsday!!

Bloomsday is the name given to June 16th which is the day that James Joyce's book Ulysses occurs. Around the US, and I think the world, people get together for a whole day of reading through Ulysses. People will also sing the several musical sections as well.(These are not regular people either-these are individuals from the Phila Academy of Vocal Arts and from the Philadelpiha Opera. So when they sing it's tremendous.) I had the distinct pleasure of going to the Rosenbach two years ago for the last three hours of Bloomsday there and it was awesome! Most, if not all, the readers bring their own copies of Ulysses and follow along in their own copies. The Rosenbach gets permission to block of the street setting up a large semi-circle in front of one of the steps of the row homes directly to the right of the museum. The orators then read from the podium.(Here's a list of this year's orators. Passerbys, wondering what a large group of people sitting  in white metal/plastic folding chairs or standing, squatting, leaning against walls, crouched on curbs while a man appears to talking about being in a pub w/ no apparent pub in sight, swing by for a short listen and then move on. There's also a Bloosmday newspaper of which I do not recall the exact name. This newspaper contains events from Leopold Bloom's day as well as the schedule of reading and a crossword puzzle which, if you win (the crossword puzzle) you are then offered the chance to read a section at the following year's Bloomsday festivities. I did find out that Syracuse has a James Joyce society and is much closer than Phila so I'm going to try to plan for next year to head up to Syracuse. There's a decent section of Ulysses that is marked Ithaca but I've have not done any hard-core research to see if Itahca, NY (also close to me) fully appreciate this with a day-long reading.
I was hoping to go this year but that didn't quite fit with the schedule of moving at the end of this week.Since I cannot bring Bloomsday directly to you, please enjoy the following Bloomsday rag.

Bloomsday Rag

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