James Joyce’s epic novel Ulysses is set on Thursday, June 16th in Dublin, Ireland, and every year since 1954, literary nerds around the world have gathered together to celebrate Bloomsday. The holiday is named for the novel’s protagonist, Leopold Bloom. Typical celebrations of Bloomsday have involved dramatic readings from the book, general merriment and, of course, pub crawls. This year NYC has a number of events going on around the city. Learn more below the fold.
Wikipedia tells us that one traditional way to celebrate Bloomsday is to hold a marathon reading of the entire novel. This year, Steve Cole is updating the tradition for the modern world. This year, he founded “Ulysses Meets Twitter 2011,” and he has asked the internet to help him tweet the entirety of Ulysses 140 characters at a time. There are 70 tweaders, and Cole has committed to staying up for the entire 24-hours to ensure that things run smoothly. You can follow the project @11lysses. The tweets will start at 3 a.m. (8 a.m. Dublin time).
If you’re a little less tech-savy or just don’t want to spend the day at a computer, there are a few great events being hosted around Manhattan, and most of them offer free food and booze!
A Bloomsday Breakfast in Bryant Park is offering a complimentary breakfast at the Upper Terrace to recreate the opening scene of the novel. Then, they will host readings with a number of stars including James Newman, who plays “Tony” on the American production of Skins and Terry George, the writer of Hotel Rwanda. The festivities starts at 8 a.m. and attendees are encouraged to go in Eduardian attire.
The Ulysses’ Folk House Bloomsday Celebration at the Ulysses’ Folk House bar in midtown will also be celebrating Bloomsday with literary guests, DJs, free lunch and, most importantly, free drinks! The free Carvery Lunch from 11:30 A.M. to 3 P.M. offers traditional Dublin food and a complimentary glass of Burgundy and Gorgonzola. From 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., drinks will be on the house and then there will be live music. At midnight, there’s another round of free drinks until 1 a.m.
There’s no excuse to miss this holiday. Even if you’re not a literary nerd, we’re sure you are in need of a second St. Patrick’s day; who can pass up two rounds of free drinks, a complimentary lunch and a complimentary breakfast? For more info, visit BloomsdayNYC.