June 16th recognizes the life of the Irish writer James Joyce through the celebration of Bloomsday.
Born in 1882, Joyce is best known for his novel Ulysses narrated using the stream-of-consciousness method for which he’s noted. The protagonist, Leopold Bloom, inspired the name for the day. The celebrated author and poet also published short stories and was a respected teacher and literary critic. His contributions to modernist avant-garde literature make him one of the most influential authors of the 20th century.
“I care not if I live but a day and a night, so long as my deeds live after me.”
Life is too short to read a bad book.
I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.
HOW TO OBSERVE
The James Joyce Centre in Dublin, Ireland hosts many events on Bloomsday, including readings, walks, and reenactments. In Ireland, the day involves a range of cultural activities, including Ulysses readings and dramatizations, pub crawls and other events. Enthusiasts often dress in Edwardian costume to celebrate Bloomsday and retrace Bloom’s route around Dublin via landmarks such as Davy Byrne’s pub. Hard-core devotees have even been known to hold marathon readings of the entire novel, some lasting up to 36 hours.
In the United States various activities mark the day, usually reading all or significant portions of the book Ulysses and accompanying activities in Kansas City, Missouri; Syracuse, New York; Detroit, Michigan; Cleveland, Ohio; Wichita, Kansas; Portland Maine; Portland, Oregon; Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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June 16 is the annual observance of Bloomsday because Joyce’s novel Ulysses takes place on that date 1904. It is also the date of his first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle,
The Oxford English Dictionary added an entry for Bloomsday in 2005 and cites the word’s first appearance — in a letter Joyce wrote in June of 1924. It was in a letter by Joyce to Miss Weaver, June 27, 1924, which refers to “a group of people who observe what they call Bloom’s day – 16 June.
The practice of gathering together on Bloomsday to celebrate started in 1929.
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