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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Happy Bleedin' Bloomsday!

Today is Bloomsday, named after Leopold Bloom, the main character of James Joyce's Ulysses and patron saint of 21st-century literary snobs everywhere. bloomsday(I write this as a proud literary snob myself. My own history with Ulysses: I took it out from Northeast Regional Library on a summer loan in fifth grade, spent the entire summer reading the whole damn thing and not understanding any part, oblivious to the sexuality and the social motifs, and bloodly loving every minute of it.)

For more information on Bloomsday and Joyce, check out the Jewniverse that I wrote about it. And please notice Joyce's own depiction of Leopold Bloom to the right. Contrary to everyone's hopes and dreams and chagrin, Bloom isn't actually Jewish, by the strictest measure of Jewish law, anyway, as well as by his own estimation -- the character was born to a Jewish father and a Protestant mother, and converted to Catholicism to marry that feisty Molly Bloom, but still keeps getting mistaken for a Jew.

The occasion of Bloomsday, of course, means that I need to do everything possible to let everyone in the universe know about it. There are tons of Bloomsday events going on, from marathon Ulysses readings at North Carolina's Old Books on Front St, Philadelphia's Rosenbach Museum, and elsewhere...and online, of course. There's a special Twitter adaptation called @11lysses going on right now, and it is frighteningly brilliant, and a worthy successor to Joyce's on inscrutability:

 James Joyce 
 James Joyce 
 James Joyce 

Go read the rest of it now! And go wish everyone you meet a happy Bloomsday. They won't know what you're talking about, but they'll appreciate it.

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