Bloomsday 2015!

Gleeson's copy of the first English edition of Ulysses, printed in France in 1922.
Gleeson’s copy of the first English edition of Ulysses, printed in France in 1922.

“It will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that’s the only way of insuring one’s immortality.” – James Joyce, on Ulysses

Bloomsday is an annual literary holiday held around the world to celebrate James Joyce’s masterpiece, Ulysses. The controversial and formerly banned epic takes place in Dublin, Ireland on June 16th. Joyce chose June 16th because it was the anniversary of his first date with his wife Nora. Today, Bloomites dress up in period costume, hold readings, and mimic the path taken by the main characters Stephen Dedalus and Leopold and Molly Bloom.  For a holiday intended to commemorate one of the most intellectual novels of twentieth century, things are known to get pretty, dare we say, rowdy. Sound like fun? We think so too…

Where to Celebrate:

Gleeson Library:

Here at the library, we’ve pulled several books by and about James Joyce and his classic Ulysses. Come by and check them out – and visit the Donohue Rare Book Room to see our copy of the first edition of Ulysses, printed in France in 1922, and no. 167 of 2000 copies bound in original blue paper wrappers! Pick up a commemorative button featuring this iconic book cover from the library’s front desk.

Mechanics’ Institute Library & Chess Room

2nd Floor Library, 57 Post Street, SF

“14th Annual Bloomsday Celebration: Re-Joyce in the Stacks; Muses, Music and Dramatic Readings from James Joyce’s UlyssesCo-sponsored by Irish Literary & Historical Society and Irish-American Crossroads Festival. Advance Reservations and Tickets Required.” 7:00 PM (The Circ Bar opens at 6:00 pm)

The United Irish Cultural Center

2700 45th Avenue, San Francisco

 “Celebrate the life and work of Irish writer James Joyce by reading an excerpt from Ulysses or listen to other fans of Joyce read. Be part of the worldwide Bloomsday events held in Dublin and throughout the world. Readings are limited to 5 minutes per person. Period costume is encouraged but not required.” 7:00pm

Mrs. Dalloway’s Literary and Garden Arts Bookstore

2904 College Avenue, Berkeley

 “Join us for another installment of James Joyce’s Ulysses, expertly and enthusiastically read by two of Elmwood’s finest, Thomas Lynch and George Davis. This reading will cover the second half of chapter eight, in the newspaper.” 7:30pm

Bird & Beckett Books

653 Chenery Street, San Francisco

“Come enjoy a bit of Ulysses on Bloomsday and help us raise some dough to meet the bills! Bring cash or checks, or make a donation on Paypal through the store’s website. For 10 minutes on the hour all day long, we’ll read a bit from Ulysses as Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus make their way through 1904 Dublin.” Starts at 11:00am.

Plough and the Stars Irish Pub

116 Clement Street, San Francisco

Seisiún- Autumn Rhodes and Friends

“Seisiúns (sessions) are informal gatherings of Irish traditional musicians that happen mostly in pubs…The tunes played are from a living tradition of Irish dance music that dates back about 300 years” More information available on the Plough and the Stars website.

2 thoughts on “Bloomsday 2015!”

  1. Another “Joyce” was born on Bloomsday, and Joyce Carol Oates is a great admirer of Ulysses. See her essay “Jocoserious Joyce” :

    “Ulysses is certainly the greatest novel in the English language, and one might argue for its being the greatest single work of art in our tradition. How significant, then, and how teasing, that this masterwork should be a comedy and that its creator should have explicitly valued the comic “vision” over the tragic—how disturbing to our predilection for order that, with an homage paid to classical antiquity so meticulous that it is surely a burlesque, Joyce’s exhibitionististicicity is never so serious as when it is most outrageously comic. Joyce might have been addressing his readers when he wrote to Nora in 1909: ‘Now … I want you to read over and over all I have written to you. Some of it is ugly, obscene, and bestial, some of it is pure and holy and spiritual: all of it is myself.'”

    Full essay:

    1. “exhibitionististicicity” — what a word! Great JCO essay all around! Thanks for sharing, Randy!

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