From Detroit to Dublin, James Joyce fans gathered on June 16 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of one of the most well-regarded (and to some, inaccessible) works in Western literature, his monumental book Ulysses. Joyce set the entire work on June 16th, chronicling the peripatetic wanderings of salesman Leopold Bloom through the streets of Dublin, and a variety of other characters who move in and out through the book's pages. Understandably, some of the most storied celebrations of this important literary milestone happened this week in Dublin. Thousands of Bloomsday celebrants sipped on pints of Guinness, ate hearty breakfasts (as in the book itself, where pork kidneys are consumed), and some were even decked out in Edwardian dress. Tributes were also noted around all of Europe, including a German newspaper that opted to leave its headlines behind, and to turn their June 16th edition into a reworked version of the novel. All of these frenetic celebrations and festivals are quite interesting, especially when one considers the words Joyce penned twenty years after the first publication of Ulysses that asked the question: "To-day 16 June 1924 twenty years after. Will anyone remember this date?."
The first link offered this week will lead visitors to a news piece by the BBC that discusses the multitude of celebrations that took place on June 16 in Dublin in honor of Bloomsday. The second link takes visitors to an article from the Scotsman that talks about the rather prodigious breakfast that took place in Dublin, and which was visited by such dignitaries as Irish President Mary McAleese. The third link will whisk visitors away to a blog provided by the Guardian that features the musings of reporter Fiachra Gibbons as he recreates the Bloomsday experience. The fourth link leads to the website provided by the Irish government that provides information on all the ongoing festivities related to the centenary of Bloomsday, and which also provides visitors with materials to gain an understanding of Joyce and his works. Offering a bit more of a Stateside flavor is the fifth link, which leads to the homepage of the James Joyce Society, which was founded in New York City in 1947. Here visitors can learn about the society's various activities, which include reading groups, lectures, and some nice online features, such as a gallery of Joyce-related ephemera. The last link is a rather humorous one, as it provides a very, very cursory overview of the events of Ulysses, presented in stick-figure drawings.