A Pleasant Bloomsday to You, Sir

Statue of James Joyce on North Earl Street, Dublin

This statue of James Joyce in Dublin is known as "The Prick with the Stick." Really.

Happy Bloomsday, folks! Ok, ok, we admit we didn’t know what Bloomsday was either until about five minutes ago, but now that we do, we’re happy to observe. Bloomsday is a celebration of the life and works of James Joyce, named for the main character in his masterpiece Ulysses, Leopold Bloom. (Incidentally, the Gene Wilder character in Mel BrooksThe Producers* is also named Leo Bloom, which can’t be a coincidence.) Bloomsday is observed on June 16th because Ulysses is the chronicle of Bloom’s day in Dublin on June 16th, 1904.

The LA Times has an excellent blog entry listing Bloomsday events and observances in the US and Canada, including New York, Los Angeles, Syracuse and Philadelphia–where you can see the original handwritten Ulysses manuscript. We confess that we’ve never really gotten around to reading Ulysses, so we can’t really say this from a position of authority, but apparently the book is quite good and well worth a read. What we do know is that Ulysses (and indeed much of Joyce’s work) is all about Dublin, and to us, Dublin is all about Guinness, so if you do nothing else on this Bloomsday, enjoy a pint for old James Joyce.

*The original, 1968 film is fantastic and still hilarious today. Seriously. See it.

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