Are You Ready for Bloomsday?

June 16, 2018 – “How can you call yourself a writer if you’ve never read Ulysses?”

This is not a question that keeps me awake at night, but rather one that my son asks me from time to time when he feels I’m not living up to my potential, which is about the same time, I suppose, he feels he’s not living up to his potential. The question is meant to inspire me to read the classics and push myself to achieve a similar feat. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to do for him.

I’ve never actually answered his question, but I did head over to my local Barnes and Noble to page through a copy of the James Joyce classic. With a cup of tea in hand, I sat in the café to read a few pages before I purchased a copy.

This week marks is the 114th anniversary of Joyce’s first date with his wife-to-be Nora Barnacle. Their relationship was the inspiration for Ulysses, a story that takes place all in one day on … you guessed it … June 16. Seems Joyce was not only a serious writer but also a serious romantic. In Ireland, June 16 is known as Bloomsday, named for the character of Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Ulysses.

And to all the writers who have read Ulysses, I commend you. It may be considered a 265,000-word work of art written in a stream of consciousness style, but I wasn’t able to get past the first few pages.

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