June 16 might be just another day for most people, but for Leopold Bloom, June 16, 1904, was, well actually it was just another day.
But every year across the world fans of Bloom - who is the main character of James Joyce's prodigious novel Ulysses - gather en masse to celebrate Bloomsday, a holiday in his name. The largest celebration occurs in Dublin, Ireland, of course, which was home to both Joyce and his fictional creation. Costumed fiction lovers take to the streets and follow Bloom's day-long trek across the city, stopping in specific pubs for beers and gorgonzola sandwiches. They even gave out awards to poets this year.
In New York, a Bloomsday Breakfast was held in Bryant Park, complete with Edwardian dancing and readings from the book. Los Angeles is celebrating the women of Bloomsday, with live music and more dramatic readings.
And those who can't make it a holiday from work can celebrate online. Twitter feed @11ysses is spending the day tweeting Joyce-isms, 140 characters at a time. The author asks in his profile: What happens when the world recasts 'Ulysses' 140 characters at a time?
The answer? Here are some of the tweets:
Paddy Dignam appears via metempsychosis. Spooks & animal needs.
Snobbish Bloom Also Accused! Mrs.Barry (married,) says Leo loves her globes! He asked for her misconduct, but she rebuked his Paul de Kock.
Dr. Bloom dentist--or--von Bloom Pasha--or--Henri di Fleur, whats-is-name Henry de-flowering watching besetting. Alibi?
The novel Ulysses chronicles one day in the life of Dublin resident Leopold Bloom. Joyce purposefully focused on the ordinary, making the everyday activities of his everyman into heroic and verbose events. Joyce picked the day because it was the date of his first day with his wife Nora Barnacle.