Bloomsday all over


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James Joyce’s landmark novel “Ulysses” follows the peregrinations of Leopold Bloom around Dublin, Ireland, during a single day. That day, as fans of Joyce know, is June 16, and it’s become known as Bloomsday in celebrations around the world. Here is a partial list.

Bloomsday in Baltimore is -- where else? -- at the James Joyce Pub, starting at 5 p.m.


In Syracuse, N.Y., the mayor will be one of many participants in a marathon reading, set to begin at noon.

In New York, Symphony Space presents its 29th annual Bloomsday on Broadway, with a cast that includes Stephen Colbert, Ira Glass and National Book Award-winning author Colum McCann. Irish-born McCann is also the man behind the 13-hour Folk House celebration, where he’ll appear midday.

With the help of the public library, Charleston, W.Va. is celebrating its first official Bloomsday.

The Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia, which holds the handwritten manuscript of “Ulysses,” has moved its celebration indoors because of rain.

There will be theatrical presentations for Bloomsday in Berkeley and Ocean City, N.J.; the latter comes with tea.

Here in Los Angeles you can celebrate Bloomsday at the Hammer Museum, with staged readings, Irish songs and a Guinness happy hour in the cafe.


In Dublin, where celebrations started last week, postman Gerry Scanlon told the Irish Times, “From the very first day I was delivering post, I knew Joyce was born in this house.” Sanlon is the man who brings mail to 41 Brighton Square, where Joyce was born in 1882. “That’s because I ran into tourists looking for it. There used to be a lot more of them around. You don’t see so many these days.” The report continues:

Scanlon has “no interest” in reading anything by Joyce. “I know what Ulysses is about though. It’s about this guy who went around Dublin on June 16th and ended up somewhere else from where he started out.”

Many of the Bloomsday celebrations involve walking from place to place, and ending in a different place than where they started. Pittsburgh’s Bloomsday starts in a coffeeshop and ends in a bookstore, with stops in bars, a library, a cemetery and more along the way.

In Toronto, Bloomsday will be traveling down Queen Street, and Lake Ontario will stand in for the Irish Sea.

Dublin, N.H., is the first American Dublin to celebrate Bloomsday. Events will be held around town (attendees are warned that for events in the center of Dublin, park behind the town hall, as there is no public parking in the Yankee Magazine lot).

And finally, the comic version of “Ulysess” by Robert Berry, titled “Seen,” which was the subject of controversy over two pages with a nude Buck Mulligan, is now available on the iPad, after all.
-- Carolyn Kellogg

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