Bloomsday: wandering through Dublin as if it were the 16th June 1904

Bloomsday-On-Bondi
Bloomsday

Bloomsday-On-Bondi

DUBLIN If by chance you are in this city on 16th June, you can see groups of people wrapped in long cloaks wandering around the Irish capital. Do not worry: it’s Bloomsday

It is a national holiday, Bloomsday celebrates the day in which the character of James Joyce, Leopold Bloom wanders through Dublin in the book Ulysses. Published in 1922, the novel tells the story of the protagonist’s ordinary day, precisely on 16th June, in what is a parody of the Homer’s Odyssey. The writer chose that exact date because the same day in 1904 he had his first appointment with his muse and future wife, Nora Barnacle.

Since 1954, the most ardent fans are in Dublin to trace the story of their paper hero. With Leopold Bloom they stroll from the cemetery to the public baths, they go to the pub for a pint of beer and make a trip to the offices of the newspaper. And this group could not be more diverse: it’s composed by academic researchers, white-bearded professors, world-renowned writers, but also to young readers who recently immersed themselves in reading the imperishable father of modern literature.

Also in Italy we celebrate Bloomsday. In Trieste, where Joyce lived for a few years, they are trying to emulate the spirit of the Irish festival with encounters and readings. In Ravenna Enrico Terrinoni, the translator of Ulysses for the Newton Compton editions, accompanied the fans in a traveling reading trought the city. At times like these, it breaks the fine line between literature and life, and escapes from the cracks the magical power of words.

For further information about Joyce, Ulysses or Bloomsday you can go to www.jamesjoyce.ie.

Guglielmo Fava