James Joyce turns up in Dublin to celebrate Bloomsday

James Joyce is alive and well today in Dublin. He has
surfaced in multiple incarnations and numerous places to celebrate the 110th
anniversary of Bloomsday. That’s the day — June 16, 1904 – during which the
action of Ulysses unfolds in what
Joyce called “dear, dirty Dublin.” Rambling around the city today, everywhere
we went, we encountered people tricked out in Edwardian gear, playing characters
in the novel – Leopold and Molly Bloom, Stephen Dedalus – but also looking like
Joyce himself in middle age, when he wrote his masterpiece. The
James Joyce Centre has been celebrating all week, running Joycean walking tours
and talks, marking the 100


anniversary (also this year) of the publication of
Dubliners, and – would you believe it? – sponsoring a Joycean Literary Pub
Crawl. The main photo on the front page of today’s Irish Times features two women participating in an egg-and-spoon
race as part of a Bizarre Bloomsday Brunch, and on Page 7 we discover another   page-dominating colour photo from the festivities,
this one deriving from a street event mounted by the Here Comes Everybody
Players from Boston, Mass. At that point, we’re shading into Finnegans Wake (no apostrophe), which
features a Here-Comes-Everybody refrain that is beginning to look prophetic. The
Times also reveals that dancer
Michael Flatley, the Irish-American star of the original Riverdance, owns the bronze medal won by Joyce in a singing
competition in Dublin in 1904. 

An urban myth had him throwing it into the River
Liffey in a fit of pique. As we wandered from the James Joyce Centre to Davy
Byrne’s Pub, checking out bookstore displays and sundry shenanigans, Sheena Fraser McGoogan snapped photos.

Oh, and you want more?  Lookee here . .


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