It was on that fictional June 16, 1904, that the fictional Leopold Bloom worked so hard to find his way home in Dublin, lured by the sirens of this pub, hampered by the Scylla and Charybdis of that pub, but finally — Yes! — finding his own doorway, yes, and entering into it, yes, and making literary history, yes.
Oh, yes! Yes! Yes!
Is anyone reading Ulysses in your town? Public performance?
2012 heralds, or laments, the ending of the extended copyright on the novel in the UK. James Joyce’s son Stephen has been a close and controlling shepherd of the rights to use the words of the book.
In 2004 the threat of disruption from the Joyce estate to the planned Bloomsday centenary was deemed so great – Stephen Joyce warned he would sue for copyright infringement if public readings formed any part of the festival – that the Irish government was forced to pass emergency legislation to protect itself. In 2007, a US court upheld the claim of a Stanford academic that the Joyce estate engaged in abusive conduct in exploiting its copyright.
This year, Dublin’s New Theatre have organized an entire festival dedicated to Joyce’s entry into the public domain, featuring new work only made possible by the expiry of the Joyce copyrights. Scholars from around the world – including a few former targets of legal action from the estate – will gather at Trinity College Dublin for a week-long symposium on the author. Experimental film, cabaret, even an iPhone app, all form part of the city’s program of festivities.
It’s not clear that the copyright is ended in the U.S. I doubt that will slow any of the scheduled readings.
How will you celebrate Bloomsday?
Have you read the book? Of those who show up to readings, or to lift a pint in a Dublin pub, what percentage do you think have actually read Joyce’s book?
Bloomsday, More, and Related Resources:
- Digital Bloomsday celebrations, noted at The Atlantic Wire
- Los Angeles Times on the 2012 commemoration
- Wall Street Journal blog note, featuring a schedule of some events, worldwide (for 2011)
- How did Leopold Bloom get home? Irish Times reports a computer may have solved the problem; Rory McCann did the legwork — here’s the post at his blog, claiming it is, indeed possible to cross Dublin without passing a pub (but why would one want to?) (This is a great geography problem, and McCann has brought some good wiles to bear on the issue — is there a geography quiz in here? Maybe not for high school . . . )
- Explication on the drinks and places to honor Joyce on Bloomsday, from 6th Floor Blog, among the blogs of the New York Times; and the 2011 Bloomsday commemoration
- On Bloomsday: Do I have to read James Joyce’s Ulysses? (booktopia.com.au)
- #Bloomsday (leggotunglei808.wordpress.com)
- Bloomsday for all! (tricklingbeauty.wordpress.com)
- The genius of the Irish writer James Joyce – gearing up for Bloomsday (irishcentral.com)
- It’s Bloomsday At The Rosenbach This Saturday (philebrity.com)
- Reminder: Rosenbach Museum & Library Celebrates Bloomsday 2012 This Saturday, June 16 (uwishunu.com)
- Bloomsday countdown: Reading Ulysses (ephemeralstream.wordpress.com)
- Bewildering Bloomsday (insidehighered.com)
- An Invitation to Celebrate Bloomsday with Frank Delaney (ephemeralstream.wordpress.com)
- Bloomsday & Save the Bookstores! June 16, 2012 (roofbeamreader.net)
- UPDATE: Tulsa World’s arts blog (of all places!) on today’s festivities
- IrishCentral.com notes major landmarks of Bloom’s trip through Dublin, with a photo essay on the sites