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AAA Ulysses by James Joyce Dublin’s Fair City

June 16, 2017

Dublin’s Fair City 

Back Story
Today is Bloomsday, a special day on the literary calendar.
James Joyce, the groundbreaking Irish novelist, chose to immortalize June 16, 1904, in his novel “Ulysses” because it was the date of his first outing with his future wife, Nora Barnacle.
James Joyce in Paris with Sylvia Beach, who published “Ulysses.”
James Joyce in Paris with Sylvia Beach, who published “Ulysses.”
James Joyce Collection at SUNY Buffalo
It is named after Leopold Bloom, whom the book follows on a daylong picaresque voyage through Dublin, Joyce’s hometown. More than a century later, the character’s “odyssey” is celebrated around the world with readings, re-enactments and, sometimes, heavy drinking.
“Ulysses” is no easy summer read. A review when it was published in 1922 compared the prose to the “productions of the Ouija board.”
But help is a tap away.
There are now apps, including one that uses a touch screen to untangle tough sentences, plus an explanatory podcast. A group of Boston College students is developing a “Ulysses” game, “Joycestick.”
“If it’s so hard to read,” the illustrator Robert Berry once asked, “why are people having so much fun with it?”
Have a great Bloomsday.
Charles McDermid contributed reporting.
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