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Happy Bloomsday…

Today is the day depicted in the novel Ulysses, by James Joyce…
An up and coming writer if ever I saw one, or my name isn’t F. Scott Fitzgerald!

And it isn’t!

A day so named for the title character of said book, people around the world will take time today to remember the above-mentioned aforesaid book in their own inimitable ways.

Such as eating some of the foods described.
Have you read Ulysses?
Yuck.

Think I’ll have the salad, instead.

The lovely people  in Spokane, Washington celebrate this date by staging a road race.

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In May.

For 40 years now.

Apparently, they haven’t read the book, either.
Running around like a flashback scene from Marathon Man ain’t exactly what I’d call ‘in the spirit of the book.

Here’s how their web site justifies the race’s existence:

Founder Don Kardong chose the name, which is a joining of Spokane’s favorite flower to the word James Joyce scholars use to describe the day events in the novel Ulysses take place. Confused? Intrigued? Read on… 

According to Kardong, a road race is an odyssey, not unlike the one Ulysses endured in his return to Ithaca after the Trojan War, a journey described in great detail by the Greek poet Homer. In 1917 James Joyce wrote “Ulysses” about one day in the life of a man (Leopold Bloom) in Dublin, Ireland. Bloom spends the day wandering through the streets of Dublin in a rough parallel of his Greek counterpart Ulysses, and that day (June 16) has become known to Joyce scholars and aficionados as “Bloomsday.” 

The 7-1/2-mile odyssey through the streets of Spokane was dubbed The Lilac Bloomsday Run, combining Spokane’s moniker “The Lilac City” with the premise of Joyce’s novel, which is that ordinary people are involved in unassuming and yet heroic journeys every day of their lives. A citizen who travels 7-1/2 miles on the first Sunday of May encounters trials, hazards and monsters during his or her odyssey through the Lilac City before ending up back home.

A description which is one of the more convoluted mazes of justifications and faulty logic I’ve yet to have had the pleasure of having read today.

Don’t worry.
Day ain’t over, yet…

Don…
Dude…
If you want to have a race… have it.
Don’t feel like you need to dress it up in silly rationalizations just to give it an “air of respectability”.
Cause (seriously!) that “air” is getting kinda ripe about now…

If you know what I mean by that.

Elsewhere around the world, people will gather to (among other things) get caught in completely natural, normal and totally un-staged scenarios, just as a professional photographer happens to wander by…

**** NO REPRODUCTION FEE **** 16/05/2013 : DUBLIN : Pictured was Mark Traynor , General Manager of Dublin James Joyce Centre at the launch of globalbloomsday.com This year to celebrate Bloomsday 2013, Sunday 16 June, Dublin’s James Joyce Centre will produce a live online global reading of Ulysses. A stellar line up confirmed to read for Dublin so far includes writers Joseph O’ Connor, Kevin Barry, John Boyne, Declan Hughes and actor Frank Kelly. The Dublin leg of the global readings will be broadcast live from the National Library. Following the sun, the 25 worldwide cities taking part in the global readings are Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Moscow, Pula, Zurich, Trieste, Paris, Bangor, Dublin, Derry, Cork, London, Sao Paulo, Santa Maria, New York, Boston, Chicago, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and San Francisco. Global Readings of Ulysses start at 2100 GMT Saturday 15 June and are scheduled to finish after midnight GMT on Bloomsday. All the worldwide readings will be accessed live for free to one and all locally and globally at globalbloomsday.com. Picture Conor McCabe Photography. MEDIA CONTACT : Yvonne Thunder. Project Manager, Global Bloomsday Gathering: A Reading of Ulysses Around the World, M + 353 (0) 87 931 4511 E yvonne.thunder@gmail.com

I mean (really!) what are the odds of their being a camera and a cardboard cutout of the author you’re reading, right next to where you’ve plopped down to peruse what most consider to be one of the more difficult works in the English language…?

Some people just have all the luck…

Or how about wandering around dressed like a blooper reel from a Seurat painting…?

Five unidentifed women, one of whom reads from "Ulysses," walk along Sandycove in period dress in Dublin, Ireland, Wednesday June 16, 2004, during "Bloomsday," the 100th anniversary commemoration of the day on which James Joyce set the fictional journey of his character Leopold Bloom 100 years ago. (AP Photo/John Cogill)

I wonder if they actually took this picture on a Sunday…?

Anywho…

I think I prefer the way the Irish are going to (have already(will have done so by the time you read this)) celebrate today.

By dressing up in their best Moshe Dayan drag, walking around drinking pints and eating the same foods Leopold Bloom ate in the book.

Again with the food…

Apparently, today is a national holiday in Ireland, and one of the only holidays in the world based solely upon a date from a work of fiction…
Then again, given that history is written by the victors, some might say that all our holidays are so based.

But I would never resort to such a cynical posture…

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Um… could you please pass the bowl of the inner organs of beasts and fowls…?

 

 

 

Top image found here.
Second image found here.
Third image found here.
Fourth image found here.
Fifth image found here.

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. What’s in that bowl sounds just offal…giblets, we call them nowadays and hereabouts. I may celebrate on a hot turkey sandwich with giblet gravy,….only promise me that Finnegans Wake will continue to remain so obtusely unread that we will never have a special day for that one!

    Liked by 1 person

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