HAPPY JUNE 16th – a special day
A bit of background (from a 2013 post I wrote on the subject)
Bloomsday celebrates Leopold Bloom, the main character in James Joyce’s Ulysses. The story takes place takes place in Dublin on a single day: June 16th 1904 – the day on which (we believe) Joyce first went out with his future wife, Nora Barnacle.
Ulysses follows the life and thoughts of Leopold Bloom and a host of other characters – real and fictional – from 8am through to the early hours of the following morning.
The first Bloomsday celebrations were held in France in June 1929 (only a few years after it was first published…in France.)
The first Bloomsday to be celebrated in Ireland, however, had to wait to the fiftieth anniversary in 1954, but it must have been a pretty special day. The poet Patrick Kavanagh and the great Flann O’Brien visited locations like the Martello Tower at Sandycove, Davy Byrne’s pub and 7 Eccles Street, reading parts of Ulysses as they went. And probably having a drink too, as reading is very thirsty work…
What else happened on June 16th
1816 Lord Byron reads Fantasmagoriana to his house guests at the Villa Diodati and challenges each guest to write a ghost story. As a result Mary Shelley wrote the novel Frankenstein, John Polidori wrote a short story The Vampyre and Byron wrote the poem Darkness.
1829 Geronimo was born
1956 Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath got married – they chose this date because of James Joyce.
19xx My favourite niece was born. (Dont worry, I only have one niece.)
2007 It is officially Sussex Day and some towns fly the Sussex flag. June 16 was chosen because it is the feast day of St Richard of Chichester, the patron saint of Sussex.
photo credit: 17960004 via photopin (license)