‘Ulysses’ brought to life across the globe
Bloomsday marked across world by marathon reading of James Joyce’s masterpiece
St Werburgh’s Church on Werburgh Street hosted the Dublin premier of Bloomsday Story by Robert Gogan, a lighthearted approach which rattled through the whole book in the space of 100 minutes.
At the James Joyce Museum in Sandycove, visitors including the President’s wife Sabina Higgins, contributed to the celebrations with their own readings and performances throughout the afternoon, while the record for the most people dressed as Leopold and Molly Bloom was set at a vintage market and amusement park event in Dun Laoghaire, where 55 lookalikes were counted.
Some 26 cities in 15 countries are taking part in a global reading of Ulysses as part of the Gathering, beginning at 8am in Auckland, New Zealand (9pm last night Irish time), which is the time the book begins, before moving westwards across the globe to end at 3.30am tomorrow morning in San Francisco.
While the time taken to read will exceed the length of a single day in any one place, it will still all be happening on Bloomsday in the different cities where the book is being read.
The participating cities are Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Moscow, Pula (Croatia), Zurich, Trieste, Bangor (Wales), Dublin, Paris, Derry, Cork, London, New York, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, San Francisco, Chicago, Sao Paulo and Santa Maria (Brazil).
The Dublin leg took place this afternoon in the James Joyce Centre and the National Library, where readers included writers Joe O’Connor and Declan Hughes, Impac award-winner Kevin Barry and musician John Sheahan. Novelist Colum McCann is involved in the New York event.
Manager of the James Joyce Centre Mark Traynor said the Bloomsday celebrations have brought a great atmosphere to the city this week.
“There’s been a great mix of people visiting the centre, some who are coming to Joyce for the first time, and others who are aficionados. We’ve had a few hundred visitors from abroad, one guy has come from South Africa this morning for the third time and brought his mother this year,” he said. “The day just keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
Mr Traynor believes the lifting of copyright from Joyce’s works last year has reinvigorated the annual celebration. “Artists and performers are beginning to engage with the work more, where there was a reluctance to before because of the copyright issue. There are more community-based events springing up, and the grassroots element of the Bloomsday celebration is really developing, which is great to see.”
For a full list of today’s events, see jamesjoyce.ie.