Next week you need to know about . . . Bloomsday


Next Saturday is Bloomsday, the annual celebration of all things Joycean and an opportunity for everyone to pretend to have read Ulysses, which was set on June 16th. This year is of particular importance, as the book’s copyright in this territory expired in January, 70 years after Joyce’s death, and all his works finally entered the public domain.

The implications for the change in status are substantial. Before the 2011 Bloomsday Festival, the co-ordinator, Stacey Herbert, suggested celebrations would, well, bloom once Ulysses was out of copyright.

A range of events is planned for the week. These include the launch on Thursday of Joyceways, an iPhone app; a James Joyce bicycle tour tomorrow; concerts of songs and music cited in Joyce’s work; and a performance of Molly Bloom’s soliloquy by Eilin O’Dea in Bewley’s Cafe Theatre from Monday.

On the day itself, Leopold Bloom’s famous Irish breakfast will be served at the Gresham, while lemon soap will be selling like gangbusters at Sweny’s pharmacy, and readings can be heard across the city. And the BBC will take advantage of Ulysses being in the public domain by airing a five and a half hour adaptation on Radio 4.