Graphic detail: Dublin celebrates Bloomsday


FROM LEOPOLD Bloom’s legendary breakfast of “thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards . . . a stuffed roast heart” and the description of the sea as “snot- green”, it’s hard to ignore the visual elements of James Joyce’s most famous book. Robert Berry, an American graphic novelist, didn’t – and is painstakingly rendering the opus into a comic.

The project is a work in progress but Berry is slowly revealing his interpretation on his Ulysses Seen website and via a collaboration with the National Library. His pages vary from riots of colour to inky monochromes, depending on the chapter and the character telling the story.

Today, as part of the Bloomsday celebrations, illustrations from the project are being hosted by and are for sale in Dublin pub The Bailey – an event of which Joyce would no doubt approve.

The idea, like so many other interpretations of Joyce’s work, is a beneficiary of the copyright expiring in the EU and elsewhere 70 years after the author’s death in 1941. The Abbey is to stage an adaptation of The Dead by Frank McGuinness this year.

For today’s 108th Bloomsday there is no shortage of events. This afternoon on Howth hill, “The Sensual Walk” – inspired by Kate Bush’s take on Ulysses – will feature bands, seed cake and recitations. From 3pm-6pm, music and readings can be heard at St Stephen’s Green bandstand, while the James Joyce Centre is running walking tours of the city.