Monday, June 16, 2014

Happy Bloomsday!

James Joyce Literary Print by Obvious State
Today is a day to celebrate all things James Joyce, whose revolutionary novel Ulysses is set on 16 June 1904. Events take place in Dublin and elsewhere, recreating scenes from that famous novel, and, no doubt, sinking a pint or two at a jolly Irish pub.

One of the seminal works of modernist literature, Ulysses chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom through Dublin on a single, ordinary day (June 16), and has many structural links and parallels to that other Ulysses' journey in Homer's Odyssey. Joyce's stream of consciousness narrative and lexicon of 30,000 words has created controversy and scrutiny, including obscenity trials and outright violence amongst its many fans. The world's most dangerous book? Perhaps. Recently, Bailey's Prize winner Eimear McBride cited the novel as a singular life-changing influence on her book A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing, further evidence of the power of a single work of fiction to move, inspire, and agitate.

For me, I think I will celebrate with some quiet reading, a gorgonzola cheese sandwich, a pint of Guinness and this lovely art print by the geniuses at Obvious State. Happy times.

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