Watch The World Celebrate Bloomsday 2023

Watch the short video below of the world celebrating Bloomsday once again today, June 16th — the (very long) day in 1904 that James Joyce’s novel Ulysses chronicles in the life of the character Leopold Bloom, thus called Bloomsday.

James Joyce with his wife Nora, who is said to have inspired the character of Molly Bloom in Ulysses. Joyce chose June 16, 1904 as the day depicted in his novel because that was the date of his first, um, amorous outing, with then-girlfriend Nora Barnacle.

A smattering of celebrations as catalogued by Irish Central:

“a 3D Bloomsday installation in Jakarta, an innovative mixed-media interpretation of Finnegan’s Wake in Mexico City, a Portuguese performance of Molly Bloom’s famous soliloquy in Sao Paulo, and the unveiling of a newly commissioned building-sized mural artwork by Irish artist Garreth Joyce in Szombathely, Hungary, inspired by Episode 5 of “Ulysses.”

Elevator Repair Service’s stage adaptation of “Ulysses”

In New York, Bloom’s Tavern on East 58th Street marked its tenth annual celebration last weekend, and. the James Joyce Society is bringing back two scenes from Elevator Repair Service’s stage adaptation of Ulysses that they debuted at last year’s “Bloomsday on Broadway.” It was not the first attempt to dramatize the novel: Zero Mostel starred as Leopold Bloom in “Ulysses in Nighttown,” which ran for two months in 1974, but it’s the one I saw. I found it splendid, for reminding me of the parts in the middle that I didn’t remember and never understood. Each year on June 16th, I dip into the novel, making sure at least to read the first page, which begins —

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed….

and the vivid last page — 

…. I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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