Happy Bloomsday! 5 Ways to Celebrate James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’

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It’s June 16th folks. Happy Bloomsday! If you forgot to practice your best dramatic staging of Molly’s soliloquy, fret not. Here are some more fun ways to celebrate the anniversary of Leopold Bloom’s daylong Ulysses journey.

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Dress the Part: There’s no better way to indulge your inner nerd than to whip out your favorite James Joyce T-shirt. Or go for the old school top-hat. Better yet, tattoo the novel’s last line across your chest. We promise you won’t regret it on the other 364 days of the year.

Teleport to Dublin:  Imagine Ireland has devised walking tours of five American cities that recreate Leopold Bloom’s infamous journey through Dublin. If you’re not from New York, Boston, Chicago, D.C., or L.A., don’t worry. This map from the James Joyce Center can help you  find some fellow modernist literature enthusiasts in your area.

Drink Up: It’s going to take a considerable bit of imagination to transport yourself to Dublin while really trekking through Central Park. Help yourself out by starting with a few drinks. There are complimentary drinks at various points during the day at the Ulysses’ pub in downtown New York, as well as accompanying ad hoc readings by celebrity authors. Frank McCourt and Sam Shepard have been there in years past.

Tweet About It: Given the length of his epic novel, we’re not so sure James Joyce would have been a huge Twitter fan. But that hasn’t stopped his fans from taking to Twitter. The aptly-named “Stephen from Baltimore” has set up an experiment “Ulysses Meets Twitter 2011,” in which Joyce fans have signed up to boil sections of the novel down to a series of four to six tweets. Watch this live-Twitter staging unfold here. #BloomsdayBurst

Rap?  A year ago, author and broadcaster Frank Delaney began dissecting Ulysses one sentence at a time for his weekly “Re:Joyce” podcast. There’s no end in sight as so far he’s only completed one book of the 18: Delaney told NPR that he estimates this project will take the next 28 to 30 years. If you’d prefer to stick to 3 minutes—watch his rap tribute to Joyce. 

We don’t quite understand this all. But then again, we didn’t quite understand Ulysses either.

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