Happy Bloomsday, everyone! Bloomsday is June 16th, the day upon which James Joyce's epic novel Ulysses is set. It's also, not coincidentally, the date of Joyce's first date with Nora Barnacle, who went on to become his wife. Yes, Barnacle was her real last name. Anyway, here are some ideas for celebrating the holiday. Me, I plan to have a pint of Guinness at some point. Possibly at lunch.
And now, because it's traditional, I quote some Ulysses. This is the opening passage:
Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of
lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown,
ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air. He
held the bowl aloft and intoned:
Introibo ad altare Dei.
Halted, he peered down the dark winding stairs and called out coarsely:
--Come up, Kinch! Come up, you fearful jesuit!
Solemnly he came forward and mounted the round gunrest. He faced about
and blessed gravely thrice the tower, the surrounding land and the
awaking mountains. Then, catching sight of Stephen Dedalus, he bent
towards him and made rapid crosses in the air, gurgling in his throat
and shaking his head.
In case you're wondering WTF that was, you should maybe know that Ulysses is a sort of version of Homer's Odyssey and that Joyce's opening salvo mimics and mocks that of Homer:
Tell me, O Muse, of the man of many devices, who wandered full many ways after he had sacked the sacred citadel of Troy. Many were the men whose cities he saw and whose mind he learned, aye, and many the woes he suffered in his heart upon the sea, seeking to win his own life and the return of his comrades. Yet even so he saved not his comrades, though he desired it sore, for through their own blind folly they perished—fools, who devoured the kine of Helios Hyperion; but he took from them the day of their returning. Of these things, goddess, daughter of Zeus, beginning where thou wilt, tell thou even unto us.
Homer uses a typical Ancient Greek invocation and Joyce, via Buck Mulligan (medical student) uses a parody of a Roman Catholic invocation. And the book goes on like that for 650-odd fabulous pages. Haven't read it? Why the heck not?
Have a swell day, folks! Don't forget the pints!