Happy Bloom'sDay

Jun 16 2004 Kelly Norton

Today is Bloomsday. This same day, 100 years ago, is the setting of a not so ordinary book that chronicles an ordinary man’s journey through the streets of his very ordinary town thinking shockingly ordinary thoughts. The irony, as people thrill themselves pointing out, is that it takes more than an ordinary devotion to wade through all its 768 dense pages of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Some seem to enjoy the challenge and ultimately find it rewarding or even inspiring, while others find the maze of allusions and literary styles so disappointing that an angry amazon.com review is unavoidable. Even critics could not decide if it should be hated more for being pretentious or “underbred”. Those who hate it puzzle at the way fans keep turning it over and over hoping that somewhere in the folds is just one more drop of meaning, while those who love it just keep wandering far and wide over its eighteen episodes looking for whatever it is we each look for in literature.

U.P. Up, The 100th Anniversary of Bloomsday