Bloomsday is nearly upon us…

Tomorrow is Bloomsday, the day where people get together and celebrate Irish writer James Joyce and to relive parts of his novel “Ulysses.” Don’t worry if you weren’t aware that people actually see this as cause for celebration -I wasn’t either.

But in reality, it was kind of fun. Tonight AIRE Theater pre-gamed with “Ulysses for Beginners” -its humorous, one-hour rendition of Joyce’s “Ulysses” -at at Bull Feeny’s Pub over on Fore Street. I learned several important things from the production:

1. James Joyce wore an eyepatch.

2. “Ulysses” was a very offensive book at the time of its publication.

3. It is over 1,000 pages and broken into 18 chapters. This is what I call a “light read.”

I want to describe “Ulysses for Beginners” as SparkNotes on crack. I’m not sure if that is entirely appropriate, but I mean it as a compliment.

In true James Joyce fashion, Jim Sharkey wears an eyepatch before AIRE Theater’s rendition of Joyce’s “Ulysses.”

Other cast members, such as “Ulysses for Beginners” author, Tony Reilly, also wore eyepatches at the beginning of the production. Please note the black tape ‘stache beneath his mouth.


Their production almost made me want to read “Ulysses.” I’ll have to see how I feel tomorrow.

All images ©Portland Press Herald





2 thoughts on “Bloomsday is nearly upon us…

  1. Ulysses is definitely… umm… interesting. From the very brief exposure that I had with it, it seems like the kind of book that you would need a ratio of 1:1 text:footnotes to really understand what Joyce is getting at. Utterly exhausting.

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