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Bloomsday 2013 recordings

June 21, 2013

Happy solstice.

2013 June 16th was a great Bloomsday – the traditional day for celebrating and reading James Joyce’s Ulysses (the novel is set on 1904 June 16th).

The New York Times had a great piece on Bloomsday memories, here are two of my favorites (slightly censored):

The novelist Colm Toibin recalled a June 16 several years ago when he took a break from working at home in Dublin to food shop. Forgetting it was Bloomsday, he came across a group of literary celebrants outside a pub. “I had two plastic bags of groceries,” Toibin said. “When the crowd asked me who I was, I expressed puzzlement. They presumed I was masquerading as a character from the book, and were trying to think who had two bags of groceries in Ulysses. In the end, I used a term with which Joyce might have not been familiar — I called them ‘a shower of […]’— and slowly made my way home and got on with my day’s work.”

Colum McCann, the author, most recently, of ­TransAtlantic, called Bloomsday “one of my favorite days of the year,” contrasting it with “all the crass paddywhackery” of St. Patrick’s Day. For the past 10 Bloomsdays, he has organized readings at Ulysses’, a pub in Lower Manhattan. “We stand out in the cobbled street and read parts of the novel, including the naughty parts from Molly’s soliloquy. You should see the look on the faces of the Wall Street crew as they walk past.”

Pacifica radio organized a terrific Radio Bloomsday, which can be downloaded here:

Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four
Part five
Part six

Note also the preview interview and music program (download here) that aired earlier that day on WBAI’s Next Hour.

Over at Symphony Space, despite the sad death of Isaiah Sheffer, his annual Bloomsday on Broadway celebration was held, and can be watched here (the video quality is poor, and the audio is mediocre, but it is still entertaining.  Using Audacity I cleaned up the recording and transformed it into MP3.

And, in what I believe is a new (or at least quite recent) move, some are celebrating Blumesday instead of Bloomsday.

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