By Ethan Shea
On Feb. 2, 1922, James Joyce’s 40th birthday, this Irish author’s masterpiece, Ulysses, was published in its entirety for the first time. The book’s publisher, Sylvia Beach, was Joyce’s saving grace after several proprietors refused to print his text because of its critiques of Catholicism. Bloomsday is a celebration that takes place in Dublin, Ireland and around the world. It commemorates Thursday, June 16, 1904, which is the day depicted in Joyce’s novel Ulysses.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of this movement-defining text, feel free to take some time to learn about the story. The best thing to do is simply kick back and read the book, but not everyone has the time to read all 265,222 words on a whim. Fascinatingly, these hundreds of thousands of words describe only one day in the life of the story’s protagonist, Leopold Bloom.
It is also worth noting that the text is based on Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, hence the title Ulysses, which was chosen to match the Latin name of the Greek king of Ithaca and Homeric hero, Odysseus.
Falvey Memorial Library is home to many resources on Joyce, like research on his work such as James Joyce by Steven Connor. Additionally, you can visit The James Joyce Centre website to learn more about the author’s life or even take part in Ulysses Fantasy Football.
Note: This article was originally published Feb. 2, 2022.
Dig deeper into the author James Joyce and learn more about Ulysses as well as how you can celebrate Bloomsday—whether you are in Ireland or near Philadelphia.
Links curated by Sarah Wingo, English Literature, Theatre, and Romance Languages and Literature Librarian.
- What is Bloomsday?
- (Via The James Joyce Centre) https://jamesjoyce.ie/bloomsday/#:~:text=Bloomsday%20is%20a%20celebration%20that,the%20central%20character%20in%20Ulysses
- (Via Speak Up newsletter)
- Why should people read Ulysses today?
- (Via The Rosenbach) https://rosenbach.org/visit/exhibitions/18-reasons-to-read-ulysses/
- How do they celebrate Bloomsday in Ireland?
- (Via Tourism Ireland) https://www.ireland.com/en-us/things-to-do/events/bloomsday-festival/
- Where is the official Bloomsday social media account?
- What local events are happening this year?
- The Rosenbach: https://rosenbach.org/bloomsday/
- Science History Institute: https://www.sciencehistory.org/event/bloomsday-2022
- Philadelphia Free Library: https://libwww.freelibrary.org/calendar/event/76027
- Does Falvey Library have James Joyce books?
- Beyond the main collection, Distinctive Collections & Digital Engagement possesses more than thirty James Joyce books in the Worthington Collection in Special Collections: https://library.villanova.edu/Find/Search/Results?filter%5B%5D=special_collection_str_mv%3A%22Special+Collections+Worthington%22&filter%5B%5D=author_facet%3A%22Joyce%2C+James%2C+1882-1941%22&type=AllFields
Ethan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.