jamesjoyceYes, it’s the 16th of June, better known to James Joyce geeks like me as Bloom’s Day. The day is named in honor of Leopold Bloom, the Jewish advertising sales rep and Freemason who is one of the major characters in Joyce’s novel Ulysses. The novel also brings along Stephen Dedalus, the protagonist of his earlier novel Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

For those unfamiliar with this work, Ulysses is Joyce’s stream-of-consciousness novel in which he metaphorically features the events from the Odyssey in a single day – June 16th, 1904, in Dublin. (The day he met Nora Barnacle, the woman he would eventually marry after living together for decades)

Bloom represents Ulysses/Odysseus, Stephen represents Telemachus and Leopold’s wife, Molly Bloom, represents Penelope.

The novel is jam-packed with allusions to all manner of mythology (including sly references to the ancient Semitic myth which was the forerunner of the Odyssey, that’s why the character representing Ulysses is Jewish), Irish history and politics as well as a great deal of mystical and literary philosophy. Anyone into the Rosicrucians and their teachings should love spotting all the hidden meanings. 

When I was in my teens and early twenties Ulysses was my favorite Joyce novel, but after that Finnegan’s Wake became my favorite. Anyway, I figured I’d use one of the few photos of James Joyce in which he does not look like the love child of Floyd the barber and Wally Cox. Enjoy!

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 


Filed under Neglected History

8 responses to “HAPPY BLOOM’S DAY 2021!

  1. I used to be a big James Joyce reader many years ago. I used to have a voracious appetite for the classics in literature. At one time, my big four in literature were: Shakespeare, Joyce, Andre Gide and Faulkner.

    I believe that if Joyce had written books like DUBLINERS (“The Dead” is such a great short story or a great long short story) and A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN, he would be much better known today. ULYSSES is definitely a classic. FINNEGAN’S WAKE is very inaccessible to most people; you can see Joyce’s brilliant facility for different languages in FINNEGAN’S WAKE.

    Joyce met W.B. Yeats when Joyce was a young man. Joyce told Yeats that he was too old for Joyce to have any influence on him. I don’t think it was arrogance; I think that brilliant people know that they are brilliant and a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do and so Joyce wrote and later moved out of Ireland permanently because I think the culture there stifled his creativity and I think that Yeats embodied that stifling culture. The torch has passed onto a new generation, I think, fits that situation. Maybe Yeats was too Victorian and Joyce was too 20th century and too stream-of-consciousness and lived on the other side of the literary railroad tracks so to speak.

    This is the only literary short story that I have ever had published:

    High Plains Drifter

    • Thanks for this thoughtful comment! I will check out that short story of yours soon. I agree with your take on Joyce, especially his feud with Yeats and the rest of the Celtic Twilight writers and artists. James never seemed to stop believing that “silence, exile and cunning” had to be his go-to weapons.

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