―James Joyce, Ulysses
Bloomsday is a commemoration and celebration of the life of Irish writer James Joyce during which the events of his novel Ulysses (which is set on 16 June 1904) are relived. It is observed annually on 16 June in Dublin and elsewhere. Joyce chose the date as it was the date of his first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle they walked to the Dublin suburb of Ringsend. The name is derived from Leopold Bloom, the Ulyssean protagonist.
The day involves a range of cultural activities including Ulysses readings and dramatisations, pub crawls and other events, much of it hosted by the James Joyce Centre in North Great George's Street. Enthusiasts often dress in Edwardian costume to celebrate Bloomsday, and retrace Bloom's route around Dublin via landmarks such asDavy Byrne's pub. Hard-core devotees have even been known to hold marathon readings of the entire novel, some lasting up to 36 hours. A five-month-long festival, (ReJoyce Dublin 2004), took place in Dublin between 1 April and 31 August 2004. On the Sunday in 2004 before the 100th "anniversary" of the fictional events described in the book, 10,000 people in Dublin were treated to a free, open-air, full Irish breakfast on O'Connell Street consisting of sausages, rashers, toast, beans and black and white puddings.
"Every year hundreds of Dubliners dress as characters from the book ... as if to assert their willingness to become one with the text. It is quite impossible to imagine any other masterpiece of modernism having quite such an effect on the life of a city."
On Bloomsday 1982, the centenary year of Joyce's birth, Irish state broadcaster RTÉ transmitted a continuous 30-hour dramatic performance of the entire text of Ulysses on radio.
The James Joyce Tower and Museum is best known for featuring at the beginning of James Joyce’s Ulysses. The tower today houses the James Joyce Museum, which contains letters, photographs and personal possessions of Joyce. It is also the setting in which the opening of James Joyce’s masterpiece ‘Ulysses’ is set.
Shakespeare and Company is the name of two independent bookstores on Paris's Left Bank. The first was opened by Sylvia Beach on 17 November 1919 at 8 rue Dupuytren, before moving to larger premises at 12 rue de L'Odéon in the 6th arrondissement in 1922. It was nicknamed "Stratford-on-Odéon" by James Joyce, who used it as his office. Beach initially published Joyce's book Ulysses in 1922, which was banned in the United States and in the United Kingdom. Subsequent editions of Ulysses were published under the Shakespeare and Company imprint in later years.