June 09, 2015
For some, James Joyce's "Ulysses" is an uncomfortable reminder of an old college literature course. But for others, it's a cause for celebration. Each year, the international literary community honors the Irish author with Bloomsday on June 16, marked as such in observance of "Ulysses" protagonist Leopold Bloom and the day on which the novel takes place.
The Rosenbach Museum of the Free Library of Philadelphia celebrates Bloomsday with a week of festivities. To start, it opened up a brand-new exhibit, "Deciphering Ulysses: A Playful Introduction to Joyce’s Novel" Tuesday, June 9. The special exhibit examines the encryptions found in the book and its cultural impact.
Wednesday, June 10, "Ulysses" will take a tour around Philly, making insights along the way. Bookworms can take the virtual tour by following @RosenbachMuseum or #UlyssesinPhilly on Twitter.
Thursday, June 11, Fergie's Pub will host a night of "Ulysses" quizzo, and an after-hours "crash course" on Joyce led by experts will take place Friday, June 12, at the Rosenbach. Irish author-themed hands-on tours will take place at the museum Friday, June 12, and Sunday, June 14.
Leading Irish classical guitarist John Feeley and Fran O'Rourke will perform Irish songs with a Joyce connection in a special concert at the Rosenbach Saturday, June 13.
The celebration comes to a head Tuesday, June 16, with Bloomsday. A public reading of "Ulysses" will be held throughout the day in Rittenhouse Square, at the Parkway Central Library and then back at the Rosenbach. Artists and public figures will do the reading, and live music will be performed throughout the day.