Do you celebrate Bloomsday on June 16?
June 16, 1904, is the day on which Leopold Bloom – hence Bloomsday – walks around Dublin in James Joyce’s Ulysses.
(If you have already read Ulysses and already celebrate, you may enjoy my tips and tricks for drinking in Ulysses.)
The history of this post, which will attempt to convince you to read Ulysses, goes back more than a decade:
I ended up, by accident, at a Bloomsday festival at Mike & Molly’s beergarden in Champaign where people who apparently had read Ulysses and appeared to like it were taking turns reading it from a stage. The book’s language was tedious, and I honestly remember joking to my friend (a detail I left out of the intro to my thesis defense), “Well…I never need to read that book.”
When we were house hunting, it came down to two houses. One had a three-car garage, was on a lake, and had built-in bookcases. The other, which we now live in, didn’t have these particular things, but was great in other ways.
My husband gave up his dreams of fishing out of his back yard and keeping all his trailers and boats on-site.
And I thought I was giving up my bookcases.
I don’t want to spill the secrets of Rebecca, billed as “the classic tale of romantic suspense” to anyone who has not yet read it, so I won’t focus on the plot here. Instead, I’ll just note the story reminds us that situations, and people, aren’t always what they seem, and, as the narrator learns, we shouldn’t waste our time “building up false pictures in our mind” to sit before and obsess over.