I know I’ve told you all about this before but the English major nerd that is me cannot stop myself from telling you that we are two shorts days away from Bloomsday, my favorite literary holiday. Are there other literary holidays? I have no idea. But they’d have to try really hard to be my new favorite.
Bloomsday takes place every year on June 16th in honor of James Joyce and his epic novel Ulysses. The date is the same at the date of the action in the novel. It’s also the date that Joyce had his first outing with his wife-to-be. Sweet, isn’t it?
Now, I have to admit to having mixed feelings about Ulysses. I rarely recommend it to anyone even though I think it’s both beautiful and intriguing. This is because, despite its beauty, it’s also the most difficult book I’ve ever read. Difficult enough that I read it with two supporting texts – one to explain literary allusions that Joyce may or may not have been making intentionally and one to tell you what is happening plot-wise because sometimes it’s difficult to tell. The difficulty can be intimidating but at some point it can also become bothersome to some readers. They find themselves asking if it’s really necessary to write a book with so many references and made up words. But I’d say, if you aren’t taking it for a class and don’t expect to write any papers on it, you can read it without all the extra stuff and get a great deal of enjoyment from the book. Or you might try checking out an audio version of it to see how it sounds when someone else reads it for you.
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