Bloomsday 2014 celebrations bring 'Ulysses' into the age of Twitter

James Joyce fans celebrate 'Bloomsday' on June 16, when Joyce's novel 'Ulysses' takes place. This year, some are tweeting out images that recreate a line from 'Ulysses.'

John Cogill/AP
Actor Barry McGovern (center) reads from James Joyce's 'Ulysses' as Patricia Lyle (l.) and Valerie Ritson (r.) listen in period dress in Sandycove in Dublin, Ireland.

One James Joyce fan is bringing Joyce’s novel “Ulysses” to the cell phone age.

June 16 is customarily celebrated by Joyce fans as “Bloomsday,” as the date is the day in which the novel “Ulysses” – centered on protagonist Leopold Bloom – is set. The celebration takes place internationally, with locales like Dublin (the birthplace of Joyce) and other more far-flung cities (like Washington, D.C.) marking the day with readings of “Ulysses,” period-appropriate costumes, the serving of traditional Irish cuisine, and more.

This year, Joyce fan Steve Cole from Maryland, is encouraging other fans to recreate a line from “Ulysses,” take a picture of the recreation, and tweet the photo with the hashtag #UlyssesPic. Cole’s example quoted the line “Astonishing the things people leave behind them in trains and cloak rooms. What do they be thinking about?” with a photo of a copy of “Ulysses” lying on a bench.

“Use the photographic muse to break the novel free of the confines of time (1904) and place (Dublin, Ireland) and show the tale anew,” Cole wrote on the website LiberateUlysses. “Bring forth something you really like in Ulysses and be as daring, poetic, joyful and/or silly as you like to express it with photos. We encourage you to emphasize the human in your photos to match the profusion of humanity stuffed into the book." 

According to NPR, Cole also organized an effort to tweet out sections of “Ulysses” in 2011.

Cole’s effort has already gained some participants and contributors currently include the Twitter account for Ireland’s embassy in Berlin, which tweeted a picture of a live reading of “Ulysses” hosted by the German bookstore Curious Fox Books with the line “Ireland I was born here.”

Have you tweeted a #UlyssesPic? Share it with us on Twitter!

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.