June 16, 2010

"Bloomsday" 2010

The Chairman of BP cares about the small people, and so do I most days, and especially on Bloomsday. Much of the charm of the character of Leopold Bloom in James Joyce's comic novel Ulysses is in the fact that Bloom is one of the small people, living a run-of-the-mill urban existence in a backwater city of the mighty British Empire. Not a general or a statesman or a great poet but a near-Chaplinesque character bumbling through the jumble of events that accrue on one relatively representative day, Thursday, June 16, 1904.

Although Bloomsday has been commonly celebrated (at first by a small pack of literary drunks including Brian O'Nolan/Flann O'Brien in Dublin some years ago) each and every year on June 16, I continue to maintain that only the June 16 which falls on a Thursday is legitimately called Bloomsday. Is Bloomsday Thursday, or is Bloomsday June 16? It's both, forever both. The rest of those June 16ths, like today's, falling on a Wednesday, well, I don't know. Sure, you can call such a thing "Bloomsday" if you must, but just don't call it Bloomsday.

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