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Celebrate ‘Ulysses’ with Tablet Magazine

Announcing ‘The Bloom in Bloomsday’ 2011

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(Len Small/Tablet Magazine)

On June 16, 1904, a cuckolded advertising salesman named Leopold Bloom wandered the streets of Dublin, unwittingly acting out Odysseus’s journey home. Nowadays, on Bloomsday, we gather to honor Bloom and the great epic novel in which he appears, James Joyce’s Ulysses.

But Bloom is also a Jew, and Tablet Magazine intends not to let people forget that. So we are excited to invite you to our second annual “The Bloom in Bloomsday” celebration. This year, at the Housing Works Bookstore in Manhattan, we will be joined by novelists Joshua Cohen and Deb Olin Unferth; Bambi Kino, a band comprising members of Nada Surf, Guided by Voices, Cat Power, and Maplewood; and the New Yiddish Repertory Theater for reading, music, and performances centered around that “allroundman” Bloom.

The event is Thursday, June 16th, at 7 pm, at Housing Works Bookstore in Soho. Admission is free, alcohol is cheap (with proceeds going to the wonderful Housing Works charity), and the uninitiated will be treated to a 15-minute pageant in which the entire 600-page novel is narrated and acted out before their very eyes.

It’s going to be a great time. Let’s claim Bloom for his people!

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elliot cohen says:

It’s odd. Leopold’s father is Jewish but he identifies as a Jew.
It’s Molly, whose mother is Jewish, who is actually the one who would be considered (according to Jewish law) Jewish yet doesn’t appear to have a Jewish identity.

John Brosseau says:

Bloom was not cuckcolded by Molly and Blazes Boylan.
The time scheme just doesn’t work out. The brilliant
Hugh Kenner worked this out years ago.

Marc Tracy says:

@John Brosseau I have read (and loved) Kenner’s book, but he did not convince me on this point (nor most people)

As an honory Bloom since 1949, I have been working to arrange a 10,000-strong group of people named Bloom to converge on Dublin for Bloomsday in some future year, as soon as it can be arranged. Details here and I am serious:

BLOOMS OF THE WORLD, UNITE! (you have nothing to lose but your famous last name)

news story:

DUBLIN – It’s a happy coincidence when one stumbles across another human being with the same last name, though such happenstance won’t be quite as so significant for the 11,600 people who were due to descendon Dublin, Ireland, tomorrow night, June 16, 2012 — Bloomsday around the world — all bearing the surname Bloom.

The event, aptly titled “Blooms Blooming on Bloomsday,” aims to break the record held by the Norbergs, which brought 583 people of that name together in Sweden in 2004 and the Joneses, which brought 1,200 Joneses together in 2006.

Actress Claire Bloom and actor Orlando Bloom are scheduled to headlinethe event at the Dublin Joyce Centre, and a gaggle of Blooms from theUnited States and Australia will also be taking part following a special tour of several Irish cities and villages. Tickets to the event were on sale for £15 (US$28) and audience membershave been told to bring a passport or driver’s license as proof of their identity — maiden and hyphenated names don’t count.

“This is all for fun,” Etienne Bloom, a 65-year-old professor of genetics at University College London told the BBC, who has been a Bloom for as long as he can remember. The event was organized by American event planner Danny Bloom, who runs a website called “Blooms in the News”.

“This is certainly a unique event and we wish the Blooms the best of luck in their attempt,” said Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief of Guinness World Records. Some of his officials will be attending the event to validate it as a (not so small world) record breaker.

Stephanie says:

Any chance this event will be recorded?

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Celebrate ‘Ulysses’ with Tablet Magazine

Announcing ‘The Bloom in Bloomsday’ 2011

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