Bloomsday and a Week with Joyce

by Charlotte Reads Classics

“What did you do in the Great War Mr. Joyce?”
“I wrote Ulysses. What did you do?”

Bloomsday, June 16th, is almost here. Despite my earlier reservations (IMMENSE FEAR) about reading James Joyce at all, let alone Ulysses, I am actually now quite excited. The readalong, should my excitement become contagious, is hosted by o and her sign up post is here.

Rather tragically, my work life is unsympathetic to my wish to drink coffee and sit around reading all day, and I have to go to work on Bloomsday itself. But, instead missing all of the fun, I have decided to spend a whole week in celebration of James Joyce, Ulysses, and my education in both matters. To help me, because obviously this is going to be a huge challenge, I’ll be listening to BBC Radio 4’s celebratory programmes which I read about here.

In theory, my week will be going a bit like this:

  • Monday: Go and buy a copy of Ulysses. It is (I think) about 750 pages, how handy, about 100 pages per day. Try and read a substantial chunk to get going.
  • Tuesday: Read more Ulysses.
  • Wednesday: Repeat.
  • Thursday: More reading, listen to In Our Time on Radio 4, which “will discuss the background to Ulysses, considering its historical and literary context, its themes, contents and style, and the impact it has had since publication”. Useful!
  • Friday: Reading.
  • Saturday: The big day, read as much as I can, propose a toast to Mr. Joyce.
  • Sunday: IN THEORY finish reading Ulysses. Listen to the BBC dramatisation.