Today is "Bloomsday," a.k.a. Lá Bloom, the day in 1904 that Leopold Bloom made his epic peregrinations around Dublin in James Joyce's Ulysses. There are celebrations all over the English-speaking world. (Or should I say, the English-reading world. Or perhaps I should say the Irish-reading world!)
It's a special Bloomsday, too, in that the book finally goes out of copyright across the European Union, freeing celebrants from the widely hated Stephen Joyce, James's grandson, who, as The Atlantic says, "has gained a reputation as the most controlling literary executor in history."
In the rabidly pro-corporate U.S.A., where "our journey towards a corporate vision of perpetual knowledge assets exploited for profit seems unstoppable" (The Atlantic again), the status is somewhat murkier. Scholars and fans here may not have heard the last of the stingy Stephen yet.
But for the day, rejoyce! (As Craigy Fergs is wont to say, ya see what I did there.)
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Original contents copyright 2012 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Richard Tugwell: "I noticed the provenance of the photo, which prompts me to blether on a bit. There is a large Joyce 'presence' in Zurich, where I live, and where Joyce died and is buried. He lived here on three occasions in his early, struggling years, and the areas and properties where he lived haven't altered very much. I frequent the same streets and cafes on a daily basis. It was on a short visit here to treat his eyesight—after success had come his way—that he contracted the illness which killed him. He has a rather nice resting place in Fluentern Cemetery on the Zuriberg, high above the city. Despite the iconic Irish-ness of his work, he has always appeared to me to be much more a European. Fluent in many European languages, and a self-exile from his country of birth.
"I see the photographer's address is just a few steps away from one of the (many) places Joyce lived during the war period. I'll go and have a look and see if there are any traces."