Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Bloomsday Celebrations

© Joe ÓNéill 2009

John Creighton Murray entertains the audience during readings from Ulysses, in O’Reilly’s Bar and Restaurant, located in San Francisco’s Italian quarter. In the early 1900's, a large number of Italians migrated to California and settled in San Francisco's Italian Quarter (now known as North Beach).

Murray, now in his late eighties, was a child protégé who studied the Tchaikowsky violin concerto with Philip Mittell, who himself studied with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. He also studied Brahms’ concerto with Bronislow Huberman, who had studied with Brahms. He is currently working on a DVD of classical violin pieces.

© Joe ÓNéill 2009

Grania Flanagan performs a reading from the Molly Bloom Soliloquy

Excerpts from the Molly Bloom Soliloquy
“…and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls use or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another ant then I asked with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes”

Ulysses, by James Joyce, was first published in its entirety in Paris in 1922. Having first run in serial form in the American magazine, Little Review, in 1918, publication by the Review was halted when The Society for the Suppression of Vice went to court and was successful in having the book banned on the grounds of obscenity. It remained banned in both the United States and Britain until the mid-thirties. Strange as it may seem, in the climate of an ultra-conservative Catholic morality, that was 1930s Ireland, the book was never banned there.

On this June 16, Bloomsday, the day on which events in Ulysses took place in 1904, celebrations will take place worldwide to commemorate James Joyce and his literary legacy. From down under, in Sydney Australia, to the Canadian east coast town of Toronto, to America’s west coast in Seattle and San Francisco, to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in the east, to Dublin Ireland, thousands will celebrate Bloomsday with readings and dramatizations, pub parties, and re-enactments of the period complete with vintage clothing.

Ireland has created a cottage industry out of the legacy of James Joyce, and has generated millions of tourist dollars in recent years from such events. I stand to be corrected on this, but sad to say, browsing the web to date; I cannot find one listing of any Bloomsday activity in the north of Ireland.

Control to Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Is anyone receiving?

1 comment:

  1. I know im only here a short time but do we have a tourist board, and what county is that ulysses boyo from