At Home and Abroad

Stories and interviews from the Irish Diaspora

Kathleen Fee - Bloomsday 2022 - Montreal

2022-06-12

Kathleen Fee - Bloomsday 2022 - Montreal
Bloomsday is an international Literary Holyday celebrating James Joyce's seminal novel Ulysses in which Leopold Bloom, a Dublin Jew, and a cityful of other colourful characters go about their lives in the city of Dublin on June 16th, 1904 Joyce chose this particular date for Bloom's perambulations as a tribute to his wife and muse, Nora Barnacle, whom he first encountered outside Trinity College, close to Finn's Hotel where she worked as a chambermaid. Although initially mistaking him for a Norwegian sailor, she agreed to meet him. June 16th marks their first romantic rendezvous. Bloomsday as an event began in Dublin on June 16, 1954 when fans and old friends of Joyce decided to mark the 50th anniversary of this fictional day – also the date of Joyce’s first real-life outing with his wife-to-be Nora. The anniversary was spent retracing the pilgrimage of Leopold Bloom around Dublin. Since then many other cities around the world adopted the tradition, and Bloomsday has flourished ever since. Montreal boasts the largest Bloomsday festival in Canada with event-filled days that stretch over five to six days. We bring down the curtain on Bloomsday itself — June 16. Over the years, festival-goers have come to enjoy an expanding variety of educational, cultural and social events.

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