A Meta-Bloomsday Sampler

For Bloomsday this year, for something a little bit out of the ordinary, I give you Terrance Hayes reading “Lighthead’s Guide to the Galaxy,” from his National Book Award-winning poetry collection, Lighthead:

                   Not what you see, but what you perceive:
that’s poetry. Not the noise, but its rhythm; an arrangement
of derangements; I’ll eat you to live: that’s poetry.
I wish I glowed like a brown-skinned pregnant woman.
I wish I could weep the way my teacher did as he read us
Molly Bloom’s soliloquy of yes.

And from James Lloyd Davis on Fictionaut, “The man who killed Molly Bloom”:

I’m alone and pretty much friendless, suffering from the stigma, not unlike the Kurt Cobain/Courtney Love thing, but where Molly Bloom’s got the Kurt role, a damned unresurrected genius/saint/bodhisattva/zeitgeist and I’m the killer slut. A reversal of roles in gender, but a sign of the times, I guess.

If you’re in New York and so inclined, Culture Ireland and the Irish Arts Center are sponsoring a Bloomsday Breakfast in Bryant Park, behind the main branch of the Public Library. In addition to dancers in costume and Joycean music, the idea being to transform the park into “an Edwardian garden party,” the morning will begin

as the novel began with an Irish breakfast, served in honor of the iconic opening scene. The festivities, which run from 8 AM until 10 AM, include musical performances by special guests Songs of Joyce, a selection of readings from Ulysses, and a donation of 100 copies of the novel to New York Public Library, Queens Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library and Bryant Park Reading Room.

Admission is free, although they would like you to RSVP to bloomsday@imagineireland.ie or by calling 212-757-3318, ext. 202. That might be worth getting up early for—there’s nothing like a real Irish breakfast, although I would personally be happy to skip the blood sausage. But if you’re not a morning person, Housing Works is holding an event at 7 PM, also free: The Bloom in Bloomsday. Sponsored by Tablet Magazine, it promises to reclaim Ulysses from its exclusively Irish domain and celebrate “the novel’s protagonist, Leopold Bloom, for the big Jew that he is,” with readings by novelists Joshua Cohen and Deb Olin Unferth and musical performances by Bambi Kino and The New Yiddish Rep.

For the rest of the world, or those of us who can’t make either event (or any of these others), there’s always Radio Bloomsday, broadcasting live from 7 PM to 2 AM.

But will you be able to get up Friday morning after all these festivities? Well—yes I say, yes you will. Yes.

(Photo from DrWho’s flickr photostream.)

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2 Comments to A Meta-Bloomsday Sampler

  1. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    June 19, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the plug, Lisa. A nice surprise to find meself (sic) quoted around/about in the wide world of bits and bytes, eh? Sort of … a meta-fictional metastisization.

  2. June 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t mean to be an anonymous commentor. Just forgot to fill in the blanks. Thanks again for the plug.

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