Ulysses and James Joyce fans, it's Bloomsday. The action of Joyce's 1922 novel all takes place on June 16th, and the Irish and literary folks alike have embraced this as Leopold Bloom Day. In Dublin, enthusiasts reenact Bloom's activities as described in the book.
According to one account,
At lunchtime it's traditional to stop off for a glass of burgundy and a Gorgonzola sandwich at Davy Byrne's Pub on Duke Street, just as Bloom did. In the afternoon the Ormond Hotel is the spot for an afternoon pint, where Bloom was tempted by the barmaids in the Sirens chapter.
The fictional Bloom, by the way, was a Freemason.
The book was notoriously banned in the US for its graphic content. Oddly, it was first published in Paris by Shakespeare and Company. I was just standing in their store a month ago.
I have to say that listening to Garrison Keillor read "Mary Bloom's Soliloquy" on NPR's Writer's Almanac tonight ("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") was creepier than a backrub from grandma.
We're leaving for the Grand Lodge of South Dakota meeting in Sioux Falls. Looking forward to being there! I'll be speaking to their Lodge of Research on Friday afternoon at 4:00.