On June 16th each year, readers, scholars and fans of James Joyce's Ulysses celebrate, dramatize and try to understand the meanderings of one Leopold Bloom. For those of us who, ahem, have had this 700+ page tome on their reading list for ages, it's also the day when we crack it open, get to about page 9, take a break with an "easier" book, only to forget about even trying until the next June 16th.
Why is June 16th such a significant day to Joycean scholars and readers? Ulysses, regarded by many as a turning point in modern literature, takes place entirely on June 16th, 1904, in Dublin, Ireland. Based on the Homeric epic The Odyssey, Ulysses is a classic of the stream-of-consciousness style of fiction.
In the absence of street theater and pub crawls to celebrate Joyce's work, why not crack open the celebrated text? Perhaps this year, we'll get past page 9.