The epic novel "Ulysses" tells the story of an ordinary day in Dublin. Fans of its author, James Joyce, have turned that day, June 16, into an annual celebration of his life and work. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
A reading from a book read in many a high school and college literature class, "Ulysses" by Irish Author James Joyce. It is the focus of a yearly celebration called Bloomsday.
"Actors love the book because there is so much drama in the book and stream-of-consciousness-type material. So it's a great celebration for actors," said George Heslin, artistic director at the Origin Theater.
Appropriately, Bloom's Tavern in Midtown was hosting its fourth Bloomsday Breakfast, an event right out of Ulysses, set in Dublin on June 16, 1904. Produced by the Origin Theatre Company, folks showed up in period dress, listening to music and readings, and, of course, eating a hearty Irish Breakfast.
Bloomsday commemorations have been held worldwide since the modernist novel was first published in its entirety in 1922.
"I grew up in a very literature home. My parents pushed it into my head a lot as a kid," said Noel Donovan, owner of Bloom's Tavern.
As part of the festivities, Author Malachy McCourt was awarded the Origin in Bloom literary award. The brother of the late Frank McCourt has a new book of his own out called "Death Need Not Be Fatal." He has his own thoughts on Joyce's master work.
"It took a long time for any of us to get the hang of the man," McCourt said.
Fans of James Joyce told us that Ulysses is a great book, but, of course, could be a little on the complex side. That's why they like the idea of excerpts read to them by actors.
"You get to really see and hear these beautiful amazing characters that Joyce gave us through the book," said Antonia Riley-Parker, a judge in the Best Dressed competition.
"I've tried it, I've tried it, wrestled with it. And it's quite entertaining," Donovan said.
And still going strong after all these years, especially on Bloomsday.