The work of James Joyce will be celebrated at a number of events in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to mark Bloomsday.
Joyce’s seminal novel Ulysses is set on June 16 which has become known as Bloomsday after the central character of the novel, Leopold Bloom.
Each year, fans of the book and Joyce’s other work gather to hear passages from his prose read aloud or celebrated through music.
This year’s Bloomsday festivities begin in Sydney on Thursday June 13 at the Stanton Library in North Sydney.
Among those reading passages from Ulysses will be former NSW premier Bob Carr and the State Librarian for New South Wales Dr John Vallance. Musical entertainment will be provided by Martin Horan.
This event is free but bookings are essential.
On Saturday, June 15, a group of Irish and Australian actors and musicians will celebrate Bloomsday at the State Library of New South Wales.
Performers for the evening include journalist and broadcaster Daniel Browning, Áine De Paor, Awaye, harpist Clíona Molins, Brendan O’Reilly and members of the Aisteoirí Theatre Company.
The event begins at 6pm and tickets are $10. Bookings can be made via the State Libary’s website.
The Gaelic Club in Surry Hills will host its own Bloomsday celebration on the day itself, Sunday June 16.
The event, which begins at 3pm features a program of readings, music and song. Admission is free.
In Brisbane, the Queen St Mall will play host to a free, family-friendly celebration of Joyce’s work.
Readings will be interspersed with music and other entertainment featuring the Queensland Irish Association pipe band and Irish dancers.
The event runs from 11am to 2pm.
In Melbourne, Bloomsday will be celebrated with a seminar and lunch at the Swiss Club in Flinders Lane.
The seminar will be chaired by Australian polymath, writer, teacher, lawyer, social activist, quiz champion and former politician Barry Jones and feature eminent speakers Dr Ronán McDonald, Gerry Higgins, Chair of Irish Studies at the University of Melbourne, and Dr Steve Carey.
Dr McDonald, a Dubliner, will present a paper entitled The Consecration of Ulysses: National or Universal? in which he will examine how Joyce’s ground breaking novel gained its status as one of the great works of the 20th century. Dr Carey will speak about Joyce’s time in Zurich in 1917 during the First World War when he was writing Ulysses.
This key time in Joyce’s life, during which he produced a stage production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance Of Being Earnest, part-inspired Tom Stoppard’s play, Travesties in which the writer is a central character.
Bloomsday organisers in Melbourne are staging a production of Travesties as part of their Joycean celebration.
The play, directed by Globe-trained Jennifer Sarah Dean, will be performed at fortyfivedownstairs theatre in Flinders Lane from June 12 to 23.