James Joyce, Irish author born on 2 February 1882, James Augustine Aloysius Joyce, to John and Mary Jane Joyce, in Rathgar, Dublin. Blooms Day, traditionally celebrated on the 16th June. This being the date that Joyce's character, Leopold Bloom, makes his way across the city of Dublin. A day in the life of Leopold Bloom.
This date was specifically chosen by Joyce and correlates with his first date with Nora Barnacle, his then, future wife in 1904.
Ulysses centers around two protagonists, Leopold Bloom, a Jewish advertising canvasser and Stephen Dedalus, a young writer. Joyce commenced the writing in 1914 and completed it in October 1921.
Due to the works treatment of sexual themes and graphic language, Joyce found it difficult to secure a publisher. After much controversy surrounding the publication, Ulysses was eventually published in 1922 by Sylvia Beach from her bookstore, 'Shakespeare & Company' on Rive Gauche, on the Parisean left bank.
Today Ulysses is hailed as the most important novel of the 20th century and in 1998 was ranked number one on the list of 'One hundred best English Language novels of the 20th century', at the Modern Library.
Ulysses, a parody of Homer's hero, Odysseus in his poem Odyssey.
Similarities between the two works lie within the characters and events. Leopold Bloom - Odysseus, Molly Bloom - Penelope, Stephen Dedalus - Telemachus.
Ulysses has eighteen chapters, every chapter carries a theme connecting the characters to those of the Odyssey. Each chapter is set at certain times throughout the day, charting Bloom's footsteps down to the last hour, beginning at 8am and concluding after 2am the following morning.
This Blooms Day Tour will take you through some of the well known and famous spots in Dublin which Joyce wrote about.