And that is how Ulysses ends, with the most famous and significant sentence in the world of literature, said by the character Molly Bloom, Leopold Bloom’s wife.
Divided in 18 chapters, each one representing one hour of Leopold’s journey. A day that brings him intense events, of constant epiphanies and streams of consciousness to the characters, readers, and Joyce lovers.
In this Leopold’s odyssey, that starts at 8 am on 16th of June, he walks throughout the streets of Dublin, going into places like pharmacy and newspaper offices, answering letter, chatting with some people and running away from others, always giving space and time for his wife and her lover to use their house.
We are only a few steps away to the literary festival, annually and globally celebrated: Bloomsday; and as Molly stayed in her house, we will also stay. Not for the fact that we are being visited by our lovers, of course. I mean…. Yes, yes, we will stay and we will celebrate from our homes digitally and remotely, as the Brazilian writer and translator Dirce Waltrick Do Amarante will do.
Dirce Waltrick Do Amarante translated Finnegans Wake into Portuguese and produced a theater play called “My Little Ireland”, an adaptation of some chapters of Finnegans Wake and of some letters exchanged by James Joyce and Nora Barnacle. The play is available to watch on Youtube Channel, and also on “Indoors with Molly Bloom”, an online encounter with readings and talks from various languages, bringing the Joyce poetic spirit for Bloomsday 2020.
“I think that the virtual is the language of the moment. The online Bloomsday has reunited people from different parts of the world and created a wider dialogue, this is my impression, between readers and scholars of James Joyce. Obviously, it is a unique experience to walk around the streets of Dublin on June 16, to do Leopold Bloom’s journey, and listen to excerpts of Ulysses, music, and etc.”
“’How goes the time? Quarter past. Time enough yet. Better get that lotion made up. Where is this? Ah yes, the last time. SWENY’S in Lincoln Place. Chemists rarely move.”
Here in Ireland, there are numerous online events that will happen, as for the moment we live in right now, the opportunity of reaching more people for this celebration is simply fantastic.
Sweny’s Pharmacy, the pharmacy that Leopold Bloom buys the lemon-scented soap and the body lotion for Molly, welcomes thousands of people from everywhere and every year for the festival. This year will be celebrated digitally. The volunteer and manager PJ Murphy knows that it will be different, yet with the exact same joy and cultural expectation:
“Bloomsday will be very different for everyone this year. For the first time we’ve doing a complete reading of Ulysses’ chapters from 10a.m. on the eve until 10p.m. on Bloomsday. All in 3 hour slots using Zoom platform, with readers from all over the world including Brazil, Argentina, France,Russia,Italy,Spain, Germany, the United States and England.”
To know more about the reading of Ulysses organised by Sweny’s volunteers you can check out their Facebook page. Visit also the Bloomsday Festival website for more events.