Friday, 16 June 2017


Happy Bloomsday

June 16: How do you celebrate Bloomsday, and James Joyce the European, in the age of Brexit?

I had a Gorgonzola sandwich for breakfast this morning.

A remarkable coincidence*, because I do not often have such a thing – and only this afternoon have I been reminded (by Harvard University, no less) that today, 16 June, is Bloomsday. and that this is being celebrated around the world:

Leopold Bloom was born in Szombathély in 1896. 

Leopold Bloom, James Joyce's creator, mocked unthinking nationalism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry:

Bloom is painted... as a peacemaker and mediator; he is in favour of 'moderation' and capable of seeing things the 'other way round'. He upholds a philosophy of socialist utopianism, advocating for 'free money, free rent, free love and a free lay church in a free lay state' for all... espousing the virtues of tolerance and inclusivity...

Virtues worth celebrating internationally today.

One of those celebration today is being held in Fő tér in Szombathély, just a block away from one of the addresses where Andras Pető was alledgedly born in the same year.

Leopold Bloom was of course a fictitious character. András Pető was not, but seems often to have been doing his level best to make himself one...

Bloomsday world map, perhaps not too late to find one near you:

The Crazy Rogues: Celtic punk in Szombathely:

Happy Bloomsday!


* Gorgonzola sandwiches are an important feature of Bloomsday celebrations around the world. Here is an example from this year's event at the Irish Embassy in Berlin:

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