Bloomsday 2012 – pubs, and copyright. Yes!

June 16, 2012

James Joyce fans, and other literati fans:  Happy Bloomsday, June 16.

It was on that fictional June 16, 1904,  that the fictional Leopold Bloom worked so hard to find his way home in Dublin, lured by the sirens of this pub, hampered by the Scylla and Charybdis of that pub, but finally — Yes! — finding his own doorway, yes, and entering into it, yes, and making literary history, yes.


James Joyce caressing, or torturing, a guitar. Bloomsday (Photo credit: bluelephant)

Oh, yes! Yes!  Yes!

Is anyone reading Ulysses in your town?  Public performance?

2012 heralds, or laments, the ending of the extended copyright on the novel in the UK.  James Joyce’s son Stephen has been a close and controlling shepherd of the rights to use the words of the book.

In 2004 the threat of disruption from the Joyce estate to the planned Bloomsday centenary was deemed so great – Stephen Joyce warned he would sue for copyright infringement if public readings formed any part of the festival – that the Irish government was forced to pass emergency legislation to protect itself. In 2007, a US court upheld the claim of a Stanford academic that the Joyce estate engaged in abusive conduct in exploiting its copyright.

This year, Dublin’s New Theatre have organized an entire festival dedicated to Joyce’s entry into the public domain, featuring new work only made possible by the expiry of the Joyce copyrights. Scholars from around the world – including a few former targets of legal action from the estate – will gather at Trinity College Dublin for a week-long symposium on the author. Experimental film, cabaret, even an iPhone app, all form part of the city’s program of festivities.

Bloomsday performers outside Davy Byrne's pub

Bloomsday performers outside Davy Byrne’s pub, in Dublin (in 2011?) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s not clear that the copyright is ended in the U.S.  I doubt that will slow any of the scheduled readings.

How will you celebrate Bloomsday? 

Have you read the book?  Of those who show up to readings, or to lift a pint in a Dublin pub, what percentage do you think have actually read Joyce’s book?

Bloomsday, More, and Related Resources:

Leopold Bloom's gorgonzola sandwich

Leopold Bloom’s gorgonzola sandwich (perhaps you need to have read the book . . . ) (Photo credit: Dunechaser)

Have a great Bloomsday

June 16, 2011

James Joyce fans, and other literati fans:  Happy Bloomsday, June 16.

Is anyone reading Ulysses in your town?  Public performance?

(We’re at the Clinton Library today; no Joyce, I’ll bet.)


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