Known now by myriads of James Joyce fans as Bloomsday, 16 June 1904 is two things:

First and foremost, it is the day Joyce fell in love with the woman with whom he would spend the remainder of his days, Nora Barnacle.

Ten years later, he began writing a book that, though sprawling (in my edition) nine hundred and thirty-three pages, took place entirely on that one day. That book, published first in 1922 (not in America until 1933, thanks to what may be the most embarrassing example of censorship in American history), was Ulysses, and it details, scrupulously and minutely, the perambulations of Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus through Dublin on the sixteenth of June, in the year 1904.

Throughout the world, there are monumental Bloomsday celebrations on 16 June, consisting of readings of Ulysses, and the like. Go down to any Irish-seeming pub on this day, and it's likely you'll find something having to do with Bloomsday going on. Those Irish certainly do love to drink, eh?

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