Today, Madrid joins in the Bloomsday celebrations, celebrating James Joyce’s Ulysses in the style of Dublin literature. Every June 16th, Dubliners take to the streets to bring James Joyce’s Ulysses to life and make an ode to Irish literature. This time, Madrid joins in the celebration!
How many times have you heard of a festival or a celebration of a book? It can’t happen anywhere else than in Ireland and in Dublin, the UNESCO City of Literature. Bloomsday is a purely Irish festival celebrating the epic and revolutionary novel Ulysses on the anniversary of the day on which the action takes place: 16 June 1904. Every June 16 since 1954, many Leopolds and Mollys take to the streets of Dublin to enjoy performances, lectures, readings, workshops, taste the local dishes or walk through the iconic places of the novel.
“Ulysses” celebrates the centenary of its publication in 2022 and, to celebrate it, Tourism Ireland and the association Soy de la Cuesta are organising a twin version of the Dublin festival Bloomsday in Madrid. A nice way to pay tribute to the author and bring the two capitals together through literature. Like the Bloomsday route in Dublin, the Madrid version will follow in the footsteps of the main character of the novel, Leopold Bloom, through Dublin and its surroundings. To do so, Madrid and the district of Letters will transform its streets and venues into the iconic places of the novel to take us to the Dublin of 16 June 1904.
The people in charge of taking us on this literary route will be the author of the novel, James Joyce; Molly Bloom, the wife of the novel’s protagonist; and Stephen Dedalus, Joyce’s alter ego; who will be played by the actors Muriel Pernas, Raquel Vicente and Jonathan Mellor.
In addition, to ensure that no detail is missing in this celebration of the iconic 20th century novel, people are encouraged to follow the example of the Bloomsday festival in Dublin and attend the event dressed as the characters from the novel. Here is a video with a summary of the event in Dublin and characterisations of the attendees. Among the best dressed attendees we will raffle 2 sets of books with the latest publications about Joyce, works by the author or other Irish authors, courtesy of the publishers Galaxia Gutenberg, Páginas de Espuma, Lumen, Firmamento and Alianza.
The “Bloomsian” itinerary will end, following tradition, at the Ateneo de Madrid, where the members of the Bloomsday Society and the Ateneo members will pay tribute to the actress and theatre director Magüi Mira, who has been performing, for more than thirty years, the monologue of Molly Bloom (Penelope – 18).