Bloomsday

Published in 20th-century / Contemporary History, Issue 3 (Autumn 2004), Letters, Letters, Volume 12

Sir,

—Nowhere in the (fresh) outpouring of Bloomsdayana—not even Daniel Mulhall’s excellent article (HI 12.2, Summer 2004) on the Irish history that is embedded in Ulysses—is there any sign of Professor Davis’s important discovery, so perhaps a reminder is called for. Richard Davis’s masterful biography of William Smith O’Brien, Revolutionary Imperialist (1998), repeated what we all know—that Bloomsday began (along with Joyce’s affair with Ms Barnacle) on 16 June. The gentle wanderer and the genial professor took their cue from O’Brien’s statue on Dublin’s O’Connell Street. Trouble is—and only the professor has noticed it—Smith O’Brien died on 18 June. The stonemason erred. Did Joyce? The best that Bertha Maddox can do to pinpoint that first trembling encounter was a ‘probably’ for 16 June. Over to the Jim/Nora/Bloomsday industry.

 

—Yours etc.,
P.L. MOORE
Katoomba
New South Wales

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