The Irish are good at exporting joy. From St Patrick’s celebrations to Irish bars (however departed from their true essence they might be), Irish people have made the colour green, which is also the colour of hope for many, a sign of their identity across the world.
Another thing the Irish are good at is exporting Joyce, James Joyce. Only the Irish would take a day mentioned in Ulysses, often labelled as the most complex novel ever written (apparently also the one that most people start but never finish) and turn it into such a popular yearly celebration, from the US to Asia.
An Evening with Joyce
So, when Crazy Mary Librería suggested to us doing a kind of Bloomsday in Madrid, we jumped right at the chance to kickstart such a celebration in the Spanish capital. Is it an obstacle that, due to the pandemic, we won’t be able to share food described in the books, as it is traditionally done? Does it matter that Bloomsday is celebrated on June 26, the day when the protagonist of Ulysses met his wife to be and it is now October?
The answer to both is no (but we have taken to name this first event An evening with Joyce, more suitable for the lack of blooms this time of the year).
In fairness, no matter how many dictionaries you might pile up next to your copy of Ulysses or A portrait of the artist as a young man, the truth is that you are bound to find something in Joyce’s work that will resonate with you. If you are an Irish person whose second home is Madrid, you will identify with his experiences about living in Europe and his reflections on identity and everyday trials and tribulations. But these themes are universal, and with sports, travelling and even dance featuring in his writings, there is something for everybody and well worth the linguistic challenge.
The best thing is that we have done this work for you. We have found some great extracts that you will find engaging and insightful, and prepare some context so that you can understand how relevant they are even nowadays. Pair that with some great performers of the likes of Denis Rafter, and you will never have enjoyed more being read to.
But, of course, a good Irish celebration is not complete without music, and music there will be. Some traditional tunes will be played on the violin and guitar which will make your hair stand up and get your foot tapping.
Celebrate with us…
So, join us on October 20 at 7pm at Crazy Mary Librería (c/Echegaray, 32) and say you went to the first edition of a future classic in the Madrid scene. If all this was not appealing enough, the event is completely free.
Oh, and you can come dressed up in period clothes, as this is also a part of Bloomsday celebrations! More literary fashion can be found by following this link.
See you there!
Categories: Blog Stuff