Saturday, February 2, 2013
Irish novelist and poet James Joyce was born on February 2, 1882, to a middle class family in Dublin. After graduating from University College Dublin with the intent to go into medicine, he met his future wife, Nora Barnacle, a young woman from Connemara. They first rendezvoused on June 16, 1904, a date Joyce later chose for the action of his modernist novel Ulysses (1922) and now celebrated worldwide as “Bloomsday.” The novel sets the characters and events of Homer’s Odyssey in Joyce’s Dublin, where the actions of Leopold Bloom (Odysseus), his wife Molly (Penelope) and Stephen Dedalus (Telemachus) are contrasted with those of Homer’s characters. Each of the book’s 18 chapters is devoted to one hour of the day, beginning around 8 a.m.; each employs its own literary style; each is a parody of a specific episode in the Odyssey; and each is aligned with a specific color, art or science, and bodily organ.