Explaining Ulysses — if possible

Bloomsday
By KEGAN ZEMA  |  June 9, 2010

James Joyce's stream-of-consciousness epic Ulysses is widely regarded as a benchmark of modern literature, but as anyone who has ever picked it up (or been forced to read it) can tell you, a sincere "What the hell?" is perhaps the most common reaction. Fortunately, the upcoming Bloomsday celebration — named for the novel's protagonist Leopold Bloom, a Dublin-based Odysseus allegory — has activities planned for the literarily inept as well as Joyce's biggest fans.

Ulysses for Beginners | June 15 @ 7:30 pm | Bull Feeney's, 375 Fore St, Portland
Readings + music + film screenings | June 16 @ 5-8:30 pm | Maine Irish Heritage Center, 34 Gray St, Portland

Bloomsday, celebrated on June 16 (the day on which the novel takes place in 1904), has become a worldwide tradition that the Maine Irish Heritage Center and the American Irish Repertory Ensemble (AIRE) are now bringing to Portland. The local festivities include a simplified, hour-long performance adaptation called Ulysses for Beginners, as well as readings from the novel, live music performances, and film screenings.

If you dare, swallow your pride — and your nervousness — and hoof it over to see what the fuss is about.

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