A Bloomsday Centennial At The Cliff Dwellers

Editor’s Note: The style breaking novel Ulysses by James Joyce was first published in 1922. The word “Bloomsday” first appeared one hundred years ago in 1924, in a letter written by Joyce. In later years, fans of the book began meeting on June 16 to celebrate what has come to be known as “Bloomsday.” Bloomsday refers to the detailed account in Ulysses of the protagonist Harold Bloom’s meanderings on June 16, 1904 while out and about in Dublin. (For more background on the hard to approach Ulysses, read the demystifying 2023 Bloomsday Editor’s Note.) Since 1991, The Cliff Dwellers has marked Bloomsday each June with readings from Ulysses. The Club’s Bloomsday gathering in 2024 was unusual in that there was musical  accompaniment to help set the scene of Dublin in the early 1900s. For Bloomsday’s 2024, as in the recent past, Cliff Dweller Richard Reeder organized the event and introduced the reading selections and musical numbers. Reeder first introduced Natalie Forough singing I Have a Bonnet Trimmed with Blue and I Will Walk with My Love. She was accompanied on piano by Richard Boldrey. Later Forough and Boldrey again joined forces on Danny Boy and The Last Rose of Summer. The evening ends with the Bloomsday celebrants all joining in singing Cockles & Muscles. In addition to Richard Reeder, The Cliff Dwellers readers this year included Joan Pantsios, Robert Emmett Reidy, Howard Raik, and Natalie Forough. The full event is recorded above with a Table of Contents showing the chapters, subtitles in English and French, and a searchable transcript for Joyce fanatics. Individual clips of the players and their parts in the celebration of Bloomsday follow.