by Terence Killeen
Irish Times, Wed, Jun 12, 2013

One of the books on Leopold Bloom’s shelves, in Ulysses, is called In the Track of the Sun. Early on in Ulysses, Bloom reflects on what it would be like to accompany the sun in its progress through the day: “Somewhere in the east: early morning: set off at dawn. Travel round in front of the sun, steal a day’s march on him. Keep it up for ever never grow a day older technically.”

Given that Ulysses famously celebrates a single day, there is a special appropriateness in the fact that the book will – for the first time – be read in its entirety around the world in one day this Bloomsday (Sunday, June 16th). And while those taking part do indeed expect to grow a day older in the process (in some cases, such as the organisers, considerably more) this will not detract from the fun and the celebration that the event will engender.

The reading is vivid testimony to the book’s now almost global appeal: the DublinJames Joyce Centre, where the idea originated, had no difficulty in finding reading groups around the world who were eager to take part. The event is part of the Gathering festival and its formal title is the Global Bloomsday Gathering. HearingUlysses read in all these multiple voices and multiple accents, living exemplars of the book’s own multiple voices and styles, its huge variety and range of linguistic expression, should be an inspiring experience.

Some 15 countries and 26 cities will be involved, starting, “in the track of the sun”, in Auckland, New Zealand and extending geographically to San Francisco at the most westerly point.

The event will start at 9pm Irish time on Saturday, June 15th, which will be 8am on June 16th in Auckland (the time the book begins). It is expected to end about 3.30am Irish time on Monday, June 17th.

While the time taken to read will of course exceed the length of a single day in any one place it will still all be happening on Bloomsday in the different cities where the book is to be read.

The participating cities are Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Moscow, Pula (Croatia), Zurich, Trieste, Bangor (Wales), Dublin, Paris, Derry, Cork, London, New York, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, San Francisco, Chicago, Sao Paulo and Santa Maria (Brazil).

The Dublin reading will come from the James Joyce Centre and the National Library where readers will include writers Joe O’Connor, John Boyne and Declan Hughes, Impac award-winner Kevin Barry, actor Frank Kelly and musician John Sheahan. Novelist Colum McCann will be involved in the New York event.

Read the full article on the Irish Times website at:


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