Bloomsday Irish Street Breakfast

The Oklahoma Center for the Humanities, Booksmart Tulsa, The Taven restaurant, the James Joyce Quarterly and Guthrie Green will host a Bloomsday Irish Brunch in the Brady Arts District in downtown Tulsa.

The event will take place in the cultural corridor (alley) behind The Tavern, and it will run from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Enjoy an authentic Irish brunch, drinks, live Irish music, theatrical performances, readings, prizes, giveaways and a surprise art event.

The highlight of the day is the official unveiling of a mural on the southeast end of the alley that celebrates Tulsa’s status as the world headquarters of Joyce studies.  The mural is apparently already up and this was George Kaiser Family Foundation’s idea to celebrate the James Joyce Quarterly’s 55-year history at The University of Tulsa and the return of the International James Joyce Foundation to the university

Each year on Bloomsday, June 16, people around the world celebrate one of the greatest works of modern literature: James Joyce’s Ulysses. Set on a single day in 1904 Dublin, the book follows in careful detail the rather uneventful life of Leopold Bloom, an Irish-Jew and advertising salesman whose wife is planning an affair. Bloom rises, eats breakfast, wanders the city, attends a funeral, reduces the son of a friend after a fight with a British soldier, and finally goes home to fall asleep in the bed where he can still detect the imprint of his wife’s lover. In Joyce’s hands, these otherwise unremarkable events take on mythic import as Bloom becomes a modern-day Odysseus, the Greek hero whose cunning and courage brought him safely home across a sea of dangers. Ulysses is thus a book about the terrors and triumphs of everyday life as well as the individual acts of heroism found in the simple act of living.

The book is known for its rigorous yet moving honesty. Its sexually explicit passages led the U.S. government to ban Ulysses in 1920, a decision that remained in place until a 1933 ruling declared it a work of art. We now celebrate Joyce and his humane vision of the world each year on Bloomsday.

For over 50 years, The University of Tulsa has been a vibrant center for the study of Joyce thanks to its publication of the James Joyce Quarterly and the rich holdings of TU’s McFarlin Library, The Department of Special Collections make of one of the five leading collections in Joyceana.

About Marc Carlson

The Librarian of Special Collections and University Archives, McFarlin Library, The University of Tulsa since November 2005.He holds a Masters in Library and Information Studies from the University of Oklahoma, and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Anthropology from Oklahoma State University. He has worked in McFarlin Library since 1986.
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