On Thursday June 16, 1904, James Joyce went on his first date with Nora Barnacle, his future wife. He honored this date by making it the day that events take place in his novel Ulysses. The whole novel is 24 hours in the life of Leopold Bloom, the main character. Thus the name Bloomsday. Around the world the literati celebrate Bloomsday with readings from the novel, dressing up as the characters and acting scenes.
I tried reading Ulysses last year. I got lost after 300 pages. I remember reading passages about shitting, farting, pissing and masturbating. How surprising that the greatest novel of the Twentieth Century contained such passages.
Perhaps these passages are not so surprising when we discover why Joyce’s first date made such an impression on him. At one point, on June 16, 1904, Nora Barnacle slide her hand down James Joyce’s pants and—well you can guess the rest.
Ulysses, the greatest novel of the Twentieth Century, honors the date James Joyce got a handjob from Nora Barnacle! You can bet that more than the literati would celebrate Bloomsday if the celebrations included handjobs.