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If you are not James Joyce fan, then June 16 is probably just another day. However, those who are avid readers of Joyce’s works, particularly of his acclaimed tome Ulysses, know that today is Bloomsday, and thus a day worth celebrating.
Named after one of the protagonists of Ulysses, Leopold Bloom, fans take the day in order to celebrate the novel and its beloved writer. Fans all around the world tend to celebrate this literary occasion by drinking, and eating meals similar to those that Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus ate in the novel.
In New York, according to the Daily News one restaurant is even serving the exact meal of a Gorgonzola cheese sandwich and wine that Leopold had on June 16.
Ironically, given the prolific nature of Ulysses, which is more than 265,000 words long not including a more than 30,000 word lexicon, many fans are choosing to express their appreciation of Joyce through the 140 characters of a Tweet and hashtag #Bloomsday2014.
In this age, one cannot help but wonder what Joyce would have thought of being celebrated through Twitter. If he lived today, would he have used the medium himself?
— Penguin Books UK (@PenguinUKBooks) June 16, 2014
English professor Sean Latham, who teaches at the University of Tulsa, expresses skepticism of the idea in an email to NBC News. According to him, Joyce was,“a very private man. So, despite his intimate exploration of the minds of others, I suspect he wouldn't have used Facebook or other social media. He loved the lives of others, but wanted to guard carefully his own.”