So much for Bloomsday

Clancy Ratliff at CultureCat points to threats from the James Joyce estate to enforce copyright through lawsuits if there are public readings of Ulysses during the 100th anniversary Bloomsday festivals this June.

For the uninitiated, Bloomsday marks the anniversary of the events of Joyce’s brilliant novel, which all occur on the 16th of June in 1904. The occasion is typically marked by all day readings of the novel in pubs and other gathering places, a typically Irish homage to an otherwise monstrously forbidding work (at least by reputation). The threats have caused the 100th Anniversary celebration to cancel planned readings and performances of Joyce’s works. I can’t imagine that the estate thinks this will help appreciation of Joyce’s work. Maybe it’s time that someone introduced them to the economic concept of “growing the pie” by building demand for Joyce’s works, rather than crouching in the corner muttering “my preciousss” over royalties.

In the meantime, I’m marking my calendar to be violating some serious copyright law on the 16th of June. Care to join me?