Why Groundhog Day?
Updated: Nov 4, 2022
Born some five years before the first-ever Groundhog´s Day was ever celebrated, James Joyce will forever be associated with our furry little friend Punxsutawney Phil as it was on his 40th birthday on Groundhog´s Day 1922 that Ulysses was published which means 2,2,22 will have the added benefit of being the centenary of Ulysses and the 140th anniversary of the birth of Joyce.
2,2,22 will hopefully be as celebrated as much as Bloomsday this year but with a little over 100 days to Groundhog´s Day, let´s encourage as many people as possible to pick up their copy of Ulysses and finally finish it if they haven’t already.
Maybe it is time to dust it off and reread it or to listen to an audio version of the book.
The Groundhog Day Challenge is to try and read several pages a day from now until then and to hopefully finish it in time for the centenary.
Just like the film Groundhog Day, my alarm wakes me at 6 am each morning and I reluctantly start my routine. If I find a seat in the morning when I board the Metro, I try to read a couple of pages and here is the thing about reading Ulysses, it can be a challenge.
My interest in Joyce and Ulysses comes from the Bloomsday Society in Madrid and the many people I have heard speaking about the book and those quite literally singing his praise, at our monthly readings.
It is probably best to mix Joyce with music and some have suggested to me that I try to read it aloud in a more lyrical sense that I find works a little better than trying to understand Joyce´s punctuation and references.
I have read two fantastic books that explore Joyce´s writing and thinking and much is known about the characters he has created and the people who inspired him.
This is a challenge and is much harder than pouring cold water over your head but hopefully, it is a worthwhile challenge that people enjoy or find themselves enjoying again.
For me, the first page is complicated enough to follow but a book is read one page at a time and that is where we should start, even if some people have suggested to me that you can ignore some chapters completely.
Starting at the begining is what we must do and I was delighted when the Bloomsday Society in Madrid decided to start back at the begining of the book for our first monthly meeting since Bloomsday, and I am looking forward to returning to Martello Tower, again.
Share selfies of yourself with your copy of Joyce or make a video of yourself reading a passage. Read or reread it or introduce Joyce to someone in your life. 100 days to celebrate 100 years of Ulysses.
UNESCO City of Literature