How Long Does a Day Last?
Updated: Nov 4, 2022
Born on Groundhog Day before anyone ever celebrated the event, The Groundhog Day Challenge challenges people to try and finish Ulysses in the 100 plus days before the centenary celebrations begin on 2,2,2022.
Ulysses was published on Joyce's 40th birthday but forget Bloomsday and birthdays for a second and let's focus on Groundhog Day, the film and not the February 2nd festival.
Ulysses takes place on June 16th 1904 which is now celebrated globally as Bloomsday and just like the Bill Murray classic comedy, Groundhog Day, we have to ask ourselves, just how long does a day last?
In the film, we see Bill Murray reliving the same day over and over again but just how many days did it take before Murray's character Phil Connors finally got it right?
Some suggestions say that Murray's purgatory could have lasted ten thousand years, and some avid viewers have estimated a much lower, realistic amount of 8 years and 8 months but either way, we are talking about the longest day that was ever lived.
Murray becomes an expert pianist, fluent in French and able to carve ice scupltures with ease while befriending an entire town and learning all about their lives, so the next time you watch the comedy, count how many times Murray dies or rises again at 6am.
I'm sure James Joyce relived June 16th over and over again as it took him several years to write the book and this day now celebrated as Bloomsday was set in 1904, in Edwardian Dublin, was published in Paris nearly two decades later.
There are a little over 100 days before the 100 year anniversary of the publication of Ulysses so why not try and spent some of that time opening up a copy of this epic masterpiece?
You don't need to act like there is no tomorrow, try a few pages today.
UNESCO City of Literature