LINCOLN PARK — The Bloomsday in Chicago group holds its annual reading from James Joyce's "Ulysses" at 7 p.m. Friday at Galway Arms, 2442 N. Clark St.
Bloomsday, of course, is June 16, the date of Joyce's forbidding modernist novel about a day in the life of Dublin, Ireland. Joyce coined the name himself in iconoclastic fashion after Leopold Bloom, the leading figure in the book.
Playwright and novelist Jeff Helgeson is the master of ceremonies, joined by actors and fellow writers in the Puddin'head Press stable in reading selections from the book, which sometimes uses a stream-of-consciousness effect in exploring the lives of various characters, including Stephen Dedalus, who returns from Joyce's autobiographical debut novel, "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man."
"Ulysses" takes place on June 16, 1904, and Bloomsday in Chicago began its annual events on the 100th anniversary in 2004. It's been at the Galway Arms since 2011.
A $7 donation is requested.
Although the book has the reputation of being impenetrable, it nevertheless routinely pops up on lists of the greatest novels ever written. Bloomsday events take place around the world on June 16, centered on Dublin, of course, but with several scheduled across Chicago.
• Starlight Radio Dreams holds a Bloomsday celebration at Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro, 3905 N. Lincoln Ave., from 7-10 p.m. Admission is free, but the restaurant has a menu including steak & kidney pie, after Bloom's penchant for eating "the inner organs of beasts and fowls."
• The Cliff Dwellers holds its annual Bloomsday event starting with a cash bar at 5:30 p.m. A $50 dinner follows at 6:30, with readings set for 7:30, $10 admission for those who skip the dinner.