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Watch: Ming Cai '11 Talks Love of Joyce, Celebration of Bloomsday

Watch: Ming Cai '11 Talks
Love of Joyce, Celebration of Bloomsday

by Alex Weintraub '11

Ming Cai '11 talks about her love of James Joyce's Ulysses.

Professor of English Literature Nathalie Anderson and Ming Cai '11, an honors English Literature major, recently joined in the Rosenbach Museum's Bloomsday celebration. The event is held each year in honor of Ulysses, the iconic work of James Joyce, on June 16, the day of its main character, Leopold Bloom's odyssey, and features public readings of the text by dozens of notable Philadelphians. This year's theme, "A Taste of Ulysses," focused on the role of food and digestion in the novel and featured Joyce's manuscripts from the museum's permanent collections.

At Bloomsday, Anderson, currently the Rosenbach's poet-in-residence, read a passage from the section "Ithaca," which describes the final leg of Bloom's journey home. She describes the passage as one of her favorites, she says, "because it's simultaneously so precise, even to the point of analyzing syntax, and also salacious, but almost entirely through innuendo." Other readers included Michael Nutter, the mayor of Philadelphia, and U.S. District Court Judge Michael Baylson.  

Cai '11, an avid Ulysses fan, participated in Bloomsday as part of an internship with the Rosenbach. She helped with the organization of the event, spending much of her time in the museum assisting visitors, and will focus the rest of the summer on the creation of a future exhibit on Joyce's time in Paris. This fall, she will embark on her own personal odyssey, writing her honors thesis on Ulysses.