A BIG book is read (again) in little Baraboo!

The citizenry of Baraboo, WI (assisted by tourists and regional guests) will read James Joyce's novel Ulysses beginning at 8 am on Saturday June 16, 2012 in their 9th annual celebration of Bloomsday.

The entire book will be read aloud with everyone taking 1/2 hour turns at the 20th Century's most influential (and quite possibly its best) novel. As long as there is someone available to read, the event continues on. Organizers expect to complete the reading sometime on Monday, June 18.

This will be the 9th year that Ulysses is read in Baraboo, a small city of 12,000 nestled in the beautiful and ancient Baraboo Bluffs in Wisconsin's Driftless Area. Participants include city officials, college students, business owners, grandmas, campers from nearby Devils Lake, state politicians, news reporters, factory workers, and farmers. Special Joyce buttons and a celebratory 90th birthday cake will be offered to all intrepid participants.

This year, the event will again raise funds for the Baraboo Literacy Council. 

"We grew up on The Wisconsin Idea here. Significant cultural events are not just the property of large urban areas or even the 'educated'. Reading Ulysses aloud with friends, neighbors, the local principal, and the family dentist pretty much sums up what we're about" says event organizer Annie Randall of the Village Booksmith (a used bookstore with many free cultural events) where the reading takes place. "Besides, after 8 years of listening to Joyce's marvelous prose, we're starting to actually get it!" 

For more information, call 608-355-1001. 



06/17/2012 2:57am

Hello Annie, Rob and All of the Villagebooksmith Crowd,
Just wanted to say thanks for giving me my 30+ minutes of fame during Saturday's (Bloomsday-in-Beautiful-Baraboo) readings of Ulysses - I really had a great time grappling with the Latin, French, Italian and metered prose and phrases of Mr. Joyce! Hope you're able to finish the novel by Monday morning too!
Best regards,
Bill Thomas
Reader - 1700-1730 hours CST, Saturday, June 16, 2012

06/18/2012 7:19pm

Hi Bill,
Thanks for being part of our 9th annual reading of Ulysses. We were delighted when you called from Colorado and we were able to set things up with a cell phone so we could hear you reading. Hope you can make it to Wisconsin sometime to read "live" under the Village Booksmith awning.

julie schwebach
10/08/2012 10:18pm

I was in Baraboo (as I am every June 14-17 or so). I finally was able to do a little JJ reading for Bloomsday. It was a great treat!
My question is, do you do any kind of event coordinating with the library for this event - what are/would be the possibilities of helping the bookstore and the library.
PS. I am in library school and this seems like such a great way for the library and/or schools to be involved. And, how many tourists do you get to participate in this?!

I will be there in 2013. I spoke with the owner about a planned simultaneous reading of the whole book. I am game. how to proceed in figuring out what passage to read.
Also, I would like to know what books/article suggested to understand this author! I don't know if I can understand Ulysses, understanding the author may be more "doable"!
I am preparing!
Thanks - Julie


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