Bloom, as Joyce fanatics will tell you, is the son of Rudolf Virág, a Hungarian Jew from Szombathely who changed his name to Rudolph Bloom upon immigrating to Ireland. Joyce based his portrait in part on Aron Ettore Schmitz, an Italian Jewish friend who wrote masterfully under the name of Italo Svevo. Though assimilated, Leopold Bloom is arguably the most famous Jewish character in modern European literature.
Celebrating Bloomsday means celebrating Bloom, and at New York’s Symphony Space, actors such as Jonathan Hadary and Tony Roberts will help commemorate the occasion. Radio Bloomsday on WBAI will reach others, while Bloomsday in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum & Library, and Seattle’s Other Bloomsday are proposing similarly enticing events.