"Murray is the best kind of literary biographer" – The Financial Times.
For more information about the books of Nicholas Murray
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Winner of the 2015 Basil Bunting Award for poetry

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

How Was Your Bloomsday?

Being reminded, during the research for my recently completed book about Bloomsbury, that Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath were married on 16th June 1956 in St George the Martyr church (see picture) in Queen Square, Bloomsbury, on Bloomsday, has triggered some thoughts about literary anniversaries.   Is it just a weeny bit silly to celebrate today as Bloomsday, a fictional day across which the narrative of Joyce's masterpiece, Ulysses, unfurled?  I think it isn't – because to say that today is Bloomsday is to allow the imagination to prevail over mere fact and routine.  A work of art has managed to usurp the work diary.

The sun is shining, the longest day is still to come, and I have a feeling that a re-reading of Ulysses is on the way.  My lovely green Bodley Head 1960 edition [I don't give a fig about the 'Joyce Wars' of the scholars over which text is to be preferred] is on the shelf, waiting to be taken down: "Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed..."


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